Recently I’ve been chatting to my friends about exclusion and whether your 5 or 55 exclusion hurts. But especially around the age I am now (18 to 25 year olds can I see yo hands up!) it’s particularly hard. I’m turning 21 this year and what I’m thinking about isn’t so much the theme or what flower crown I’ll wear or looking up DIY’s to make said flower crown because of lack of finances; but in fact how many people and who. Some friends are throwing massive bring yourself, +1s and your nieces, grandparents and dog birthday bashes while others are strictly quiet affairs with just some of their closest.
Ps. This is a long one so about now I’d grab a coffee or popcorn! haha!
To be frank I’ve been on both sides of this equation. Being included and others excluded and being excluded while others are included. It happens in gatherings, less important birthday’s such as 20th’s and coffee dates. I’ve realised as I’ve grown up that I love my bed and being at home more and I don’t care as much about not being invited to things. I think it’s something that happens as you get older. BUT there is one aspect of exclusion that I’ve started to understand in the last little while… 99% of the time it isn’t personal.
Look there may be 1% of situations where the person involved really wants to make you feel bad and leave you out but what I’ve had to learn is to take the personal out of it. Maybe it was last minute? Maybe there was a price limit on the amount of people? Maybe you aren’t as close to them as you thought? When you put being excluded into perspective, generally there’s an unrelated reason why.
For those of you who feel like it is personal I gathered the info and advice from my friends and their experiences; some extremely scientific research. Firstly if you feel that way talk to your friend or co-worker or uni buddy. It’s easier to talk about it behind their back or to leave them out of what you do but if you go straight to the source you can usually figure out pretty quickly what the situation is. AND it means there’s no jumping to conclusions if it was an honest mistake. If it continues to happen after you’ve spoken to them; leave it. You’ve done what you can and if they continue to act immaturely or hurtfully then that’s on them.
Work on yourself too – to have good friends you have to be a good friend. Invite people on coffee dates or text them when you know they’re going through stressful situations. A little goes a long way. This is my two cents on the subject but I’d love to hear what you think and any tips you have for excluding exclusion!
Check out my updated blog formatting! Hopefully it’s simpler and easier to use AND aesthetically pleasing. My last Chats & Chai Lattes you can find here.
Much Love, The Retrograde Collective xx