The term Clique. What does it mean to you?
It’s not a nice word really, is it? Cliques or being cliquey isn’t a description you really want to be labelled with. It’s associated with groups who isolate others by their own exclusivity.
To some people a clique is obvious, to others, they fail to see it even exists. So when does a group of friends become a clique? When you’re on the outside of it looking in; a clique really is in the eye of the beholder.
In any given walk of life; school, university, work, blogging, motherhood, school (again) there will always be wide groups of friends and acquaintances. Within these groups there will of course be subsets – those that have a naturally occurring affinity towards each other for one of many reasons. Similar interests or circumstances, common ground between themselves or even their partners, ages of children or simply just because they gel…or should I say ‘click’. Maybe it’s a bond secured in history that can’t be competed with.
This feeling doesn’t just occur in teenage girls – men, grown women, the elderly, even kids can find themselves in a situation they feel on the ‘outside’ and that can be hard. A feeling of isolation and self doubt – an inevitable cycle of self analysis and questioning, and ultimately a feeling of being left out. The FOMO is real.
As life goes by and we mature socially, for sure we cannot always be responsible for each others social life. We cannot always be totally inclusive. As friendship circles grow and wane, drift and hiccup, there will always be situations where you cannot invite everyone. House parties, barbeques, christenings, kids parties, weekends away, holidays, day trips, or even just occasional social events.
I mean, who really wants to go out for a meal with 28 people – no, there will always be a time and a place for a more intimate collection.
So what if you find yourself on the outside? My advice is to move on. Don’t take it personally and reflect on your own circles. Do you actively arrange your own get togethers – surely you have friends whose company you find so easy, who you tend to call upon when you need some fun.
You wouldn’t always be 100% inclusive would you? Not out of spite or malice, but just because it wasn’t practical. Be kind, be thoughtful, be sensitive and be realistic. Smile, wave and wish them well.
Cliques do exist, in the eye of the beholder. If you fail to observe them you just might be on the inside, blissfully unaware. Likewise, consider your own position and those around you – maybe you are in the heart of a clique right now, and you don’t even know it.
This post originally featured on www.meetothermums.com