Friday, June 10, 2016

Isolation



I think I was lucky growing up - and as an adult - in that I was always considered one of the "cool" kids.  People just seemed to like me.  When I thought about it I never really understood why.... and to be truthful I never thought about it much.

I went to a munch last night.  I have always had a really good time - moving around talking to folks - socializing.  

BUT there has been some discussion recently on FL about newbies being worried about going to their first munch - feeling shy - and insecure.  I made a knee jerk comment to one post about everyone having been a newbie at one time or another .... and you have to take that first step.

Add to that some drama that is brewing over munches and preconceived  wrongs ........ and it all just started to grate on me.

When I go to the munches - I always sit with the "cool kids" - yeah I move around but was I really making a difference for someone new??? or for the ones that aren't one of the "cool kids"?? 

When I got to the munch last evening - everyone just started to group as they always do - cool kids in the middle and everyone else spread out from there.  I made a decision.  I was not going to sit with the "cool kids" this time  -- I was gonna move down the table and leave space between myself and the "cool kids" ........ and some things were said - teasing they would call it -- but it hurt me.  Is this what we do to people??!!!  IF you aren't part of the 'in crowd" you get ignored?? 

Well I spent the evening firmly living on the other side of "cool" .... it was a very uncomfortable place to be.  There was lots of laughter and talking going on at the other end of the table - and honestly I felt isolated.   Yes that is how I felt - it was not intended I am sure.. and if I had wanted I could have moved down the table and joined the conversation............ BUT that wasn't the point to my lil spur of the moment experiment.

It was probably the worst munch I have ever attended.  So much so - that I had been on the fence about cutting back on the munches I attend - and last night made up my mind for me.  Munches are NOT fun unless you are one of the "cool kids".  Munches can make you feel isolated and excluded.  And I can no longer be part of that mentality.


1 comment:

Lea said...

This sums up the experience at pretty much every munch I've ever been to. I am not one of the "cool kids"... and I think it is just a matter of time and being present so that people get to know you... and yet, if you don't know the main people who attend the munch, you sit on the outskirts, feeling awkward as all hell. I still go, because I don't believe it is intentional and that time will allow for others to get to know us, and make it easier for us to integrate.

I have a much better time when I get to a munch early, and I can pre-select my seat based on where I think the leaders will sit - because that is where the people who are comfortable will sit and it makes conversation easier.

Sometimes I am able to make conversation with other newbies around me, and those are good times, but there still is that feeling of awkwardness, of forced conversation even when people do move around.