I’m not a fan of cliques. I like groups. I love groups actually and I’ve been a member of dozens of influential core groups. But a group becomes a clique when the doors shut. When there’s either a spoken or an unspoken underlying sense that all positions within have been filled. No need to apply. No come back later. Door is locked.
I’m a fan of open doors. The whole open door, anyone’s welcome mentality—that’s what I gravitate toward. Maybe because I always felt a crushing empathy for the underdog in school or because I’ve been thrown to the curb a time or two and I know how excruciating it feels. For whatever reason, I simply don’t like cliques.
Does any of this surprise you about me? I hope not.
My thoughts about cliques were triggered when my daughter reminded me of the lovely dynamics that begin to bud at her age (fourth grade). Man, oh man, I could write her a book about what I’ve witnessed when it comes to females and their treatment of one another. But I won’t. Instead, I’ll continue to remind her to be kind to everyone, to make conscious decisions about including others, and to branch out when it comes to establishing friendships.
I get why people hunker into tight knit groups. It makes perfect sense to me. There are even things about that kind of loyalty (and perhaps boundary setting) I can appreciate, but all too often I see the inadvertent ostracizing that those groups partake in. I see the weakness in shutting others out.
But this is me. And perhaps I’ll grow to feel differently. I’m open to that.
My door remains open. And I have no plans on closing it anytime soon.
So welcome. And while you’re at it, welcome a friend as you step on in and process these thoughts.
What say you on the matter?
*photos by flickr