I’m Being Excluded!
Unfortunately, rifts in family and social groups are nothing new. The reality of life is that social groups change over time and there are clashes within families.
However, recent times have shown a highlighting of divisions of opinions and personal choices, and a concerning level of judgement, and physical and social exclusion, coupled with blatant discrimination of people who have made choices that differ from the choices of most people.
Many people are experiencing exclusion and isolation from previously close relationships in a form that they have never experienced before. To add insult to injury, many of these people also find themselves walking away from jobs because they refuse to comply to mandates, adding additional pressure and isolation.
To say that this is hurtful and challenging is a huge understatement. Most people who have chosen a non-mainstream path in recent times have either experienced this personally or have heard of others experiencing this concerning pattern.
In order to assist you in this challenging environment, the following are reflections and strategies to navigate this phenomenon:
Your Bravery – Firstly, please be aware that you are showing enormous bravery and inner fortitude by standing true in your decisions despite the pressures. You should be proud of your own bravery and authenticity to your own choices.
Many People Are Operating from a Place of Fear and Lack of Control – There has been an enormous amount of fear in society over recent years. This fear relates obviously to people’s own health fear, but also fear in relation to other areas such as financial fear. One of the effects of fear is that people operate more from the fight, flight or freeze area of the brain, and less from the rational brain. Being aware of this may give you more understanding of the behaviours of others, even when that behaviour is personally challenging.
People’s Judgement is Often More of a Reflection of Themselves Than the Person They are Judging – This point ties into the previous point regarding fear. People who are the most judgemental of others are often coming from a place of inner uncertainty, and the judgement is an external expression of their inner state. As with the point regarding fear, this may help with understanding and compassion towards those being judged as their behaviour is often more of a reflection of their own inner turmoil, than of the person they are judging.
Prepare Yourself Mentally – Facing judgement and exclusion can be extremely confronting and can result in the person being judged reacting from an emotional state that they may later regret. By calmly mentally preparing yourself for a potentially difficult situation, you will generally be more prepared to respond calmly and rationally, rather than emotionally. This will mean that you will be in a stronger position to deal with the situation and to consider the immediate and longer-term aspects of the situation.
Do You Want to Leave the Door Open? – It is highly likely that the madness and divide of the current environment will change in the future. You will know in yourself whether you wish to consider re-connecting with particular family and friends in the future who have judged or excluded you. Keeping this in mind may help guide you in your response to judgement and exclusion now.
Connect With Like Minded People – Many people who do not agree with the popular narrative have withdrawn and isolated during this period. While this withdrawal is understandable, often as a method of self-protection and processing of the situation, I urge you to connect with like-minded people. Organisations such as SKIP are emerging through this period. Through these organisations and through less structured means, many people are connecting with others who they truly align with and these are often people whose paths may not have crossed previously. New friendships and communities are forming. People are finding their “tribe”. During these times of exclusion and division, finding these new connections can be extremely important in ensuring that we don’t feel alone, we are supported and we can have the joy of supporting others.
Processing Your Emotional Response – It is normal and understandable to have an emotional response to exclusion and judgement. Responses can include anger, sadness, grief, fear, confusion or disbelief. It is important to process these emotions in ways that do not harm yourself or others. Some examples of ways to process these emotions are physical exercise, journaling, allowing yourself to cry, talking with an understanding friend or professional.
Kindness For Yourself and Others – We are going through extraordinary times, and it is very easy to forget the enormous pressures that this places on us and others. Creating a space of kindness and care for ourselves and others can make an enormous difference to how we navigate these challenging times.
Being excluded and feeling judged is never easy, but by being conscious of how you process and respond to this can make an enormous difference to how well you personally navigate this period and may make a large difference to your personal outcomes in the shorter and longer term.
Author: Jodi Woelkerling
Jodi is a resilience specialist. She works with individuals, leaders and at the organisational culture level to help people to experience the enormous benefits of enduring resilience. Through the tools of coaching, training and consulting, she helps people to create lasting positive resilience based change. To find out more about Jodi and her work go to jodiwoelkerling.com