I love to read books by women who are fierce warriors in this world- Glennon Doyle is one of those women, and I like to follow her on Facebook to get inspiration and encouragement. The other day she wrote the following post:
“If you are standing with other women in a circle and there is a woman standing alone in your circle’s vicinity- the thing to do is notice her, smile at her, move a bit and say, ‘Hi, come join us!’ Even if she decides not to join your circle – even if she looks at your like you’re crazy- inviting her is STILL THE THING TO DO. This advice is meant for both literal and figurative circles. WIDEN YOUR CIRCLE. ALL THE TIMES.”
When I read this post from a woman who is a fierce warrior in fighting for what is right in this world, I thought to myself- “YES!! Dear God do we need to learn this!”
Then I kept thinking about it.
Have you ever been invited as afterthought? I have! Have you scrolled through your Facebook or Instagram account and saw your friends gathering and you were not invited? Happened to me too.
Did it hurt to be unnoticed? Did it bring feelings of rejection? Feelings of anger or confusion?
The other side of this – and a lot harder to notice or admit-
Have you ever invited someone as an afterthought because you knew they would find out and you didn’t want to hurt their feelings? I’m guilty! Are there people in this world you just don’t want to hang out with- for whatever reason? Me too!
Have you ever sat in your circle and talk shit about the people who are different from you- or people who just seem to piss you off at a blink of an eye? Yup- I have done that too.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could live in a world that Glennon speaks of? A world where our circles are open to other people and we accept their differences and love them for who they are. Me too. The reality is I think that we do notice the lone gal and we may smile at her and we may invite her to join our circle, but sometimes that just doesn’t work- I mean sometimes we decide to not like her. It may be because she is truly a toxic bitch and our lives would be better without her- but that is not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the gal who we decide to hate because she is- oh I don’t know- skinnier or prettier- or maybe she is more intelligent or more popular- maybe her personality just rubs you the wrong way, because she is too quiet or too loud- or maybe her integrity makes yours feel inadequate. You know- when we decide to not like someone because of our own insecurities and jealousies.
I know, I know- this is a hard topic to talk about. In fact some of you may have already stopped reading. Some of you are intrigued with where I am going with this.
So let me get to my point. Here is a meme (funny and true) that causes a lot of division and closed circles:
Better known as the BEC! Bitch Eating Crackers… We all have them.
I think it is safe to say that we have experienced both sides of this- we have BECs and we are the BECs.
Glenn’s advice above is sweet and ideal at the least- however, we don’t live in that world. I propose that we accept that we have to start being honest about what is really going on. We have to face the truth and face the things we’d rather not see.
Sometimes we are not nice to our own. We ignore, exclude, gossip and treat them less than because we DECIDED to. OUCH!
Until we can self-reflect, admit we are guilty and try and be better, I propose another method to help our broken (closed) circles.
From one of my favorite books:
“Even as adults, we can sometimes let our parents [people] have a ridiculous amount of control over our lives. A mother’s chance remark can bring us to tears with anger and frustration. A father’s random lack of consideration can stick with us for weeks, eating at us and making us miserable. Until we realize that we have a choice about the way we respond , our emotional well-being is entirely dependent on what someone else does. Of course other people in our lives will continue to do and say hurtful things sometimes– we have to accept that people are the way they are and that we can’t change them. The only changes we can make are in ourselves. Just as we don’t have to answer the phone every time it rings, we don’t have to react to every irritation we feel. With enough practice , we can learn to laugh at pettiness that at one time could have made us cry. – “Days of Healing Days of Joy.”
I know Glennon’s heart was in the right place when she wrote this post, and I do agree with it 100%. We should be opening our circles and inviting the outsiders– but the reality is is that we can’t change the circles. We can’t make people be more inviting, more accepting, more aware of their actions. In my opinion we need to be preaching and teaching the outsiders on how to be more discerning of their own reactions and learn how to self-counsel when we experience the rejection. Whether that be praying, giving positive affirmations, or learning to laugh at the pettiness. In other words, we need to stop taking everything so personal and put on a thicker skin.
And when I decide to talk shit or exclude someone- let me face the truth and realize that it has more to do with me and not the BEC.
We need to understand and teach ourselves (and others if possible), that our well being is not dependent on the invitation of others. Their reason for not accepting you is none of your business.
I am not condoning cliques and closed circles, but we have to grow up a little and realize that not everyone is going to be our friend. Let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t clique with certain people. Now, that doesn’t mean we should gossip, make-fun of, or belittle the outsider- perhaps we need to look deep inside and figure out why we have decided to not like a person and remember to just smile, and acknowledge that we see them, respect them and love them. Maybe that is what Glennon meant after all….
This post was meant for me most of all!