There is this strange aspect to being social. It’s counterintuitive actually. When you really want to be part of some group - but show that need, you are somehow rejected? Why? You just want to make friends.
Let’s take an example. Pete is at work, and he sees his cool colleagues laughing in a group. It makes him a bit insecure, why are they having fun? So gathering his courage, he approaches the group and wants to enjoy the fun. But after a minute or so the banter first dies down, people wait for Pete to add to the conversation. He doesn’t really - he waits for the next joke wanting to be in on the fun. He just wants to be accepted.
But that doesn’t happen. Since Pete isn’t contributing to the dynamic. He is slowly but surely ignored. That sucks.
Harsh? Yes! But let’s approach it from the other side? What is Pete bringing the group? Does he bring any value? Or does he just want to be part of their dynamic? Only feeding off their social energy? That feels very icky for the group.
Well that happens if you come from a position of neediness.
It’s not very appealing.
That is why I urge you to add value. If you want to be part of a social circle - give! Add value if only by being pleasant company. By showing interest in others. Don’t come looking for your own wholeness - you’ll get rejected.
You shouldn’t seek their validation. And an even bigger faux pas is lowering your status for their acceptance. Bring strength, bring value and bring fun.
You’ll get what you give.
Does that feel far off? Don’t feel good enough? Trying to fit in somewhere won’t help. You’ll have to accept yourself for who you are first.
And sure, maybe you can be better person. But we are dealing with this reality. You are in the here and now. Still, you have a lot of value to add and give to others. Think about what you can bring: Your humor? A creative spin? A listening ear? A thoughtful comment?
You’ll see that as you find your own value, and accept yourself - others will definitely do so as well. So you approach others from a position of wholeness.
If Pete had joined the group without any need to gain, but to give, he would have been accepted. For instance, he could have shown interest in the group or told an interesting anecdote.
But growing better.
There might be a 1000 things you can improve through personal development - but you are good enough as you are. Give yourself permission to feel good enough.
If this doesn’t work, find out why you are struggling. Why can’t you embrace yourself? What kind of development do you need?
Sure everybody should also work on themselves (as does Pete). But change that perspective a bit. Build yourself out of a place of acceptance. Build yourself because you care about yourself. Because you like yourself enough to find you deserve better.
Even starting to work on yourself displays so much value. People accept and help those that help themselves. Take good care of yourself.
Flip the perspective one more time
Once you find that value - you can also take it to the next level. Stand up straight and be that one-man tribe to start. Who wants to join your group? Who can bring value to you? You are there to grow your tribe how can others add value to you.
Now get out there and show your worth to the world!
And take Pete with you please.