High School Cliques: The Adult Version

In elementary school you’re taught not talk about parties at school unless the whole class is invited. As you progress through high school, the social status is well-defined and that rule goes right out the window, the more exclusive the party the better. As a grown up, I always thought, you were supposed to have a blend of both mentalities. Apparently, not all adults agree.

I recently arrived late to a low-key breakfast for dinner (brinner if you will). I knew maybe a total of four people of the at least 100 and didn’t see a single one of them. After walking around for a few minutes, I spotted an empty seat and asked the five people at the table if I could sit with them.

That was the extent of our conversation. 

I tried to make eye contact and even tried to say hello only to be cut off. I’ve never felt so unwelcome or unwanted as I did during that meal. It made me think of all the times I ignored someone, intentionally or not.

When did it become acceptable for adults to act like the cliquish teens on Gossip Girl? When did being friendly or at least nice become an anomaly? Particularly in a very large group setting. How many smart, intelligent, interesting people are excluded simply because no one said hello? How many of those people dropped out of groups or searched for a new job because they felt unwelcome?

I guarantee snubbing people is detrimental to building a cohesive team environment in any setting, not just at the office.

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