As a social society we are creatures who gather and find safety and comfort in likeness. Much like we see in today’s very connected, yet disconnected climate, we are still fundamentally fearful of difference and have the media resources to selectively communicate those differences, often in a negative fashion. I fear that until we as people develop more empathy and self-worth we will continue to disconnect, more so from the people we see different than ourselves. No one ever said you have to be best friends with everyone but changing the lens through which you see the world periodically helps you see things from another perspective.
Belonging can be hard, especially when we are young. Throughout the years I have talked with many adult friends and clients, as well as teens about the struggle to fit in. A client once told me how her daughter’s 13 year-old friend was suddenly being actively rude and snotty at school. I reminded her that she was probably trying to differentiate herself from the younger kids now that she was a teen. My client’s daughter was still 11 – almost 12. But it’s not 13! Turns out that the new teenager eventually started to be nicer after she established older friends, and realized she didn’t fundamentally want to be a jerk. Now I’m not saying it is right, but there is an inherent pressure to fit in somewhere, and often shame for those who don’t.
I’m not specifically writing to talk about growing up but it starts there. The challenge is that some people never really grow up. They continue to judge without empathy and/or are in constant search for belonging. I encourage everyone to embrace who they are and to see other perspectives. I’ll close with something personal about belonging I’ve shared with many adults and teenagers.
I genuinely believe that everyone has the ability to learn more, do more, be more, and change their self-perspective.
More on personal development at: https://nicolehollar.com