What's the Deal With Cliques Anyway?

I ponder a great many things in life.  That's just how I am.  And the things I ponder are often just random.   Sometimes I see something or hear something and just have to wonder...WHY?!  One of those things I have never understood are cliques.

Cliques were (and most likely still are) particularly popular among adolescents.  You know, junior high and high school age kids.  However, I have found that they are not limited to that age individual.  Unfortunately cliques extend in both directions of that age.  Children much younger are affected by cliques as well as adults.  While we all know what a clique is I thought it might be helpful to include that actual definition:  CLIQUE:  "A small exclusive group of friends or associates."  Hmmm...I think the key word here is "exclusive".  And by "exclusive" one can actually say "excluded".  Because, in my opinion, cliques either "include" individuals or "exclude" them.

I have often wondered how one decides who can be in a clique and who cannot.  Are there requirements?  Can someone just look at another and determine if they should be allowed to join their clique (or little group of friends)?  And do those within the clique feel bad about rejecting entry into said group?  I suppose cliques have been around for centuries if you think about it.  Most likely beginning with the separation of social classes. Years ago it was pretty much unheard of for people to socialize with individuals not in their own class.  How shallow, right?  Because in the year 2015 we cannot fathom how anyone could do such a thing.  Well, how is forming a clique these days any different?

Cliques are hurtful and harmful to the "excluded" individual.  I was talking to someone just the other day, a younger woman,  who confided in me that she had been excluded, probably not purposefully, but excluded nevertheless from her peer group at church.  This truly saddened me because if there is one place where individuals should feel "included" it should be within their church family.  There should be no cliques there.  But there are.

So, what, you may be asking, is the answer to this problem?  I'm not sure if this is an "answer" but it is the advice I always gave my children growing up.  Treat people the way you would like to be treated.  Give them a smile, a kind word and try to include them.  For "including" people makes them feel valued.  And why would we want anyone to feel otherwise?

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.  That's what today's post is...

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