We're not in high school anymore, but we still find cliques. A group of mommy friends gets together to do something and leaves us out. Or perhaps there's a party, and our mom friends and their kids are all invited--except we're not. Even though we're more mature now, I don't know how old we have to be for that sting to disappear.
Clique is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons; especially : one held together by common interests, views, or purposes."
Sure, we all have friends we click with more than others. That's natural. But I think the problem with the clique lies in the key word "exclusive." When our group of friends consistently does exclusive things together, exclusively, we leave others out who might want to be in and open the door to potential hurt feelings. I wish I could say this doesn't happen in the church, but I see it there, too (maybe largely in part to the fact that, as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mommy, it's the biggest social network in my life).
So what's one to do? Here are a few ideas that help me:
- Hang out with our own clique. I think it's helpful to realize that as wives and mothers now, our family is our clique. They're the people we hang out with the most, and they're the ones we should most enjoy hanging out with. We may be left out of a group of women, but we are never left out of our most important group!
- Celebrate the friends we do have. I would rather have a few very close friends, whom I can talk with deeply, than a group of friends where the talk is typically trivial.
- Consider. When getting together with friends, think about if there is anyone you're leaving out of your invitation that maybe you should include. Be sensitive to who might need the fellowship. With Facebook and other social media, it's super easy to blast out an open-ended invitation to local friends.
- Remember. Remember that the definition of a clique is an exclusive group. Consistently inviting only the same people to get-togethers is probably a clue that the group's crossed into clique territory. We're way past high school. Let's get past the clique mentality, too, and open our friendship circles up to more people.
This Coffee Talk Thursday, I'd love to hear if you've experienced mommy cliques and how you've dealt with it maturely (and your ideas on how to prevent hurting others' feelings through them).
(linked up with Works for Me Wednesday)