The Transition Network

New York City Chapter

Responses to Excluded? Let’s Talk!

(Posted July 19, 2021)

By Nancy Gold,

We have a positive outcome here. My friend Sally no longer feels excluded.

The floor by floor party went swimmingly well. Many people showed up. We talked more in small groups. Everyone got to know their neighbors better.

Here was the analysis of what happened. Sometimes it is easier to reflect after a month has passed rather than over reacting immediately. The first floor which Sally and others thought were being excluding, exclusive, whatever you want to call it, were merely being thought-less. The very social new owners in the condo enjoy wine, lots of wine, grilling, sitting around talking often until late at night. No fault of the new owners. If fault is to be assigned, it was that the owners who had been in the community a long time but did not think to include others who lived there and who were not around at the moment. It was a sin of “not thinking” rather than “being mean”.

As one person wrote to me “I do not expect to be included in every social event.” To her I said, you are absolutely right. We all have different circles of friends and they may or may not intersect. This situation was different because we live in a community of 25 apartments that all look down at the community pool. When there is a large social situation at the pool, everyone knows about it which could lead to uncomfortable feelings if you were not invited.

By making yourself available before hand, hanging out in the pool, making it a point to meet the extended family of the new owners (who cannot enjoy a smiling baby?), we all got to know each other better. Turns out that we are all good people who enjoy laughing together. 
We had a Cinquo de Mayo party (very silly), a competitive “who cooked the best barbeque” party and of course, some happy birthday parties. Everyone and I mean everyone was invited. Have things smoothed over? Absolutely. Will they be perfect in the future? I hope so and trust me, I will be one of those people who says “did you invite….”. 

Thinking of others, being inclusive, is always a good thing. Give people the option to say, “Sorry, cannot make it this time” or  ”So glad you asked. I had not heard. What can I bring?” Don’t be a thought-less person who doesn’t think about others.

As always, comments and thoughts are welcomed! 
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Material from, 20:04:47 September 16, 2021.
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