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The truth about cliques.

By: Stuart Knight (Founder and CEO) | June 12, 2024



I thought cliques would end after I graduated from high school.  I was wrong.  I then thought cliques would end after I graduated from university.  Wrong again.  Surely, I thought, as I become a father, grow older and begin living a mature life, people will see the silliness of group identity and the exclusion of others?  Turns out that I’m the silly one.  


Throughout my entire life, on countless occasions, I have been teased, and in some cases, ridiculed for something that is so bizarre to me.  That “thing” being my apparent heightened level of friendliness.  Wherever I’ve gone, people have said things like, “Wow, you ask a lot of questions”, “Do you always talk to strangers”, or “The chatterbox has arrived”, as if being friendly with others is on par with not covering my covid cough on the bus!


Until now, I’ve often taken these passive aggressive comments in stride, and chalked it up to those people being threatened by my ease of connecting with others.  However, I’m now beginning to wonder if these “jokes” being made at my expense was a weird attempt to protect me from some looming peril.  Maybe these people worried that if I allowed too many people into my life, I risked inviting a certain percentage of nefarious characters that will surely do me harm?  And since communicating that concern outright could potentially be seen as an odd thing to say to someone, they may have deemed it easier to deliver it as a joke?


Truth be told, I really don’t know.  All I do know is that today there must be some sort of fear of straying too far from the pack, because so many people seem intent on sticking to their groups, and not letting others in.  Growing up in school, I can understand why this happened, as those educational brick boxes were filled to the brim with feral animals all playing out their own version of Lord Of The Flies.  However, even when I look back at my teenage years, I remember reaping the benefits of building relationships with the jocks, misfits, nerds and theatre kids alike.  Back then, it felt like everyone had something positive to offer, and I assumed I wasn’t alone in that belief.


Apparently, only myself, and a handful of others, seemed to have drank that "Kool-Aid", leaving the majority of people today living by the belief that there’s only one cow left on planet earth, and not enough milk for everyone.  From an evolutionary and anthropological perspective, I understand that this once was somewhat the case.  Throughout millennia, tribal factions were established because winters got cold, and Louis Vuitton wasn’t coming out with his fur boot collection for a few more thousand years.  For that reason and more, there was a time when cliques made sense, but why do they have such power over us today?  Is there not enough milk to go around?



I fully understand certain groups spending a predominant amount of time together because of things such as their shared ethnicity, religion, culture, language, history and more.  I definitely have a core group of friends that see and experience the world through similar eyes to my own.  However, I can’t seem to understand why it ends there for so many people?  What if your main tribe made a little extra room at the campfire for others to join?  And what if you chose to visit that neighbouring village from time to time to see what others are saying over there?  What could you learn, and how would you grow?  Well, from personal experience, I can tell you that the answer is a heck of a lot!


There’s nothing wrong with spending the majority of your time with people that you share a unique bond with.  However, if you exclude others because your children aren’t on the same hockey team, that person doesn't make as much money as you, or they believe in a different god, you are missing out.  No matter what square foot of dirt you stand upon in this vast void of nothingness, you are part of a rare group of people that have won the genetic lottery of simply being alive.  Within that group you will find unforgettable stories, new perspectives, deeper understanding of yourself and good jokes you’ve never heard.  It’s the most successful clique on earth, because for millions of years, no one else has managed to infiltrate it.  


So let those people into your life, because they already are!


Much love,

Stuart





Connect with Stuart on Instagram  and LinkedIn 

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