No one likes being treated any less differently. Especially when we’re handicapped, poor, slow at picking up social cues, or perhaps the “new kid” of the group.

It’s unreasonable. It’s insensitive. It’s wrong.

C’mon, we all know it. Because we’ve all been that outcast — the one nobody (really) wanted to talk to. The one crossing our fingers in hopes that someone would reach for our hand and talk to us like old-time buddies.

But unfortunately, that’s not how the world works.

Even if we muster up our courage to introduce ourselves and make some small chat, someone more familiar, more powerful, more rich, more _________ (superior trait), takes our spotlight away. And eventually we’re shoved out of the picture like we’re no longer really there.

It’s a terrible feeling. And a common issue we face over and over again — at work, at social gatherings, on the streets.

And while we secretly wish people wouldn’t treat us as an inferior or act as if we’re wearing an invisible cloak, we deliberately act the same way towards others when surrounded by our own cliques.

So why do we act this way? Why do we treat others we don’t know well like nobodies when we don’t like that feeling ourselves?

I mean, don’t we want to be good? Be helpful? And show people who we really are?

The truth is, we do.

…but deep down we’re afraid.

We’re afraid of unmasking our true selves.
We’re afraid someone will judge our flaws.
We’re afraid of getting rejected.
Most of all, we’re afraid of feeling left out and alone — once again.

And it’s this constant fear that keeps dominating our feeble minds and turning our bodies towards familiar faces, which in turn, makes us look as if we don’t give a s*** about other people.

That’s not who we are though.

Don’t let this fear sculpt who you’re not. Break it.

There’s nothing you gain by sticking with the same crowd. In fact, you limit your opportunities of meeting someone who could potentially change your life, which could be your best friend, your new business partner, your soulmate, possibly your sensei.

So the next time you come across a new face who’s feeling out of place, step out from your group and give them a chance. Treat them like family. Because when you warm up to people with a big smile and open arms, they instantly drop their guard and let you into their life — which is something people don’t do for everyone.

And if you ever get stuck between a rock and a hard place, well, you know they got your back.

The takeaway:

“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people, your family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers along the way.”

~Barbara Bush