Several months ago, I started playing a new sport with people I had never met. These people have known each other for most of their adult lives. It had been a long time since I felt like the ‘The Odd Man Out”.
When I first started, my skills were NOT up to theirs. My knowledge of the game was poor and I had a difficult time remembering names. Everyone was patient with me. Everyone said, “You have to start somewhere and we were all beginners at one point.”
I have learned a lot from the 20 or so women who come out twice a week to get some exercise, socialize and play a sport that they love. While there is a wide range of personalities and skills, there is one constant with all the players. Fairness, kindness and acceptance.
I believe we can all learn from the open and accepting attitude they exude. The next time someone new moves into your neighborhood, or there is a new employee at your job, or a new kid enrolls in your school, think about how they must feel. It is not easy to fit into a group that has history. Trying to can be awkward and scary.
We all want to be liked. We all want to feel welcome. How are you doing in this area? Can you do more? We don’t have to like everyone that joins our group. We don’t need to have the same closeness as we do with people we have known a long time. But I believe what we should do is make an effort to make new people feel comfortable and not “The Odd Man Out”.
Something to think about.
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The Odd Man Out