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cliques and exclude....let's see....
May 10, 2007
10:20 am
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ScaredinMichigan
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For better than 6 months these words have been thrown around here like they are hot potatoes. It has irritated me on several occasions...so today...I got out old handy dandy Webster...I wanted to know what he had to say the definition of these words truly is...

Clique

1.) a narrow exclusive group of persons, especially one help together with common interests, views, or purposes

Exclude

1.) to prevent or restrict the entrance of

2.) to bar from participation, consideration, or inclusion

I would have to say that to see that cliques (according to Webster) are very common around here. There are over 100 people on this site, we cannot ALL comprehend what each other is going through. YES...we will stick to the people that are more likely to understand us than to not. Is that not normal when we are trying to heal. I wouldn't go to an AA meeting to get help with the flu. I am NOT going to spend a lot of my time on certain threads that do NOT pertain to what I am going through. In addition to that...I don't feel as if I can attribute anything helpful to it. That doesn't mean that I am not going to read it. I just don't post because I have nothing helpful first and foremost to me, or the person needing the advice. Does that mean that I don't care? Good God I hope not. If the purpose of this site is to be kept as taking care of ourselves FIRST, are we not going to go where we are heard, understood, and getting help first? I would think so.

I, in one year of being on this site, have NEVER seen ANYONE excluded from a thread. EVER. To say that you can't post there, or here or wherever....this is a PUBLIC forum. You can't stop people from reading, or participating. If you are feeling excluded ask yourself this....have you ever posted there? Just because 2,3,4, or how many ever people are posting there regularly doesn't mean that you should not feel comfortable to post there. If you aren't addressed there, 95% of the time, it is because you haven't posted there.

This has eaten at me for a while...and I felt like I had to say something this morning...do with it what you want...but it is a thought. It is MY thoughts.

May 10, 2007
10:55 am
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danielle7373
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thank you for posting that.

i agree with those comments. there are cliques here, but that doesn't mean you can't jump in if you can relate to the conversation.

as a kinda new person, i read certain conversations, and it is difficult to just jump into some conversations because you don't to feel like you're intruding. but that's my own problem i have to get over. this is a public forum. no one is intentionally excluding anyone. you can jump in whenever. you just have to let yourself not be afraid to join into a conversation you can relate to.

people do like to spend more time on certain threads than others because it's natural for people to be drawn to like-minded people and topics.

people here are very nice and welcoming. i have never felt intentionally excluded - other than the own ideas i've put in my head. but i don't think i've seen any instances were someone has intentionally asked someone to not participate in a thread??

but i understand how people can allow themselves to feel excluded simply because they don't feel comfortable to join in. and that's fine. if you really want to heal and move forward, you have to take risks and allow yourself to meet new people and jump in and not think people are being "clique-y". so those are my thoughts. thanks again for posting this because i have seen it come up several times, too.

May 10, 2007
11:56 am
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taj64
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Im so glad you brought this up. I was wondering if I was the only one that felt that way.

For those of you who know me, you know I have not been around much. I even say so. But the reason I am not is because I don’t feel as comfortable is speaking out as much. And it is because of cliques or certain threads. If you don’t stick with the general consensus or go against the grain, you are an outside or your comments end up being misconstrued. I notice comments out there on different threads that are meant for certain people to see but don’t want to come right out and say it directly to that person but it is subtle and it is there and I feel it. I often feel I know who it is meant for . I have seen it on several threads recently. I used to feel very comfortable talking here and especially to the newcomers. I felt like it came so easy to do. In my mind I was reaching out and sense they need help and I could feel for them. But lately it has really bothered me, exactly this post. That is the reason why I don't post anymore or offer help I limit myself on this site from now on. If you don't post a certain way or side with the right group, there are ways of bring it out in another thread. I just saw it in another thread and I got sick to my stomach because it is subtle way of saying it but directed to a certain thread or person and in my opinion is subtle manipulation. I always felt like I was me on this site even if at times, it did not come across the right way, I always meant well. Now when problems come my way, I think positive, I think I can make it, I think handle and I move on quickly. Life is too short to be stuck in same situation and caught up in drama. Maybe that is what I was doing, getting on threads where there was too much drama. I always have been a caring person, want the best and i prefer to be who I am and those that really don't like me or feel a need to jump at me don't bother me anymore. Im so glad you wrote this as you said exactly what has been bothering me only I just sit and read now. I felt like a bird on a post getting stoned. And I don't have to feel that way anymore. So I am kind of done here. Because I don't feel comfortable at all helping the newcomers. I felt like I was pretty good at it. But now afraid I might say the wrong thing. Or I don't write it in the right style or I don't feel exactly the way everyone else does. Anyway I read and this is exactly the way I had been feeling. I don’t consider myself in any clique but I have been fond of several people on the site. Thanks Mich for your post and being so brave to bring it up. Take care all, Im doing really well, I poke around and read but not inclined to reach out cuz like I said not as comfortable. I hope you are too.: SMILE EVERYONE.

May 10, 2007
11:59 am
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taj64
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I meant hope you are well too. I missed a word. That is a long post I wrote. jeez. Take care everyone.

May 10, 2007
12:23 pm
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Thanks, Mich.

I think we have all felt a little bit like outsiders looking in at one time or another.

It's hard because people here HAVE formed very strong friendships and it's intimidating to read and feel like you can't jump in or like you just don't belong or "fit in". I have felt like that a lot. Both in real life AND here. The only thing I can say about it is that I have found that the exclusivity of the "clique" was purely in my head. I was more than welcome to join in at any time, I was just too scared to do so for fear of being ignored or rejected. It's hard....

I think that this board is a great SAFE place to start practicing our social skills... to be able to be more assertive, to speak our mind, to be completely honest with ourselves and others, all while being protected by a warm blanket of annonimity.

I hope that newcomers will feel comfortable in joining any conversation that they want to, because I honestly have not seen anyone treated as an outcast, ever!!

I don't post a lot to people when I don't feel I have any relevent personal experience to share or if I feel I can't offer any helpful advice to them. It's not because I don't WANT to help them, but because I don't think I CAN.

I think that this site can be such a useful tool for self-awareness and growth!!! I have learned sooooo much in my 2 years here and I have seen so much growth in so many others here as well (Mich for example).

Thanks for bringing up the subject. I have a feeling that it's something that a lot of people have wanted to mention themselves, but have been fearful to do so! So, good for you for being brave enough to tackle such a sensitive subject. See????? Growth!

Much love,

TC

May 10, 2007
12:36 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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(((tc66))) Thanks. I knew that I wasn't alone, I just felt like it was the right time to bring it up. I have had enough, and I am sure that I am not alone. I have been accused of both, and I know that others have as well. I want it to be seen for what it is. We are all a loving, caring group of people here...everyone belongs...but you can only belong as much as you will allow yourself to, right??

Thanks again tc. Best wishes to you.

Mich

(((danielle & taj)))

May 10, 2007
1:02 pm
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turnabout
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Thanks Mich. I know what you mean!! I haven't ever really understood the "clique" accusation when it's come up. Why should people feel guilty because they found particular people with whom they especially relate? That should be a GOOD thing!! Being that ALL of us are comimg from circumstances or backgrounds which have caused us pain, it's wonderful that we've found people who can help us in healing that pain. I don't understand feeling resentful of that. If a person doesn't feel they are getting the same or feels excluded, it seems to me (as I've learned on these boards about myself) it's time to step back and ask what they may be doing to exclude themselves. Often we accuse others of doing to us what we are, in fact, doing to ourselves.

((((Mich))))

May 10, 2007
1:12 pm
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Shaney
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YES! Good thread. :o)

When I first came here (and this may be typical of newcomers) I felt out of place and was afraid to post to those who seemed like EXPERTS at posting. I was intimidated. The more I stepped out of my own comfort zone and actually made the effort to meet and talk to new people, the more that I realized it was my own insecurities that made me feel out of place, and not the people here. I've had my share of confrontations and conflicting opinions here, but more times than not, it's the subject that is hot, and not necessarily the poster. Sometimes it's the poster... I mean we all get heated now and then... but hey. Most have been able to work it out in the long run - which is all that really matters.

May 10, 2007
1:39 pm
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Loralei
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Mich,

Excellent thread!

The reason I only post on certain threads is that I literally don't have time to read all of them! Plus, my memory can only hold so much information. LOL I can get sucked into a couple of people's life dramas and stick with those like a soap opera. I want to see what happens next. On those, I will throw a comment in all along because I'm up on what's happening. Even then, it's sometimes hard to keep everyone and their stories straight. I know it's hard to "break in" when you are new because it takes awhile to figure out the group dynamics. But persistence pays off and eventually the feedback you seek will surface.

taj, you have no idea how many times that I thought I was the person being singled out for my unpopular post and that the "comments" were directed at me and then you'd step up and think that they were directed at you. So don't think that you are the only one in that boat who feels that way at times. But I wonder if maybe we just worry too much about what others think to begin with? We certainly have as much right to our opinion as anyone else. I think that bringing a different perspective into play is more beneficial than just repeating what everyone else says. Gives people options.

Just keep in mind that most of us are a bunch of codependent, overly sensitive, overly caring, overly helpful, overly reactive people who love to put our 2 cents in. We are all so much alike that we push each others buttons without intending to. And the ones that sometimes lash out only do so because they are hurting or their button got pushed. I have to keep that in mind every time I feel singed by a remark.

This site has been extremely helpful for me and I've learned so much. It's so nice to find such a caring group and to be allowed into the privacy of their innermost lives. That doesn't happen much in the real world. There are times that I also feel the need for a break from here. Walking away is usually the healtheist thing we can do when conflict arises or if a thread depresses us or hurts our feelings. This is a great place for learning new coping skills without having to hone our technique on our friends and family. Squabbles and hurt feelings are just part of life and this place is no exception. But the good way out-weighs any negative. Even when I'm not posting, I'm reading the threads that catch my eye. My life and my outlook and attitude have greatly improved solely from the wonderful advice and information I have gleened from this site. I want to thank everyone on here for graciously sharing with the rest of us. You are doing far more good than you realize.

May 10, 2007
1:59 pm
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(((((Loralei))))

Very well put!!!!

I have also felt like **I** was the one being singled out at times too!!! I've had my heart drop, only to find that several other people felt that THEY were the "one".

I think it's because we are so pre-programmed to NOT speak our minds (to be people pleasers), that when we do say how we TRULY feel, we brace ourselves for the backlash and when someone says something that we feel is contradictory, we ASSUME that it is meant for us! That we are being ostrasized and ganged up on when we are totally NOT! We are just hearing conflicting opinions that don't agree with ours. That's all. Nothing more. Nothing less. It's HARD to see it clearly when you are in the middle of it!

It's so good to hear that other people feel the same way!!! It's so funny... we are a goofy bunch, aren't we??? Oh, and I mean that in a loving, endearing way!!!! Not BAD goofy!!! Just funny goofy!!!!

TC

May 10, 2007
2:31 pm
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LOL, I love this thread. we are all a goofy bunch, that is so true.

I have felt just like everyone else here, wanting to help everyone, or feeling rejected because someone didnt coment on something I had to say, or they didnt like what I had to say, but in the end, this place is my saving grace.

I dont post to everything I read either so when I realized that it made it easier to know that I am not being ignored, people just have things to do, there are times I so badly want to post to something but there are times that I only jump on for a second so I dont have time to post to everything that I read, most of the things here help me in one way or another. just because I dont post doesnt mean I dont like what people had to say. sometimes I just dont know what to say. when I first found this place I actually almost quit coming because I felt like an outsider, but I decided to give it one more shot but this time I was going to have an open mind, and I am glad I did. most of the people on here are a lot like me, I feel nervous joining a new thread or starting a new thread because I hate rejection, but I decided that Hey, these guys dont know me, so who cares. and now I can and do say what I want and its OK. and I have found a couple of good friends that way.

a lot of rambeling I know, I am not exactly sure what my point is..

I just have to say that I love to hear from everyone who has something to say. I would probably read and respond to more threads but I too dont have enough time to read them all, and I get sucked into everyone elses life drama.. I can only remember so much.. it isnt that I dont care, its just that I dont remember what story goes to what name until I know them..

May 10, 2007
2:48 pm
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Tumbleweed8
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Hi Everyone, And thankyou for this thread. My thread is gone now which is fine with me now. There was a time it would have bothered me, but I have gotten more active out here in my life now so I don't care. If I need to post about some problem I can start another thread. I'm not going to involve myself in the drama anymore. I lived too many years of my life in drama situations so now its time for me to enjoy something in life. I probably will still come here to read and learn because I still need to be reminded of basic things to watch out for. I came here for help and used to get responses at first for a while, then it all dropped off. I even went to the library when I had trouble with my setup here at home so as not to exclude anyone who may have posted to me, but then I got no answers to my trying to help them so now at last I'm putting myself and my life first. I have hung on here for over four years now so I guess its time. Lately, I just check in to see if I need to answer anyone and thats it. If they don't respond, then at least I did my part. Take care, all.

May 10, 2007
3:42 pm
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bevdee
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When I first came to this site, I mostly posted on Libs and joined discussions on religion and stuff. I was very hesitant to post my innermost thoughts and share my experiences because of my sense of shame about my life. Coming here has helped me to come out of my shell and open up to talk about those issues.

I can't thank or acknowledge everyone, because it's not possible to do that. There are those that I have silently read, admired, and watched grow. Sometimes I wish there were an emoticon for a high-five, but I would even hesitate to interject that because sometimes I don’t want to interrupt the flow of a thread. Yet, even without always jumping in and participating, I have gained insight into myself and into others. There are those that I have established a rapport with because we have similar issues and have been able to reach out to each other share our feelings with each other. There are those who have offered me support or a hug after posting on a thread had left me drained, and that little hug helped me to know that I was heard.

I have never felt like part of a clique here, (actually I think of myself as a renegade, or the Lone Ranger!!), but I am grateful for the bonds that I have formed here, and the growth that has resulted from that.

May 10, 2007
5:06 pm
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I agree Loralee. We are very sensitive people and can feel excluded or rejected very easily. I know that I have an affinity with some people here and I am more comfortable posting on their threads or on my own Others I read but don't post because I haven't experienced what they have. i can't relate a nd I am not sure that my comments would be welcome.

I think that all posts here are worth reading.

May 10, 2007
6:19 pm
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nappy
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Well me and my cliques are here to stay. And we are not going anywhere

Now don't get mad, I am only talking about me and the guardian angels. (smile)

I have met alot of wonderful people here and that is by going and reading a thread or two.

And we all know that by being here on this thread that you are going to find a friend or two on this site.

I have never felt like I was in a clique here, but if I were, I am surrounded by alot of wonderful people here.

So let's keep on clique(ing). (smile)
Nappy

May 10, 2007
6:24 pm
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🙂

May 10, 2007
7:52 pm
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gracenotes
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I don't think there's anything wrong with cliques here. Its more or less a natural thing of social life.

I too don't have a lot of time to spend here, so I do not read everything. I think I will be ready for that Darn Dating Thread soon, butt, haha, not yet. I've never really felt excluded here and I used to have used with that in the past.

I do find that I don't feel very motivated to respond to someone who previously ignored a thread that I took the time to write, even with a simple thanks, that would have been fine. After all, I am giving my time to try to understand and respond. The folks here that consistently acknowlege and respond to my efforts to respond them with an acknowledgement, I respond back. I guess I call that courtesy or good social manners.

If one is not feeling comfortable taking a different stand, I might suggest doing it. I have learned so much resently at another site I post on taking a different stand, defending and conceding parts of my point of view and being outright ornery at times, and standing up for what I believe. The need to please is a sign of codependency, so its good practice to create a little controvesy and be okay with this and stand one's ground.

I don't post on the No Contact threads anymore, although I maintain no contact. It really rubbed me the wrong way that no one there responded to my good news a while ago of another month of No Contact.

This has been a week of expressing and getting it out, so I am glad that I had a chance to express these things here.

May 10, 2007
8:57 pm
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Shaney
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(((gracenotes)))

May 13, 2007
8:55 pm
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How about this. I was reading this and I have been doing a lot of thinking. I don't think that anyone here intentionally excludes people. But then I began to think about the thoughts that have gone through my mind when I have felt excluded. How about this. This is one scenario that I have experienced...I get on this site, completely desperate and looking for some form of advice. I post, and I continue to bump up the thread so that someone will help and you know what keeps moving my thread down? Threads that are looking for someone else on this site because they are worried about them or what have you. But the point is, that cliques did form and it does cause exclusion, but the only thing that I would recommend is, make sure that no one is alone here. I don't care about cliques but I do make it a point to respond to people who have only had one or two responses. Just don't leave anyone behind.

May 13, 2007
9:51 pm
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loverbee-

That has happened to me as well, but then again I have also posted to people. It's hard to keep track of all the threads so I think what happens is that people get familiar with one and go back to it. If that person is in dire straights and drops out of sight- it's kind of disturbing.

But I do understand what you are saying. We should maybe pay attention to those who are present... who are actually there to receive responses. I guess I'll keep that in mind.

It's really hard when you don't hear from people and you see these threads getting tons of responses. And not to be judgemental, but you look to see who's been on line or whatever and they seem to be chit chatting when you are going through crisis. Yes, I've been there too. But imagine you had such an experience, got some responses and then had to stop posting for a while. Wouldn't you imagine that people would be worried about you- depending upon the problem? People come on here with mental illness, addictions, battering spouses, fatal illnesses, and when we don't hear from these people we have come to know, we worry. I guess some of us panic and scramble to get a response. It would be interesting if there were a third part of the site for SOS messages that wouldn't interfere with those present requesting replies.

-ella

May 13, 2007
9:53 pm
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oops:

Meant to read:
That has happened to me as well, but then again I have also posted to people and bumped up threads in a panic.

May 13, 2007
11:31 pm
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I just wanted to say I have been on aac for over a year, I tend to stick to one thread now because I have formed a close relationship and we have similar things going on. I also don't have alot of time usually. But always welcome anyone who joins us.

May 13, 2007
11:42 pm
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Yeah, I don't think that threads could actually evolve if people didn't return to that. I think what is upseting to some people is when there are lists of names in titles which implies those are the only people the thread is directed at. Also, I do think that loverbee has a point about persistantly bumping up threads that get no response from an absent person- I was guilty of that recently, but I see how that can be detrimental to the site when others are trying to seek support and are present. It moves their threads down and in effect, drowns them out. Not to mention, even though this isn't true- it makes you feel as if people only care about certain people, and not new ones or infrequet posters.

May 14, 2007
12:06 pm
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Thats exactly what I was thinking. i think that to a certain degree, people are more important than others on this site whether it is because they are in serious need of help or people believe that they are mentally ill and they get panicked that they have done something stupid like kill themselves or something. But the thing is that everyone needs help. Not just mentally ill or irrational people. And if there are some who are getting more help and you never know if people are going to respond, then what is the incentive of coming to this site. Not that I feel neglected or anything because i don't, but I broke up with my boyfriend of six years, I found out my father was not my biological father and my sister is being emotionally abused in her marriage not to mention the fact that I was raped when I was three. Does that qualify me for people to ask about me in a personal thread addressed to me? If not, what do you have to have gone through to be special enough to get a personal thread if you haven't posted for days? Just a question.

May 14, 2007
7:03 pm
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There are so many new threads started here everyday that there is no way to keep up with all of them. And when someone doesn't get enough responses, they start yet another thread to get attention. They would have been better off just bumping up their original thread and maybe adding some additional info. If a thread is started with only one sentence and offers little explanation, how can anyone give a response? That seems to happen a lot on here and then the board gets cluttered with so many different threads that many get lost.

I think that each one gravitates toward certain threads and certain people on here due to similar circumstances and experiences and getting to know them and their story. I go back to the same threads that I post to regularly because I'm interested in them.

I think some of the newer people think that there are experts hanging around here offering counseling or something. Maybe they don't realize that we are just like them and all we can do is support each other. We can't fix their problems.

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