Exclusion is the act of someone, the excluder, rejecting another, the excluded, who wants to have a relationship with them. When this rejection is held over time, it is an aggression in itself that is being repeated over and over again, it is a silent and often unnoticeable kind of bullying. Exclusion is also bullying!
This is most common in cliques.
A clique is a group of friends that hang out together and are usually not welcoming to newcomers. Exclusion is important for the clique since it makes its members stick together by keeping others out. It is the noticeable group, the one every child wishes to join but is often rejected. Cliques have rules, as they determine how their members dress, how they look, how they behave, who is in, who is out.
Cliques generate great pressure to belong and follow the clique’s rules, it may take a child to do things he/she doesn’t want to do because he/she knows they are wrong. This peer pressure can take children to do things they just would not do, but they feel they don’t have a choice. Belonging is so important that they go to great lengths in doing, and not doing things, just for not being excluded!
Members that fear exclusion have to be extremely careful in not being unique, not standing out; they need to be informed in the clique’s members events, usually through social media, to know how to act or what to say to or about an event or issue; saying something without thinking might result in producing an enemy in the clique; changing alliances is risky too.
Exclusion feels terrible and is devastating to children!
A child who dreams of joining the clique, but is constantly excluded, feels frustrated, angry and sad, and is often humiliated by the clique members’ exclusion. Exclusion separates the child from hanging around with the ones he/she wants, becoming the outsider.
It is much worse when a child was a member of a clique, since all his/her efforts and energy were focused on belonging to the clique, many times hurting others that otherwise would become his/her friends at this time. This situation leaves the child devastated, empty, alone, excluded…
Exclusion can have serious detrimental effects:
When a child is rejected, they feel inadequate;
When a child is not allowed to join a group, they feel unpopular;
When a child is constantly ignored, they feel isolated and alone.
This is a terrible scenario for the child’s self esteem, which gets negatively affected by this situation.