I recently remembered an event. I was in sixth grade. My dearest friend was in a school bathroom stall with another of our classmates. Someone who was becoming her good friend. They were exchanging handmade gifts in the restroom stall. That’s not even the strange part. I followed them into the bathroom. Got into the stall next to them and peeked over the wall into their stall and blurted out what I knew the new friend was giving my dear friend. I’m a jerk. A jerk who clearly was having a hard time feeling left out. And in the way that I would continue to remedy that throughout my life I made it worse by being a wierdo.
What I learned through this and similar experiences is being excluded sucks. How I have responded is to do my best to make sure to include. It’s not always possible, but I do believe that event helped to create in me a strong sense of empathy.
It is not our life experiences that shape who we are but our response to them. We have all lived through hurt. Did you become a bully or an empath? Are you happy with your response? Well if not, you aren’t dead yet so make a change.