“Idea List: Including Everyone,” New Era, Jan. 2006, 37
Have you ever felt left out? Or have you ever known someone who didn’t quite fit in and was excluded by others? Whether it happened at school, church, or in some other setting, most people have felt that way at some time in their lives.
Here are some tips from the youth in the Handen Ward, Stockholm Sweden South Stake, on how to cope with feeling left out and how to help others feel welcome.
Always remember, it’s not worth it to lower your standards to fit in.
Being excluded hurts, but don’t become angry or hold a grudge; this will only make you feel worse.
Try to be with people who make you want to be better, who encourage you to live the gospel, and whom you feel good around.
Improve yourself and learn new skills. Joining a school club and learning to play a sport are good ways to meet people with similar interests.
Go to Church youth activities and participate willingly.
Try hanging out with your family. You can find some of your best friends right at home.
Be the best person you can be. You will find friends who appreciate you for the good person you are.
Don’t wait forever for someone to ask you to be his or her friend. Go out and be a friend to others.
Make the effort to talk to new people at school or church. Introduce them to others with similar interests.
Invite someone who might need a friend to a school or Church activity.
Stand up to people who intentionally make others feel unwelcome. Be an example of one who includes and loves others.
Sit beside someone who is sitting alone, or invite him or her to sit with you and your friends. Ask how he or she is doing.
If you’re not sure how to help someone, pray about it. Heavenly Father knows just what that person needs and can help you help him or her. Be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit teaching what you should do or warning what you should not do.
If you are at a dance, ask someone who hasn’t danced that night to dance with you.
It’s difficult sometimes to be outgoing and to help others, but try anyway.