Have you ever been with a group of people, but felt alone? Imagine everyone knows each other, are talking to each other freely, and laughing over inside jokes, while you stood awkwardly feeling like you are invisible.
How did it feel? Pretty bad, right?
Now imagine if someone reached out to you and made a special effort to make you feel included. How amazing would that feel?
When we are on the “inside” we tend to forget about being actively inclusive. Only when we are the ones on the “outside”, do we realize how bad it feels and how grateful we are for that one person who includes us. So be that person for others. Be the one who makes others feel included.
Not only will this make someone’s day, but it even helps you. According to studies, people who make others feel good are more central to their social networks and more people consider them to be friends.
3 Ways to Make Others Feel Included
The best way to include someone is to ask them about themselves. People love to talk about themselves and when you ask them something about their lives, you show that you are interested in them.
Find Common Ground
One of the most natural ways of connecting with others is to find something you have in common with them. Human beings gravitate towards what is familiar. When you can find something that they enjoy doing or talking about, they will feel more comfortable and included.
Look for ways in which you can relate to someone, whether it is their hobbies, the movies they like watching, their favorite music, or even similar life experiences you have had. This helps break down walls and create a stronger emotional connection.
Actively Listen to Them
When trying to include someone, be active while listening to them. Don’t be distracted by your phone or lost in your own thoughts. While listening to other people talk, we often start zoning out and thinking about random things like what we are going to eat for lunch or how we will respond to what they say. The key is to be engaged in what the other person is saying and really listen. When you don’t actively listen, people pick up on it and feel even more left out.
We can all agree that it’s good to be a kind person. It isn’t hard to be nice and take a few extra steps to make sure someone feels included. While it may not be a lot of effort for you, you never know how much it means to the other person. Including others and being kind is a beautiful way of opening your heart and sharing love, and in turn also being open to receiving it back, whether from the same person or from another source. So be intentional about making sure everyone feels included, and the loving kindness you give will come back to you.