I spoke the truth. It was about a boy and a girl – of course. What I saw was real. What I said became the focus as if I had done something wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong. I told what I saw to the wrong person. The girl was popular. As a result I got un-friended. This was not in the virtual sense. We didn’t have virtual then. I was un-friended in the real sense. In the “everyone else is invited” but now I wasn’t. Voted off the island. Alone.
Here’s the thing. I wasn’t in the sixth grade. I was in my 30s. It felt the same.
What is different is what I did afterwards. I invited every single woman who worked at the company (there were 20 or so) to lunch. Including that one. She had an excuse not to come.
One of the women cried when I invited her. She said nobody had ever invited her to anything. This was the first time. She was the receptionist and we ignored her.
It may have been a little late to learn this lesson but we are very aware of how much it hurts to be excluded. We are less likely to be aware of who we are excluding. Same as in the sixth grade.