The other day, as I was hanging out with some of my friends that I had played lacrosse with and against in high school and my first year in college, I recommended that we invite our friend Tim along. However, when I presented this idea, my friends seemed very opposed to the idea. Tim was not an athlete in high school, let alone college, but he was a really good friend of ours. My friends went on to explain that for the day, we should only be hanging out with people who played sports, because “we could relate to each other better.” This was a huge surprise to me, being that Tim had always been a close friend of ours that we normally involved in group activities. Somehow, now that we had all gone on to different schools and participated in different activities at school, there was a division amongst us. I was very confused and perplexed by the situation, and could not wrap my head around why we couldn’t just invite Tim. Tim was just like us, he was the same age, grew up in the same area we did, went to local schools, and shared many other interest with us. I thought to myself, did something happen between them? Did something change with Tim’s personality that caused him to be seen different than us? However, just because he was not an athlete, my friends insisted that he shouldn’t come. I realize now that Tim had become an “outgrouper”, someone who was considered fundamentally different from us because of their interest, affiliations, or backgrounds (McCornack 79). Just because Tim hadn’t played a sport throughout high school or college, he was not in our ingroup anymore. So, since he was not in my friends ingroup anymore, they felt that they didn’t need to give him attention or time anymore, or at least as much.
For me, it was a learning experience to not treat people differently because of the way they go about their daily life. People should be judged on their own morals and values, rather than their interest and background.
This pictures reminds me of how creating outgroups, separating oneself from somebody who actually isn’t as different as they may seem, can really hurt someones feelings.
McCornack, Steven. “Reflect & Relate: an introduction to interpersonal communication.” 4thed., Bedford/St. Martins, 2016.
“In-group/Out-group.” University of Texas, Ethics Unwrapped. https://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/glossary/in-groupout-group