Indifference is a word meaning lack of interest or concern, unimportance, of little or no concern, insignificant. Which is worse, being treated meanly by someone, or being treated with indifference? When person A (we’ll call her Sally) is mean to person B (we’ll call her Lucy), at least person A is thinking about person B albeit in a negative manner. What if Lucy enters a room and Sally doesn’t make eye contact with her, or even acknowledge her presence? That’s indifference. Lucy wants to visit with Sally, but isn’t as talkative as many of the other gals, who Sally prefers to spend time with.
There is an event with many ladies expected. Lucy sits down at her table hoping some of the “popular” gals will join her so she won’t be alone. But they don’t. One by one they pass by not even glancing at Lucy. Hers is the last table to fill up. A couple of “neutral” ladies sit at Lucy’s table and are pleasant and listen with interest when Lucy speaks. Sally ends up at Lucy’s table but isn’t interested in Lucy at all. Sally chats with her own friends. In this community, there are several ladies like Sally and who are also close friends with Sally. They too treat Lucy with indifference. They don’t make eye contact with Lucy and only speak to her when necessary. Lucy doesn’t know if she did something or said something to one of them that they didn’t like. She would certainly apologize if she had.Lucy had been in a social group with Sally and many of the ladies before and enjoyed getting to know them. Lucy was asked to share personal details about her life to the group one day and she did. But later comments were made and questions asked by various people that made Lucy feel she was no longer wanted in that group. Lucy stopped attending. She hoped that someone would ask why she wasn’t coming to the group anymore, but no one ever did. Lucy came to the conclusion that Sally and the others just didn’t like her. They were indifferent to her because they just didn’t like her.
This scenario sounds a lot like something from junior high or high school doesn't it. Did you know a Sally back then? Were you a Sally? Maybe you knew or were a Lucy. It’s sad to say this, but some things never change. If you were a Sally, chances are you still are. Even in communities which are supposed to be loving, nurturing and inclusive, people like Lucy still feel unwanted by people like Sally. Is there a sad Lucy lurking somewhere in your little world? Reach out to her. Look her in the eyes and ask her how her day is going. Invite her to coffee. Just don’t treat her with indifference.