Dismantling Alienation

There have been two instances this month where I felt I didn’t fit or matter. The first one was early this month where I had bought two tickets to hear someone famous speak and when the talk commenced I felt totally alienated and out of place. It started with the speaker pointing out the talk was for those that looked like her. I definitely do not fall into that category because of my race. I tried to put my misgivings aside and listen and even raised my hand seven times to ask a question, but I was overlooked on every occasion.What I thought would be a thought-provoking evening was a cheap, commercial and a superficial gimmick to move product. I will never look at the speaker the same way again.

Rightly or wrongly I felt I didn’t matter and could not rethink the evening as being vaguely enjoyable. It was constructive in one way only: I got a smashing present to send someone as their nominated Secret Santa. They say you should never meet your heroes and they, whoever they may be, have a fair point. After that evening I will not be actively seeking out works from that particular speaker again and I feel I really must develop a better sense of detecting sincerity from people generally, as my sincerity meter is evidently way off. 

I didn’t let my feelings fester into making me feel worthless, which is where they would have headed usually. In the past I took things as my fault due to my misconception of the topic, but in this case I realise my expectations were too high for this mercenary individual to live up to. Noble cause, unworthy messenger.

The second time I felt I just didn’t fit, I was doing it to myself. There was no one facing me telling me I was wrong, it was just a gut feeling. Rather than react to it in any contentious or inflammatory manner, allowing it to escalate to the point it obliterated what is positive, I stopped it. I thought it may resurface, because I’m never sure how effectively my distraction technique works, but I haven’t had a chance to dwell on it much as my social diary filled up and I kept hearing all the sound advice I’ve been given to let moments of insecurity pass. With time it did feel like water under a long forgotten bridge. Next month the incident and individual probably won’t even come to mind.

Now I know I’ve made positive steps to adapt and have grown emotionally as I can let the negativity pass. On reflection I think it’s time to find voluntary work I can physically and mentally manage.

17 thoughts on “Dismantling Alienation

  1. That feeling of being on the outside, of not fitting in, not belonging somewhere is something that happens to us at one time or another. It’s horrid. That speaker sounds as if she should go back to basics and learn how to talk to people. I wonder how many (and I bet there were some) felt as you did? She possibly alienated quite a few that night… and lost people who had previously admired her. Worth a thought?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think this is a skill you can attain, but like anything else worth having it will take courage and work. I am looking for a book group or something similar to join so I can speak to a small gathering with confidence to begin with. I’m not good at meeting strangers and I need to address this too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I give a lot of talks and tutor creative writing classes. When I started out I always looked around and found the friendliest looking person (they are usually smiling!) and I’d keep going back to look at them. One thing always to remember; people who come to listen to you want you to succeed in what you’re saying. Oh… and a few deep breathes before going into the room can settle those nerves. Just remember you are as good as anyone else. Sorry if that all sounds like platitudes, or worse, a lecture.xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • In my experience most platitudes carry a grain of great wisdom, if we are prepared to be receptive. Public speaking needs maintenance and practice and I’m out of the habit of even making small talk so I have a long way to go.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ll get there. I used to be actually sick before giving a talk.. My husband says he can’t believe I’m the woman he married; I would never go into a room by myself! Let alone cross a public room to go to the loo. LOL Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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