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How do you learn to exclude people?

How do you learn to exclude people?


How do you learn to exclude people?

We begin to learn to form friendships almost from birth: the first time we take a look, a smile back or recognize a face or a voice. By the time we are big enough to understand the word "friend", we already know that a bond with another person is worth being sued - that makes us feel good. But learning howto form friendships is also part of a process of learning in parallel: we win our first true friend, not separate friends. Children spend the first decade of their lives determining what it takes to sustain a meaningful friendship - and they do so partly by discovering what it means for people to leave.


It is a process that begins even before we can speak. During the first years of life, children participate in what psychologists call the solitaire game: Plunk two small humans next to each other, and they may enjoy having company, but they will not actually do not interact. Somewhere between the ages of 3 and 5, it becomes a parallel game, where they will do the same activities next to each other; They still do not play together, exactly, but they're close. From there, they go to the associative game, which implies a little more interaction, like the toys of conversation or exchange. And at the age of kindergarten, they are cooperative games, coordinating their creativity functions or working together toward a common goal.

As your level of interaction increases, you want to keep things at a level you can handle - which sometimes means deflecting potential playmates. "Two preschoolers play together often re-grow a third child to pass, not because they are trying to be mean, but because they work alongside their cognitive limitations in coordinating their play," says psychologist -more Eileen Kennedy, co-author of the upcoming book Growing Friendships: A Guide for Kids to Make and Keep Friends. When you are already formally imposed to be part of a functional couple, make it a trio can make to information overload. As children grow and their brains can handle more people at a time, their game situations can become more elaborate and, by extension, to include more people.

How do you learn to exclude people?

For a while at least. As children learn to play together, they also work to acquire critical knowledge: others are actually other people with their own opinions and their own thoughts. It is not necessary for children to learn that they love some people more than others; Even a 12-month-old can show a preference for some of his compatriots. However, the ability to think of your relationship as a relationship - in a way that allows you to classify some people into the more permanent category of "friends," and stays in "no friend" - is something that takes years to develop.

Psychologist Robert Selman has broken into five distinct phases. In the first, which begins between the ages of 3 and 6 years old, children are more or less tornadoes of self-absorbing fat. They are able to love others and play with others, but they tend to see other children as extensions of themselves. "They're very unpleasant when a friend has a different opinion." That said, Moore said. Here, friends are really like momentary playmates ... there's a kind of love you're up to with quality. "These are preschoolers who set aside new play. Foreclosure is common, but it's also temporary, durable And without social consequences.

The second phase, which usually begins around the mother or shortly afterwards, is what Moore described as the "What's in my pregnancy" phase: children are more aware of the independence of their friends but the channeling of this awareness In a sort of dynamic -tat eye by. "We hear a kind of negotiation, like:" I'll be your friend if you do this, "she said. More than anything, a friend" is a person who is going to do great things for them. "Then, there is a test phase, where children receive a more sophisticated understanding of social norms and become hyperactive about adjustment; after that, a phase of intense and emotional connections, they become easily jealous of their other relationships. The last phase, which some children reach at age 12, is a mature friendship: "place a high value on emotional closeness - they are not so possessive," Moore said, and "who can accept and appreciate the differences between Friend and themselves. "

At the end of the primary school year, when most children are in one of these last three steps, almost everyone has enough knowledge about the concept of friendship to membership in a group requesting friends. For one thing, they now have the cognitive ability to manage this group-based interaction, unlike their younger age. More importantly, however, children in the vanguard of teenagers gravitate towards groups as a kind of security blanket - they begin to deviate from their parents and forge their own identity, and it is often a solitary process. Having a band actually a little less. "When you do not know who you are," says Moore, "there is no security in the part of the pack."

There’s also more than just safety. When you’re trying to figure yourself out, your gang can be a kind of guidepost, explains Sarah Gaither, a social-psychology professor at Duke University: “We all want to maintain this positive view of who we are, and the groups we belong to only reinforce that positive view.”

How do you learn to exclude people?

And if you build your identity around a group, it is important to define what this group is not. "This is what really ends up pushing the kids to be more exclusive to the other kids," says Gaither. "If they are really trying to reaffirm," I am in this group and this group is important to me. "In primary school, physical aggression is replaced by a tattling and then by gossip - both ways draw boundaries, and keep one still wandering in place. The action of extinguishing people, therefore, does not necessarily have much To do with outsiders; More often, it is an act of self-preservation.

This means that if a child from outside wants to get through, Moore said, they must do so in a way that clearly indicates that they do not pose a threat to the group's character. This is the result of a strategy that calls "look, and then merge": Learn the rules of the group you are trying to reach - if small children playing a game of tag, or high school students complain about a teacher - you can Join only once you are sure to play with them. "If everyone is enthusiastic about something, then the child should express a similar enthusiasm," he said. "It is not to be like everyone You actually have the group's climate" In other words, one can be satisfied with how the line is drawn ..: on the one hand, we are bound by all that unites us and also everyone else.

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