Dear Mindy,

I recently moved to a new installation. I really want to be involved in the community but there is a lot of negativity here. I get stared at, mocked, talked about and it is really making me feel like I don’t belong. Why?

Sincerely,

Rejected

Dear Rejected,

I really can’t answer the why part of this. There is no one reason for people to act this way. I have also been in your shoes and sadly, I’d be willing to bet that many have experienced this at different installations. At every new base I look for ways to chip in and be a part of something bigger than me. And it often seems that as soon as I put myself out there, the inevitable cattiness begins. For the sake of commiseration, I have been called an overachiever, Ms. goody-goody, and several other names that I dare not repeat. Maybe they are jealous, maybe they are insecure, or perhaps they just want something to talk about when the gossip goes stale.

So to combat that, let’s talk about a good way to approach the situation. This is my mantra:

To do nothing is to achieve nothing.

As best you can, look for opportunities to get involved. Within those opportunities, you will find those friendships that matter. After all, nothing will ever change, nothing will ever get accomplished if you don’t strive to do more. Be positive and in doing so, your positivity may influence others and set the standard. Be there for someone, look for some way to better the lives of those in the community. It is not about perfection, it is about connections. Just by being you.

If you can get past the catty, ungratefulness, there is a whole world of opportunities. There is a chance to be the one who makes the difference. I personally would not be who I am today without the love and support of those around me, and also those who are the gossip queens. Why? Because they taught me that I don’t give a rip and I am still ME!

Eventually people will find a new subject to talk about and when the ball rolls back around to you then it will be for something amazing that you accomplished. And trust me: YOU DO BELONG. You are AWESOME! Don’t give up, I believe in you!

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