I once had a counselor who told me that people want two things in life: to be accepted and to be right. The acceptance part is especially true for me. I work in a position where I want so desperately to be accepted and yet I feel like an outsider. I’m not a regular member of the staff and it positively kills me to be excluded. I’m simply a contractor without the burdens and headaches of being a regular staff member.
Acceptance has always been a regular theme in my life. Even when I was in high school, I desperately wanted to be accepted and part of some group. To the point where I joined a group of people who made fun of me—all in the hopes that I would be accepted.
Not being accepted is like standing outside in the bitter cold looking in at a family in a cabin happily playing a board game by the fire. It feels that isolating.
And that’s how I still feel today at times in my professional career. The person I report to is not a friend but merely a business acquaintance. (She uses colons in her emails to me, which is a sign of formality, not friendship.) For some strange reason, I look for acceptance from her too, but I don’t know if I’d ever be satisfied.
That’s the other thing about acceptance. How do you know when you are well and truly accepted by a person or an organization?