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What it feels like to be new

"I am new here.”

Have you ever wondered what “being new” can feel like?

I think you need to know. I think we all do.

Because sometimes people hurt new people by what they say…or don’t say. By what they do…or don’t do.

Being new feels like, we are invisible.

It feels like never being comfortable.

It feels empty. It feels like we don’t matter.

It feels like we don’t belong anywhere.

It feels like being hurt over and over again.

What do new people need?

New people need to be acknowledged.

We need support. We need to feel included.

We need to feel needed. We long to feel normal.

Think about the questions you ask us.

We already feel like we stand out.

Please don’t point out that we’re different.

Dress different. Sound different. Have different ideas.

We are very aware we are different.

We don’t need 100 friends. Honestly, we simply want one.

One person to care about us. One person who accepts us.

One person to step out of their comfort and into our “uncomfort”.

Being new means it’s hard to simply walk through the door.

Yes, it’s hard to walk into your world. It’s not only hard the first time but it most likely will be hard the 20th time.

Friendships and connections don’t just happen.

They are an investment. Please, invest in us.

Be a safe place for us.

Invite us to sit with you until we don’t feel like we need an invitation.

Don’t assume we know something or someone.

Introduce us to your friends and include us in conversations.

Ask us about our life and actually listen to what we say.

Be interested. Just please see us.

Understand that we are already struggling at home, school, in our job and even at church.

Struggling sometimes lasts for months or even longer.

Be patient with us. Don’t give up on us.

Notice when we’re not there. Check in on us.

YOU have the power to bless. YOU can change a life.

YOUR smile has power. YOUR words can help heal.

YOUR actions speak loudly. YOUR investment is necessary.

The next time you see a new person standing alone, think about what they are going through.

Stand in their shoes. Because one day, you might be the one saying, “Hi, I am new here.”

Be a friend and change someone’s life.

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