Demystifying Popularity

Demystifying Popularity

Ah, popularity...I think it's a topic that can be made relevant to the site by the sheer volume of teenagers who use it. Obviously, they aren't as vocal and mostly just ask questions about why someone doesn't like them, but I like addressing teens...it's a time of hope where they think anything is possible. They are bitter and jaded yet at least not hopefully.

Here are some thing that, having gone through my teen years, I kind of wish I had known going in about popularity because when i was 15 it confused the hell out of me.

You don't try to be "cool" cool tries to be you.

This is a subconcious mantra of the popular people. They don't buy that leather jacket because they think they will look cool in it--that would be the jacket bestowing coolness on them. They feel like the coolest person on earth so of course they would buy that leather jacket. The difference seems small and pointless but it's actually vastly different. Popular people see cool and desirable as an inner trait reflected outward. People who struggle with others and with trying to be likable think of being cool as something you get and then once you have it, it affects your confidence inward then are frustrated when people don't respond to them any differently or, if they do, that they don't feel any cooler just because they are told they are. For a popular person, THEY are cool everything else is lucky to be graced by them. For an unpopular person, THE OTHER is cool including having the most beautiful girl on your arm and the unpopular person is lucky to be in possesion of them since they enhance him or her into a cool person from someone who was presumably not a cool person.

You're not "too off the mark."

There are two of people who "get the glitch" but one is just too off the mark. By glitch, I mean the glitch that it's the peopole who go in thinking everything about them is cool and act how they want to act instead of trying to act how they think people will react well to...these people are the ones who are socially magnetic. Yet, there's one section of these peopel who just isn't socially calibrated. Something happened in his or her social development and even though they feel confident and comfortable telling jokes, wearing what they like to wear, doing what they like to do...there jokes are so unfunny it makes everyone else uncomfortable, their clothes are just too off the mark from what's cool and pleasing to the eye, and they like to do some really weird stuff like go home and play with their pet rat. A popular person is themselves but forutnatly for them themselves has a sense of humor that, even if its a bit raunchier than others gorier whatever...it is something that people can find funny, his clothes even if he dresses in a suit everyday for no reason somehow looks cool, and people love watching them just do exactly what their id (impulse) tells them to do. They have a Beautiful Mind socially speaking. They are socially developed well, but i strongly believe that the majority of people are on the mark its just that when you're socially developed well it causes you to realize that people are always juding you no matter what you do and it can make a lot of people shy or cover up their shyness by pretending to act confident. It's the rare person who realizes people are juding them and truly decides (not just says it 99 times) that they have nothing to hide and honestly don't care to the point where they forget that people are judging them after once being fully aware of it. Usually, it's just a matter of a snowballing effect such that they experience their shyness much earlier and got over it as where when most people experienced it they were already very confident and it just stayed this way...in any case, i'm sure you're awre of the person who's socially brave but just too off the mark with what he or she says and does...

You ignore those who are unpopular/socially awkward.

Finally, the dark trait that will define you into the popularity league. I have no clue what it is, but I noticed in my teen years that the peopole at the top socially, I mean really really at the top, they would have some thing inside of them where if an unpopular person tried to talk--they would just not hear them. They weren't being rude...it was as if their minds rejected the status before they could even hear what they said. It looked like they honestly had no idea the unpopular pesron spoke...there was absolutely no reaction...not a head turn...not an eye roll...nothing. I don't think this is a way of punishing social mediocrity. I think people who are incredibly socially gifted (wow...that's a thing?...should we care about that thing?) are just operating and percieving on a level so high that if you are too far low a signal they just can't pick it up. You're too far off their energy. It is a strange phenomenon. Someone should write a book about it if they haven't already...

So, teens, hopefully you read this and there's a lot of head nodding (oh yeah! right!) not so much like I'm stating the obvious but hopefully reading your mind a little...pulling out the things you know but that you're not aware you know. Hopefully, this makes why some people are more popular than others a little less mysterious.

***also, when I write in partheses it's a literary device where fictiously another person is speaking who is like a person reading the take while I'm writing on it and verbally interacting and commenting on it.) this should be obvious but i get a lot of dumb opinions and i can forsee someone being like...black phase?! what black people are just a phase to you!? IT'S A LITERARY DEVICE!


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What Girls Said 2

  • What I thought was funny was that Rachel mcadams, amanda segfried and lacey chabert were all better actors and better suited to the lead role rather than lyndsey lohan in mean girls not to mention prettier. Popularity at school is irrelevant as its not going to determine how you live the next twenty years of your life. How many former cheerleaders and jocks are sitting at home remembering the glory days of being popular at school to escape the misery of their lives.

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    • Some of them become socialites (the girls)?

      I'd agree though that they probably all go through a depression once they graduate and lose that status. College doesn't work the same way at all.

    • I wouldn't know about college but Im not worried about being popular at high school im just worried about going to college. Do sociliates not all end up getting divorced after the husband divorces their alcoholic tennis coach riding asses for something younger and fitter once they've spat out a few kids.

  • Hmm, I've always found the acquiring of popularity among one's peers to be overrated.

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What Guys Said 5

  • This was interesting, you've evidently really done some thorough observation and thinking. I liked it (apart from the "off the mark" thing, because I fear that's me).

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  • 1. Very much agree. You are cool because you individualize, you embrace what you love and because when you do it looks so natural and authentic that it just comes off as cool. Like someone who loves music just looks cool strumming a guitar.

    2. This is definitely true. There is a common sense. People, well society has placed cultural dogma on what exceptable and while it's cool to waiver on the margins it's just bizarre when knowingly r a wierdass motherfucker.

    3. Very much true. People on a higher plane don't associate with those who don't stand out, with those that aren't also exemplary. Powerful people surround themselves with people who r also incredible.

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  • What I want to say about this is the following :

    1. I was not popular at all - why? Didn't fit in - I noticed how much different I was from the homogenous "in crowd" - If you have talked to just 1 of them, then you've talked to all of them - boring people

    2. The once oh so popular kids are not going anywhere now, they'll stay in the region - also no one really cares about them - I'll be studying abroad in a top 100 university

    3. One of them ( the girl who was massively premature and who'd bully others a lot ) got pregnant at 18 from a destitute 26 year old

    4. Anyone can be popular, it just depends on your social environment.

    I think, as someone who is confident with himself, who has a bright future ahead, who can converse about many topics and who is able to empathize with most people and who is open-minded, I am socially acceptable --- While the "cool kids" stay the way they are and do not progress the slightest. They stay as socially retarded as they were before. They are actually very antisocial for ostracizing people who are allegedly "uncool"

    I noticed that they are still caring about what others think of them, I quit doing that when I turned 19, because it won't get you anywhere, the "cool kids" won't pay my bills, nor will they care about my success. I couldn't care less about them.

    That's it ( so far )

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    • I think number four is fascinating... care to expand?

    • As to 4 : The typical nerds will be considered as "uncool" , awkward and will be associated with all kinds of negative traits by the "normal" people , e. g. anyone who is not a nerd. But a nerd will be most likely considered as cool by his fellow nerds. Imagine this here too : A millionaire (elitist who shows off his wealth) enters a working class bar - what will happen? - He'll be laughed at and ridiculed by the working class people there - he won't be welcome.

      A working class person walks into a millionaires' club and will get all kinds of strange glances , for the way he is dressed, the way he talks, the way he acts, the things he talks about - he won't be welcome , he'll just be made fun of

      Long stories short : Anyone will find people who will appreciate them - it's human nature to live in "tribes" with similar conventions and so on, you know. Similarities attract each other in this matter. These are just a few examples however

  • I wouldn't exactly consider myself popular, i never went to parties everynight, or was a jock or had a huge aumount of friends. But somehow a lot of people knew me. The really popular guys and girls would talk to me even though we never really talked. Can you explain that.

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    • you had the "potential to be popular" but for whatever reason never chose to act on it. You're probably good looking/ charismatic/ well connected enough that a lot of people were interested in getting to know you but you never fully wanted that life.

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    • haha yeah and you can't turn off analyzing the world which people can find interesting at first but then annoying

    • Yeah i could see that. can you make me mho.

  • it's a fact of life, get over it.

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