1. TheHedgehog
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    TheHedgehog Contributing Member Contributor

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    CLIQUES, or, if you prefer the euphenism, GROUPS

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by TheHedgehog, Nov 6, 2009.

    I'm sure there's been a thread like this before...

    As an eighth grader nearing his days in middle school, I can tell you I've been to Hell and back in terms of cliques, or "social groups." Particularly in seventh grade. I only had a few acquaintances in that recess period, and one good friend. That friend left because he considered some of those people a little too loud for his taste, which I can understand, because being a mellow guy, those people were not people I'd usually have a good time with, but, nonetheless, you hung out with people you knew, God forbid you be by yourself at recess. My friend joined what everyone knew as the "popular kids" at the end of the recess field. At that time, there was nothing more I wanted, so I had to make the decision between leaving not-so-close people who accepted me, or picking guys who I had never spoken to, hanging by my close friend.

    You can guess what I picked.

    The popular guys and girls were basically indifferent to my presence, but my good friend introduced me to two new people, who I am great friends with today. But when those people, my closest friends on that football field, were gone, I had to choose between standing with the popular crowd, who hardly acknowledged me, or the people I'd ditched, praying they'd accept me. It was awful, and I kick myself all the time for it now.

    Fast forward a year later, and here I am with friends who were paired with me in recess, and I'm still not very well-acquainted with the popular kids. But, going through that awful experience last year made me realize inner circles are dangerous. Imagine a dart board, of sorts. The bullseye is the cream of the crop, the outer rings no-mans land. I'm not in the "Bullseye," but I'm a heck of a lot happier surrounded by my friends, and a ton of acquaintances.

    So, to anyone who's struggling with this situation, look at it this way--

    Don't strive to be in the inner circle, because no group's better than the next.

    Instead of a dart board to me, Middle School's just like clouds in the sky, the clouds are all groups, but no one's better than the next, because we're all playing on the same field, or sky, or whatever cheesy analogy you want to use.

    IF YOU SKIPPED THE LONG STORY, HERE'S THE MAIN QUESTION:

    What's you opinion on Cliques, or, Groups?
     
  2. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I never fitted into them. Any of them. Still don't.

    It's like they have some sort of radar and it's immediately obvious that I won't fit in with them. I've tried before, when I've been desperate to make friends - but it's a waste of time.
    I think it's kinda cool, being a bit of a loner - but, as the title says, it's lonely. I find it harder to find friends because I have to befriend individuals separately, as opposed to just signing up to a clique.

    It's not that I like cliques - I think they're fake, false, and phony. I think all they do is provide an opportunity for all the shallow people to group together and convince themselves that they know the meaning of true friendship, when deep down they know that they're all as shallow as eachother.

    I'd rather have no friends at all than be with a group that lies bare-faced to one another just to feel accepted.
     
  3. TheHedgehog
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    TheHedgehog Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that's what I learned in seventh grade, and I watch repercussions of that to this day. I've noticed a ton of drama took/takes place in that "super-exclusive" group. And, those people just don't tear people who aren't them apart, they tear each other apart. It's sad, definitely, even more sad to think that I once wanted a part of that, but I guess a lot of teenagers all faced the "I wish I was popular" phase at some point.
     
  4. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Definately. I did. But there comes a time when you realise that the only person you need to fit in with is yourself - those who are worth it will like you as you are. After all, we have to live with ourselves for the rest of our lives.

    And you're right, they do tear themselves apart. From what I witnessed in school, it seems as though they become so absorbed in their own groups that nothing else mattered. I guess that's why so many of them involved the preppy rich kids that ended up failing - they cared more about beating eachother at their own stupid game than doing well for themselves in their education.

    Also, they usually stay in that mindset all through their lives - highschool is where they flourished amongst their peers, and that's the way they wanna stay even after they've left.
     
  5. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am completely against groups...groups can segregate and belittle the value of others. Those kind of cliques are selfish and vain. I Have never had time for them, the sad thing is, they exist long after high school. I have faced them most of my life. I am almost always invited into those circles but I have no desire to be labeled.

    I enjoy the uniqueness people bring to the table, the various ways they think and what they value. Groups and cliques can shadow those very personal aspects of others, by melting into one idea or way of thinking. I am not a robot, I don't want to be involved with others who can't think for themselves, either.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Let's refrain from stereotyping cultures (posts removed).
     
  7. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    I don’t know if this has anything to do with it, but next semester I want to join a creative writing group and get to know others who share my interest. But I think partly just because I want to meet a girl who likes to write.
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's me, too. Some of it might be in my head, but with almost every group, I either get excluded, or I just feel wrong. Even with my Hillel friends, I feel like the weird one who doesn't entirely belong there.
     
  9. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you'll find that most people will say that they never fit into any of the cliques, even the people you would totally pigeonhole into one. People are too multifaceted to fit the cliques that you see on TV, but they're still very much an integral part of real social life. I never fit into any of them either --too smart for the dumb kids, too dumb for the smart kids; too slow for the athletes, too fast for the mathletes; too energetic to be a goth and too dark to be a peppy person.

    Even if you dont like cliques, you're still a part of one. Technically speaking, the group of close friends you have can still be defined as a clique. You have similar interests, you hang out often, you have levels of intimacy, etc.

    But can you picture a world without cliques? There'd just be this overwhelming state of anomie, normlessness where you would never fit in anywhere and there'd never be any sort of identity because there arent peer groups with which to compare yourself.

    You're in middle school, you say? Eighth grade blows, dude. I go to an extremely large high school and cliques are pretty much necessary here; it's how people define themselves and how they grow and develop socially (and consequently, physically, emotionally, intellectually). But I promise you, once you get to the "other side" those cliques wont be nearly as brutal.

    And it's not just middle school / high school cliques either; cliques permeate every part of your life, in every stage of your life. In the corporate world, there will always be the hot secretary and the guy by the water cooler making jokes and the horrible boss. People need labels and groups to cling to because that's how we grow. If you want to eliminate cliques, you're looking at rewriting society's rules. (To which I totally encourage. ;) )

    So, I guess what I'm saying is that they're a necessary evil. ;)
     
  10. Marshmallow
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    Marshmallow Member

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    No you didn't. First of all, it may seem like you don't have options, but you do. You can talk to anyone. Restraint is self-created. People respect the guy who can approach a potentially harmful group and speak with his own sack more than the kid who gets 'accidentally' placed in the group by a mutual acquaintence.

    High school is a lot different.

    First of all, there are no real 'cliques' at my high school. You have people who you would classify as the jocks or the emo kids or whatever, but our school is too small to do any real grouping. My middle school mas way more different. See, at my middle school, you had to just grow a pair and talk to people; get to know them, help them with homework, whatever. Just be nice, and be yourself -- people can always tell when you're fake.

    It prepared me a lot for the small town life I live now: I am not afraid to break into groups just because they may appear to throw the cold shoulder.

    And think of it this way: you'll only have to be around these people for another five years and then you never have to see them again for the rest of your life. :p


    Hope I helped cuz.
     
  11. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say cliques are a new phenomenon. I mean there were no such distinct labels when I was in school. I would admit the broadest semblance of a group was our immediate class. Since we spent most of the day together, we were most familiar and comfortable with the 20-30 so classmates, but we definitely intermingled with other classes/groups.

    I would assume the biggest distinction today among kids is the separation that disparate levels of dispensable income or wealth may bring; and race seems to play a role as well.
     
  12. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Weird kids and proud, eh Rei? :cool:
     
  13. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    I agree with Mercurial on this one. I feel as though i don't fit into any cliques but then i have my own handful of friends who i hang out with on a regular basis and i think people see us as a clique since we all work in the same place and live in the same building.
    Despite this i think that the notion of cliques in high school is different for me as an adult. My experiences with them in high school were always associated with vindictiveness and probably the awful feeling that my brother was part of a clique that liked to target me.

    Necessary evil indeed.:)
     
  14. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I try to be.
     
  15. TheHedgehog
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    TheHedgehog Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thankfully I was strong enough to work through that space regarding the groups in my life. Back in seventh grade, it was the first time I was faced with a situation that required experience I didn't have, so I didn't know what to do, was too stupid to talk to my parents, because I thought I was more intelligent than them, being a bull-headed teenager that I was and still am. I was afraid of losing my best friend since second grade, and looking back in hindsight I would have given anything for what you just said as foresight to my past self. Maybe I would be in a different place, I'm not sure.

    High School is something I've been mentally preparing for, for a long time. In terms of avoiding the ambition for popularity and desire to fit in, if it destroys me, I don't know if it will be easier, be more difficult, or be the same, but when I go into it I know that the only logical thing to do is to avoid anything that will result in my self-destruction. The key, like you mentioned, is putting my fear aside for the future and not be afraid of others.
     
  16. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Try harder missy, you're letting the side down ;)
     
  17. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used to try SO hard to be in with the "cool kids." And got my heart broken. I was sort of a tag along for two years.

    I learned my lesson, and have turned into "the jumper." I friends in lots of different cliques at school. The weird goth kids that wear all black? Yep. The anime lovers? Yep. Those popular kids? Yep. The freakish Christian kids? Yep. I decided that I wouldn't be stuck only having one group. Much much happier. :D
     
  18. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think cliques are a negative notion. We all have our own friends (even if they only consist of one, or two people), that we feel comfortable with and naturally choose to interact with over others. In highschool I had a very small (approximately four people), group of friends I hung out with during lunchtime and sometimes afterschool.

    I never became particularly close to any of them, I drifted away from them after my final year, although, strangely enough I became best friends with a guy I used to know in high school (but never really associated with), straight after high school ended, which was awesome.

    But yes, I think if you were to lable me in highschool I would've been a 'jumper', like Emily. Although I had my immediate circle of friends, I'd often move around to different groups to say 'hello', which was cool because I assumed this, 'she's a nice girl' persona.
     
  19. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    There were definitely cliques in my high school, but I was able to go and hang out/sit with any one of them easily. I could also get along with them without changing who I was. I was the guy that nobody didn't like. (When I say nobody I mean a whole group. There were certainly a few individuals here and there that loathed me outright, but there's always a few jerks.)
    All you really have to do to get along with everyone is to be yourself and don't act on any presuppositions about people. Obviously, there are going to be some people out there who's world view is so radically different from your own that you can't see how you could ever be friends- but that's life. In most cases, you can still salvage some sort of neutral alliance with them. In other cases, it's best to just avoid them outright.
     
  20. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the very term 'Clique' has bad connotations. Groups of friends are bound to form, but that doesn't mean they uninviting or particularly renowned for being of a certain nature. I'd only call groups that are a 'clique'.

    If I were to also label myself, I think I was an 'Inbetweener'. I too spoke to everybody, but didn't try and hang out with any of the 'popular' crowd because I honestly thought they were laughable (some of them).

    I'd say Hi to some of the kids from the 'popular' clique (although really they're only popular with themselves; it was more the size of the group that made them seem dominant) and make them laugh and such. Same with all the others - the shy kids, the "nerdy" (intelligent, admirable) kids. I didn't judge people, just got to know them.

    I was friends with my own group of other 'inbetweener' people and we all got on great, especially during 6th form when we all became really close. Some of the intelligent, shy guys came out of their shells and we've made great friendships now.

    I remember once in English, a girl who thought she was part of the popular clique said to me: 'Ashleigh, why do you hang around with girls like *such and such*? They're all skanky and you're not. You're alright.'

    I was absolutely stunned. The girl she was talking about was sitting right next to me. She obviously wasn't expecting my reply, but I gave her one. I said something along the lines of:

    'Sarah, how do you live with yourself being such a shallow bitch? *such and such* is a really nice person. You're just bitchy and judgemental, and I don't need your approval'

    Her eyes almost burst from her sockets. What I said wasn't even particularly cutting - she had just clearly not experienced confrontation before. She tried biting back, but my reply beat her everytime. She was just a bully, pure and simple. In the end, another popular-clique-girl sitting next to her said 'Sarah, just shut up. You're embarrassing yourself.'

    Ever since then myself and Sarah never exactly...bonded :p But, she got the message.

    There was no way in hell I was going to let her speak about somebody like that, as if she wasn't even there. It's disgusting.

    Now, that's why I don't like some of the vicious cliques that revolve around status, glamour and money. It can make bullies out of people and victims out of others.
    I don't think people should have to live that way, but they do.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Woah, long post.
     
  21. 67Kangaroos
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    67Kangaroos Contributing Member

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    high school =/= real life ... thank heavens... in high school, cliques are much more defined than in real life.

    i don't really remember much of high school... i think i blocked most of it out :p i just remember that, because i was only allowed to go to school and go home, i sort of never got into a group "for real" and whenever i sat with them at lunch or between classes something would come up that i knew nothing about that happened outside of school, so i never really got into anything. therefore, i had a series of acquaintances, but no real friends.

    i had acquaintances with the band geeks, the small group of semi-popular boys (non-sports boys is what i mean here - in small town american high school, sports=everything), the unpopular boys (wierdos), the druggies, the farmer's daughters, the artsies, the social outcasts (it's a clique in itself sometimes), the normals (not popular, not unpopular), the goths, etc. i had very few "prep" acquaintances, which were the overlapping semi-popular boys group ("preps" were the cheerleaders/football players/student government kids who run the school... it's the exclusive "popular group")

    then, my last year of high school i moved. it was a much smaller school with a few separate "popular kids" groups.. it was the first time i sat routinely with girls at lunch. the two devout christians and my twin (seriously, she'd been going to the same school her whole life, and when i came into town, suddenly everyone was asking if i was her sister... what? long lost sister? because we both have long blond hair?). it was such a small school, i knew every person in my graduating class except for one -- who was apparently the most popular girl (according to awards, because she literally had every single award ever given by the school... she always got the popular vote because everyone expected her to win it anyway... which is what possessed me to campaign and take one from her haha~.. well, the only one left at the end of the year, ya'know).

    as for fitting in, i had always refused to do so. if it was the popular thing to do, i wanted to do the opposite. being so terribly average (i don't excell in anything, but i'm average at just about everything i do), many of my choices are influenced by "will it make me different". i'm that really wierd kid no one knew and you were never really sure what she was ever talking about, but she was never mean and never mad and rarely upset and you could pick on her and it she either didn't notice or didn't care...

    after high school, there can still be cliques, though it's more rare that people divide themselves into definable groups like that, except in the social settings of work or church, etc. acquaintances.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that they're destructively awful, at any age!

    sadly, humans are prone to mob mentality, so they're a fact of life... they don't have to be, but if all are not taught from the cradle that they're bad for the individual and for society as a whole, they'll continue to exist...
     
  23. yellowm&M
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    yellowm&M Contributing Member Contributor

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    First off i just wanted to say about this that if you have a couple good friends/people to spend time with and a good head on your shoulders (which I'm pretty sure you do) then it won't be that hard to avoide the ambition for popularity and such. Every high school is different some are more cliquey than others but every single one had good normal people and as long as you know who you are then you'll be just fine. It takes a certain type of person to be one of the stereotypical popular people; but anyone who knows what they want, what the value and who the are or want to be will pretty easily avoid become that person. So you really don't have to worry :)

    As for the question of cliques/groups they aren't specifically bad, it just depends on what you mean when you say it. Cliques does carry that popular, exclusive, bad connotation and i agree completely that they are bad. However, to me at least, groups mean something more along the lines of a group of friends that sit together, talk alot with each other, and hang out with each other, which isn't a bad thing; i mean that's what friends are. I've never been one of those people really involved in cliques. I'm not a jumper persay but I tend to have alot of friends and many of them are in different groups and then my main group that i do the most with. However I've always floated in that normal range of not popular, not unpopular but really good people range which i think is a great place to be.

    I think the whole popular "we're way cooler than you and won't actually talk to you" thing is complete idiocy. If they think they're too cool to talk to me then I sure as hell don't want to be friends with them. And they're all so shallow and fake, who really wants a friend that pretends to love you but is constantly stabbing you in the back with your other "friends". I'd rather have a few good friends who care about me and are fun to be around and talk with. Sadly the so called "glamour" of those types of groups and the pressures of socitey (which is partially run by those groups) still manages to draw people in.



    edit: sorry for the long post :redface:
     
  24. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow, reading some of the replies, I'm so glad I went to a small school, where 'cliques' didn't really exist, at least, not to the severity described here. lol.
     
  25. TheHedgehog
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    TheHedgehog Contributing Member Contributor

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    Right now, I'm looking at two high schools to attend next year:

    The public one for the town, upwards of 3000 students, loved by many people. A lot of people at my middle school, including my friends, and just other folks like to attend the football games, and it's a good high school, no question. I don't know how high the percent will be of actually seeing my friends in my classes, though. I'm sure I'll know people in them, but...

    The magnet public high school, one of the best in the country, is 600 or so kids, and basically everyone wants to go to the first option. Now, this is a top-notch school, and I probably have the grades to get in, and high school is a very important 4 years of your life. But so far I only know one person who will be going.

    I probably will choose the latter, and even if I don't decide right now my choice, I'm going to apply anyways to the magnet high school.
     

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