When I was in school I was not very popular. I did feel like an outcast. I dressed differently from most other girls, I was very quiet, and I didn’t have a lot of friends. Even though people didn’t treat me so horribly, some people treated me like I was invisible. I didn’t feel significant to anyone-sometimes not even my friends.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t desire popularity in high school. I wanted to be popular in middle school, but as I got older, popularity became nonsense to me. Even though I wasn’t popular, I was still respected for the most part. As I said earlier, I didn’t have a lot of friends, but I didn’t have any enemies either.
This kind of thing differs for everybody. No two teens have the same exact experiences in school. But one thing that I noticed about the “outcasts and misfits” in school, is that a lot of them were much better people than those who were popular.
I remember I was watching an episode of Dr. Phil, and he had on a 14 year old girl that said she was tired of being a “nobody”, and she decided she wanted to start hanging out and dressing like the popular girls. She also said that her old friends weren’t popular, but they were good friends. She said her new friends are popular, but they aren’t very good friends.
It’s amazing what we find most important when we are teens. Teens rather have popular friends than to have good friends. That doesn’t make any sense.
I wrote an article for teens called Love Thy Self: An Article for Teenage Girls: Love Thy Individuality, although it was geared toward girls, it was something that needed to be shared with all teens.
I would not suggest that you do whatever it takes to fit in. The only thing that I would suggest is you to be more social. Not so social that you become an annoyance, but I want you to learn how to converse with others and be more of a people person.
Why would I want you to do this? I want you to do this because it plays a big part in your future. When you are going out looking for a job, or being interviewed for a job, it is important that you know how to pay attention and answer questions well. You will always be dealing with people in your future. You will have co workers, customers, and in your personal life you may have a spouse and children. In order for all these different relationships to work, you must have communication skills. I will give you tips on how to do that…
1. Face your fears. If you have any fears about being social, then ask yourself why. Ask yourself why you are afraid to make friends and deal with people. Tell yourself that it’s best you become more social for your own well being. Becoming popular is not the goal, although if you become more social, you may find that you do in fact become more popular. People will see that you are actually a likeable, respectable person-and that’s never a bad thing.
2. Start off small. You don’t have to start off by striking up conversations everywhere. That’s not the idea. All you have to do is start off by saying hi and smiling at others. That’s it. This will make you look friendly, and it will get you accustomed to speaking to strangers.
3. Volunteer. Do something that you don’t have to do in an environment where there are people– for example, a church picnic. Volunteer to help serve or assemble the food just to get to interact with others. It can be something at your school, too. I know this seems like a big step– and it is, actually. Sometimes you have to throw yourself out there if you want to change. It feels scary at first, but you become proud of yourself afterwards. Trust me, I’ve been there.
4. Get involved in other group activity. Join some kind of team or club. This is something that I wished I would have done when I was in school. I wanted to join the cheerleading team, but did not because I was afraid of having to perform cheers in front of large crowds.
5. Stand up for yourself. The truth is, dealing with people means there will be some kind of misunderstanding or conflict at some time. You have to know what to do in those moments. I don’t want to tell you to be more social, but then don’t tell you how to deal with people who talk to you the wrong way. Read Setting Standards: How To Set Limits Assertively, an articleright here on Associated Content.
When I was in school, I wasn’t very social, and I regret it so much. I could have used high school as an opportunity to prepare myself for my future, but I did not. I also think that I would have had more friends in school had I known how to talk to my peers.
Now that you have some tips on how to be social, I hope you use them to the best of your ability.
Other Associated Content articles you may be interested in:
Love Thy Self: An Article for Teenage Girls: Love Thy Individuality
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