Caught up in cliques
Expanding friendships enriches life
September 12, 2017
One afternoon in sixth grade I can remember coming home, lying on my bed in tears, and pleading to my parents about the struggle I had with making friends. I moved to Canyon the second semester of 6th grade. The first couple of weeks were fine, it was not until I started to feel like I was going through life alone that I realized everyone had specific social groups. Because of this, it was extremely difficult to find my place. This was my first experience with cliques.
Typically people will pick their friends based on common interests or passions. That alone doesn’t show any cause for concern, but it’s when a group of people gravitate to the same interest they start acting like each other. Instead of having individual personalities connecting with each other, there becomes an imbalance of people who are too similar to tell apart. When someone is in a clique it puts them in a situation that excludes other people. It also makes it easier for them to gossip about others who they might label as weird or different.
Often in high school teens will get too caught up in being popular that they never branch out and meet other people, which causes them to lose out on beneficial relationships. Some of the best friendships I’ve ever had came from people that I never anticipated being friends with. If people refuse to clump others together then they will see the true personalities of each individual. People have layers, especially in high school they are trying to figure out who they want to be as an adult.
Nobody is perfect, and sometimes people do things that hurt others. That’s life. That’s mankind. Sometimes digging is the only way to find out who somebody really is. Not the sport they play. Not what they are involved in, whether it be band, choir, academics, dance, fitness, or anything else. Those ‘things’ are not their identity. Who they are, are the things they stand for. Their dreams, goals, ambitions, and values. How they handle issues, what they are passionate about. Cliques eliminate the freedom they have, to be who they are meant to be.
I hate to say it but the movies have it right. In a clique, there are different types of roles. Initially there’s the queen bee–the one who initiates everything, and feels like he/she has reign over everyone else. The ditz, who isn’t typically as bubbly as people perceive. They are actually smart and contribute to the group. They act ditzy because they cannot necessarily find a role they fit it. The follower: the one who clings to the queen bee’s side, who needs help with everything and depends on people more than they should. The funny one who never feels like they have a legitimate thing to say, so they keep the group entertained. Lastly, the cool one: the person who gravitates towards the attractive, athletic and seemingly popular people.
All of these roles act as a disguise for people who are afraid to be vulnerable with each other. They never have the opportunity to completely be themselves. In some scenarios these cliques are formed at a young age. For instance, childhood friends. They grow up in the same town, same school, and same family circles. Having the same friends for years is great, but if that is all a person has then they have tied themselves to an incredibly small life.
Relationships open up so many doors. If a person has connected to people whose interests are all the same then they lack growth and new experiences. Integrate the social groups. Talk to people who are different; from different circles. Eliminate the social hierarchy of high school cliques. When expanding friend groups it is important to base those relationships on good principles.
Friendships are vital to life, but cliques are detrimental to society. Prevent the heartache that cliques cause. Open up friendship circles and let people in. Give everyone a chance and whole heartedly try to see the true personalities of others.