There’s no doubt that everyone wants to be liked. I know that I certainly do and that’s ok. However, in my opinion, there is a difference between wanting to be liked and wanting to be popular.
Popularity is something that is mainly within the school environment, particularly high school. Once you leave school, the idea of popularity starts to disintegrate and the more you grow older, you realize that being popular isn’t the be all and end all.
The definition of popular is different to person to person. For me, popularity is a status that makes people think that they are higher up than anyone or anything. It’s the idea that you have to be sporty or get into trouble etc to be admired and supported by others.
Within my year at school I went to, it always felt like the people who were classed as popular, thought of themselves as being better than anyone else. The idea of popularity can also have a big effect on people’s wellbeing.
I’ve always thought of popularity always in an educational environment. For example, the majority of the year likes a specific group of people. They are usually friends, some groups get into trouble and some like sports etc. This is because this is where I see popularity the most.
There’s already a lot of pressure within the school environment with exams, puberty etc. So, add in wanting to fit in on top of that, just adds another demand that young people have to go through.
It just feels like you have to be popular to enjoy your school experience, which is just not the case. However, there is another side of this where popularity isn’t necessarily the stereotypical version where a single person could be classed as popular because they are nice, helpful and people want to be like them but isn’t this just having respect for yourself.
I always wondered where did popularity even come from, how did you become popular in the first place and who decided who was popular and who wasn’t?
How important is popularity to you?
When it comes to popularity, ask yourself, “are you doing it for the right reasons?” If not, then prioritize what’s actually meaningful to you. I know that friendships are important but you don’t have to become popular to find them.
Overall, being the popular person where everyone knows you and wants to be you is overrated. Be your own popular, with the friends that you actually want to hang out with, do the activities that you want to be a part of and see the difference this has on you and your wellbeing.