On Cliques

I hate them.

No, I really, really hate them.

I hate that groups sometimes get to feeling that they need to reaffirm their existence by laying into other people/ groups/ subcultures. Now maybe this is because I’ve never really belonged to a clique, in fact I seem to spend the majority of my life fascinated and watching particular groups, some of which are cliquish and some of which are not but manage to be twisted enough to gain my fascination.

So, heres a newsflash, I was not popular at school (big surprise huh?) I was the girl sat in the corner with the book watching everyone. So I had an interesting take on the various groups and cliques in my year group. I had labels and nicknames for them all (pre-cursor to the Big Beardy anyone?), hell I still watch all the groups and cliques and give nicknames to everyone. So, obviously I’m not going to like the particular groups of people that I wasn’t part of myself, right? I mean that seems to be a logic that tends to get played with a lot… Bollocks is that logic.

Not being a part of a group means you get to appreciate the nuances of all the different groups, and it means you spot bitchy cliques a mile off. Until you end up stuck in the middle of one that started operating subtley anyway. Goths not liking Jocks not liking Greebos not liking Townies is crap as far as I’m concerned, media perpetuated stereotypes that idiots fall for. So it really bothers me when friends start operating within those stereotypes. It really really bugs me when cliques start forming around me (not as in, I’m in the middle of a clique look at popular me) I don’t understand the attraction of an existence based on those you negate.

Maybe I’m just too used to being outside a circle of people to appreciate the attraction, but to be honest I’d rather be a sad loner than define myself based on hate, dislike and general bitching.

Of course it should be pointed out that I’m no saint myself and I bitch like a trouper, but to participate in the cliquey exclusion of particular people, or to say ‘oh they aren’t my type of people because their stereotype doesn’t like my stereotype’, gods I hope I never do that.

6 thoughts on “On Cliques

  1. I kinda recognise what you’re saying here.. at various points in my life I’ve almost had friends who could not stand each other because I seemed to always fall in between the groups. Sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes it’s a curse and most of the time it’s really interesting – my mother is like that too and I never stop being fascinated at visiting her and watching her friends…
    (I think the most stunning one was the acquitance who, during my man’s first visit at my mum’s place, asked my mother ‘if he can talk’…)

    That’s people for you.

  2. I suspect you have more first hand experience of what I’ve only understood on a more childish/ immature level. But yeah, people are people and forming cliques etc. seems to be a horrible part of what people do.

  3. Everyone wants to feel like they belong. The fastest way to feel that sort of thing in an instant gratification way is to tell someone else that they do not.

    Sad. But true.

    Erfalaswen – who was on the receiving end of it far too often during her childhood.

  4. Erfie, I have to ask, why does everyone feel like they need to belong? I know that this might sound like a faecetious question but I’m serious. What is this weird need. When I’ve experienced it ultimately it only ever brought trouble so honestly, what is this thing?

    I suspect its at root of love thinking about it.

  5. If you ‘belong’ then you’re ‘right’. There is no worse feeling in the world than being told that you, at a fundamental level, ‘wrong’ and that people don’t want to be with you or be around you because of a choice (either conscious or subconscious) that you make to do with yourself, be that how you speak, act, dress or entertain yourself.

    Behaving by the rules of a clique is the fastest way of getting yourself accepted as ‘right’. If you’re playing by the rules – how can you be wrong? Of course it doesn’t work as simply as that, as any teen movie worth its salt will demonstrate. But that doesn’t slow or stop the urge to try.

    I’m a little different in that I learned the lesson of teen movies early – in primary school. No matter how hard you try to obey the rules, if it’s a matter of trying it’s never going to work and people will find ways to show that you are ‘wrong’. So better to behave in a way that makes you comfortable and find people who love you for that. My friends often resented me at school because I dressed and behaved in a way that made me comfortable and that wasn’t supposed to be allowed during adolescence. You’re supposed to be nervous and on edge and desperate for acceptance. I’d pretty much accepted that no matter what I did – acceptance wasn’t really going to happen, so why bother seeking the approval of people who don’t give a shit?

    Once you come to terms with the fact that some people will always see you as being ‘wrong’ – it becomes far less important that the world at large should accept you as ‘right’, and cliques lose all their power over you. Unfortunately, some people never get over the overwhelming urge to escape from being ‘wrong’.

  6. Erfalaswen, you’re so right about that. I wish I’d discovered it as early as you, it would have saved me so much pain in my teens! I think I’m still learning to some degree, but by travelling I’ve found that there are so many different ways of being that no matter how hard I try, I won’t be original enough to come up with something truly unique. It’s disturbing and comforting at the same time 🙂

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