Reader's Blog

Groupism, hierarchies and feeling invisible

From the jocks and cheerleaders to the nerds and geeks. From private school kids to state school kids. From doctors to cleaners. Whether we like it or not our world ranks people based on their status, wealth, popularity and general background.

Why are people so obsessed with status and reputation? Is it so hard for all of us to coexist without looking at another’s status and popularity? Is it so hard not to backstab, gossip and just be kind to people? I hate it when people won’t talk to others or even look at them because they consider them “inferior”. Even adults these days brainwash their kids to not speak to certain people because they are not up to their status. What’s up with this ‘social status’ business? One day we are all going to die. Oblivion is inevitable (Aw, snap! Fault In Our Stars… sorry!). When our soul moves on, we won’t take the money or possessions that we earned on earth with us. We won’t be remembered for how much money we made. We will be remembered by memories of the love, happiness, joy and peace we shared with people.

For the longest time I’ve always wanted to fit in, so much that I tried to change myself to fit in with the popular crowd. But I realized something. I would never fit in anywhere, because I am me.

For the longest time I’ve always wanted to fit in, so much that I tried to change myself to fit in with the popular crowd. But I realized something. I would never fit in anywhere, because I am me. I’m quirky, crazy, a complete weirdo and a bit of a nerd. Wherever I’ve been people have taken advantage of me. I didn’t listen to the same music they listened to or watch the same movies. We had nothing in common, but I just wanted to make loads of friends. But I realized that I’d rather have one very true, loyal and caring friend than a thousand fake friends who don’t know me at all. I realized that by being a part of the “popular” group (who were just self-centred) you’ll just be surrounded with a bunch of fake people who will try to pressure you into “proving” yourself to them. True friendship needs no proof. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you to prove your friendship.

In any social gathering you see a “queen bee”… well, I have anyway. The self-centred, egotistical, popular princess who forces crocodile tears out of her victims. It’s like a reality version of Mean Girls. The queen bee tries to create a swarm of people to follow her (changes them, their personality to fit her liking), and tries to sting people (Get it? ‘Cos she’s a bee. No? Okay!) to compensate for the hurt she’s experienced herself. It gives her a sense of power and authority. Don’t let anyone change your personality, and turn you into their mannequin, because you will always have to keep pretending to be their fake friend, and keep trying to prove yourself to that queen bee. Ditch the queen bee and turn into the butterfly you’ve always wanted to be.

I’ve never really fit into any particular group. I am divergent. (Any Divergent fans, say hey! Yeah, I won’t be able to hear you say it.). I’m a wallflower. And when one wallflower notices another wallflower we create our very own group, because people can’t accept “people like us” into their group. Wallflowers are usually ambiverts.  But the thing is when you don’t see another wallflower and you’re the only one, you tend to be lonely. Wallflowers aren’t unsociable, and we definitely aren’t quiet. Trust me, we’ve tried to talk to people and tried to be as friendly as possible, but when the conversation or kindness isn’t reciprocated we just stop trying to socialize. We tend to be the invisible ones in social situations. Some people may also know us as loners. But when loners come together, we create the best loner group where we can talk about anything.

Here’s some advice from a victim of groupism. Include them. Include everyone. Please.

If you ever see an awkward, quiet person sitting by themselves all the time, include them. You may think you may not like them, but be willing to take a chance. Take a risk. Wallflowers tend to be the awesomest people you’ve ever met even if they are grammatically incorrect (I should know I am one).

You may not know this. But excluding someone from a group and avoiding them can emotionally damage a person. Hurt them so much that they are constantly driven crazy, thinking they’re “uncool”, “stupid” and “inferior”. We feel as if we’re not worthy or up to “their standards”. Just having the courtesy to say “Hi. How are you? How’s life?” makes the biggest difference to a wallflower. It’s just common respect and courtesy to give a person, and I’m sad to say not many people will think the same.

So, let’s try and do something. Even though we can’t completely get rid of all the queen bees, the big-headed popular groups or the hierarchies in society; just doing something small like saying “hello” to those around you, will make a big difference.