Dealing With Cliques

We understand that school can be hard, especially when you’re trying to make friends. Figuring out who your true friends are is an important part of growing up.

If you have cliques at your school, you are not alone. Cliques happen when a group of friends aren’t welcoming to outsiders – only certain people can be in their friend circle. Cliques are less about sharing the same values and beliefs as each other and more about their popularity and status among classmates.

Cliques can make life tough, but there are ways you can cope. Keep the below tips in mind when dealing with cliques:

Cliques are not all they’re cracked up to be.

While you may think cliques are cool, those inside a clique feel immense pressure to keep their position in the group. They must act, dress, and look a certain way or they are at risk of being excluded. Because members of cliques don’t feel secure, they may spread rumors or try to humiliate others to keep their status. Also, their friendships are limited because they are usually only allowed to socialize with those who are in the clique.

Realize that it’s temporary.

While cliques are more common in early school years, they usually disappear by the end of high school. People mature and aren’t as concerned about who is “cool” and “not cool.”

Evaluate yourself and your friendships.

Know what your beliefs, values and interests are, and ask yourself if you’re staying true to them. How do your friends make you feel? Do they bring out the best in you, or do they make you act a certain way that isn’t admirable? What do others think about you? Do you have a good reputation among your classmates? These questions can help you realize who your true friends are – and who aren’t.

Continue or join in on activities you enjoy.

If you’re not part of a clique and feel left out, participating in activities that you enjoy can make you feel a sense of belonging. If you’re in a clique, don’t stop doing the things you enjoy, and don’t spend time and money on things that don’t interest you or aren’t important to you.

Be open to new and diverse friendships.

Being part of a clique could make you miss out on getting to know great people who could be your true friends.

Don’t be afraid to speak up.

If your friends start to act clique-y, bring it to their attention. If this means you lose friends, so be it. Your true friends will respect your opinion, will stop being clique-y and will remain friends with you.

Be true to yourself.

If you don’t agree with what others are doing, especially if it’s in poor taste, don’t go along with the crowd. True friends will respect your opinions and decisions.

Talk to a trusted adult, such as a parent, teacher or your doctor.

Chances are, even your parents, teachers and doctors dealt with cliques during their grade school years and can offer advice.

Be a good friend.

The most effective way to have true and lasting friendships is to be a good friend. Good friendship skills are important to have now and throughout your life. Treat others the way you want to be treated – with respect, kindness, trust and honesty.