An Open Letter To Cliques

An Open Letter To Cliques

When did being unique become a bad quality?
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Dear Cliques,

I'm really happy that you have a solid group of friends. It must be really fun to get together as a big group every weekend or each time you go back to your hometown to share fun stories and laugh. But I want you to realize there are so many great people out there that no one in your group knew when your clique formed.

As I grew up, I was constantly surrounded by a clique that was formed of extremely bright individuals. Each of them possessing unique traits and personalities that I loved to be around. As we grew up, I could see the wonderful different qualities vanish. Those individuals became a group and it seemed as if their different ideas and styles were stripped from them. I was close to multiple members individually, but when the entire group was near, it was as if I was a stranger they had never met. It hurt. It was hard for me to understand why my friends were only my friends when no one else was around. Was being my friend something that needed to be hidden? It took me a long time to realize why I am better off without them.

People who are in a clique normally are not very unique. It's inevitable to pick up on traits from the people you associate yourself with. Those who are in cliques refuse to hang out with anyone outside of their "group," so it makes sense that they all act like the same person, but it's sad. I do have a small group of friends, but the great thing about them is that they love being with new people. We don't need to hang out with each other every weekend and we don't need each other to attend social event we've been invited to. We always ask new people to join us in our adventures because the more the merrier. We never plan "buddies night," which is just a less rude way to let other people know they are unwelcome.Cliques just learn how to lean on their friends completely, and I'm not even sure how great of friends people in cliques are to each other.

All throughout middle school and high school, I would hear people in cliques bashing so hard on each other. While blowing off steam when you're upset with your friends is natural and okay, the things I often heard were not things I would ever say about my closest friends- or anyone for that matter. I've heard about so much drama and so many secrets that I was never even involved in by too many people because they had no filter when it came to sharing the secrets of their friends. It made my heart hurt. It's one thing to be judged by people you don't know, but to be judged and exposed by your closest group of friends must be really hard. After I finally realized how negative being apart of a clique can be, I let go of the urge to maintain friendships with people who were never really a friend to me in the first place.

I began hanging out with random people all the time. I would call someone I hadn't talked to in a few months to see if they wanted to go out with me or if they had something they wanted to do, I'd ask to tag along. After hanging out with a variety of people, I learned so much about myself. What kind of person I wanted to be. And that person was not one that needed at least two other members of my clique to go somewhere. It was also really eye opening to get to know different people. I got to see the world through many different eyes. Some of the people I had harsh judgement towards ended up being my most genuine and close friends. Had I stayed tangled up in a clique that judged people unlike them, I would not have gotten to know how beautiful my new friends' hearts were. The clique judged them too harshly because of the reputation given to them when they dared to be different.

I am not at all saying a solid group of friends is bad, and I am not saying I don't like people who are in cliques. I am saying I feel bad for those of you trapped in box where you aren't allowed to break the walls. I feel bad that you haven't experienced different people. I feel bad that you have let your deeper personality hide from the public eye in fear that your group will judge you and kick you out of the little group message and weekend get togethers that are exclusively for you all. God forbid you invite that new kid that seems nice but isn't apart of your crew, right?

So here is my advise to you.

Next time your clique gets together, have someone new tag along. Someone you have always been interested in getting to know, but have been too afraid to invite them.

Dare to be different. Different is beautiful and so are you. Plus, if your "friends" judge you for your weird music, deep thoughts, or your obsession with knitting, are they really your friends?

Be kind to everyone. Remember that cliques look like an army to lone soldiers. Don't use the cliche "The door swings both ways," because as true as that can be in many cases, it doesn't work as well here. It's hard to open your door to people when its 10 to 1. It is terrifying reaching out to a person in a clique. We aren't just putting ourselves out there for a couple people, we are forced to put ourselves out there to a huge group, and it is hard.

Don't let people look at you and your friends as exclusive, judgemental, mean, or fake. It's really easy to view cliques in that way because although you don't always mean to, it's just the way uninviting groups make themselves seem.

Take this all to heart. I already know some of you have been rolling your eyes this whole time. "We are not mean." "We do not talk bad about each other that much." "We include new people sometimes." I can already hear it now. Dig deep down though. Be honest with yourself. If you are still pleased with your group message friends, that is okay. But I dare you to take this all to heart and then text someone new and invite them to hang out with you. Just you. You are your own person and I promise you are wonderful on your own.


Sincerly,

Individually Me

Cover Image Credit: Universal Pictures

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Christian Boys Vs. Godly Men

It is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.
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Ladies, there is a huge difference between a Christian boy and a Godly man; therefore, it is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.

So many times I hear girls saying:

“Well, he’s a Christian.”

“He goes to church with me.”

“He listens to Christian music.”

“He went to church camp.”

“He has a favorite bible verse.”

SEE ALSO: What An Attractive Man Looks Like

Well, all of those things are just peachy and there is nothing wrong with doing those things. I mean, they’re all good things to do. But how is his personal relationship with God? How is his prayer life? Does he talk about his relationship with God, with you? Is he truly a follower of the one true God in all aspects of his life? These are some of the characteristics you should be looking for that makes a Godly man.

Ladies, a man will love you great when he loves God greater.

A Godly man will pursue an honest relationship with you. He will be clear of his intentions. A Godly man will worship, pray and passionately praise God with you. Whereas, a Christian boy might open the door for you, a Godly man will open his bible and explore God’s word with you so that you both may grow spiritually, together. While a Christian boy may put on an outward show, a Godly man will live out the love of Jesus daily.

So ladies, are you catching on to this ongoing trend? A Godly man does more because you deserve more.

A Godly man will be a leader. Trust me, I know that in today’s society Godly men are few and far between while Christian boys come in plenty. But you deserve a man who is after God’s heart not just a boy who goes to church. And I know that this Christian boy may seem great and have some really stellar qualities at the time but money and looks fade, whereas, an ongoing love for our savior will not.

The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is to lead her closer to God than himself. (Yes, yes, yes).

SEE ALSO: As Christians, Life Isn't Supposed To Be Hard

So I beg of you, do not settle. Do not settle just because you’re tired of being single, it’s convenient or because you want the relationship your friend has. Single does not equal available and a relationship status does not define you. God uses your season of singleness to prepare you for what is to come. And if you’re dating a Christian boy, he needs to step it up or you need to move on. Wait for a Godly man who is ready to lead you. God’s timing is always better, always. No matter the circumstance. So, do not rush God. (I mean, He is, after all, pretty good at His job). Therefore, turn your full focus to Him and He will direct your path.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Cover Image Credit: Christina Sharp

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The 'Real You' Is The You That's Fully-Rested And Cared For

"The real you comes out when you're tired and hungry and sick." Lies.

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I've often heard people say that the real you comes out at 3 a.m. or some other odd time of the night when you're cranky, hungry, or just in a bad mood. Honestly, that doesn't make any sense.

The real "you" is when you're well-fed, well-rested, cared for, and everything in between. You might say that there are rare times when that ever happens, but honestly, it's the effort that counts.

When you don't even try to take care of yourself, there's a subconscious part of you that believe it's unnecessary or not even worth trying for.

It's truly a precedent you set for yourself and the others around of you of how you would like to be treated.

This even applies to the thoughts we think. When we're running on less sleep or starving through a class, we're more prone to have self-destructive, mean thoughts about ourselves. And if you haven't been getting enough sleep for consecutive nights, really try and make it a priority to.

Sometimes, we don't realize how bad it was until gets better.

Funnily enough, this applies to other people as well. When we get disappointed because people don't treat us the way we think they should, we feel a little hurt. Honestly, though, it's important to think about circumstances that have caused them to act that way. It could have been a stressful week at work, a rough patch in a relationship, or even a fallout in a friendship. Given that, it's only natural to act differently. Not talking as much, reaching out to people less, preferring alone-time, and other things are completely normal.

So, don't take it personally. It's nothing against you.

And, this all really does come full circle. Think about it: you can only understand situations and people and the realness behind them when you are as well taken care of as you can be. So don't be afraid to put yourself first, even if it means skipping out on something else (which it often will).

You're worth it.

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