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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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10 Quotes That Will Help You Realize Your Self-Worth

Sometimes you need a little pick me up and that's okay because I'm pretty sure it happens to everyone. When I need a pick me up, I tend to look over quotes that help with either giving me an ego boost or reminding me to keep working.

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These 10 quotes are from a notes page that I keep on my phone with a list of over 100 quotes. I keep quotes on my phone to give me reminders, advice, or even some motivation. I specifically chose these ten quotes to help anyone remind themselves to never give up and to know your self-worth, which is priceless.

1. "Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself."

This quote reminds me to only focus on what I think about myself and to continue bettering myself. The part of the quote that states, "never excuse yourself" really illuminates how there is always room for improvement in every aspect of your life. Never allow yourself to fall behind and to continue growing.

2. "I am left with no choice, but to create an empire from these ruins within me."

Anyone I am depressed (or heartbroken...), this quote reminds me you can only come up from rock bottom.

3. "If you're happy in yourself, you radiate happiness and attract happiness."

Any time I'm feeling down, I like to read this quote because it helps me work to getter better. The quote pushes me to get better because everything is much better and warmer when you're happy. Emotions soak in more, laughs are genuine, and happy tears become a reality.

4. "You don't need to be better than anyone else, you just need to be better than you used to be." -Wayne W. Dyer

Dyer's quote forces me to continue improving myself. I know this is similar to the first quote, but it helps even more because it reminds me to never forget where I came from.

5. "Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." -Louise L. Hay

When I am feeling down about myself, Hay's quote helps me get out of the funk because I will only continue to spiral if I only focus on the negative.

6. "I am the flower and the thorns. I don't need you to touch me in order to blossom." -Haley Hendrick

Hendrick's quote gives me the confidence to be a strong independent young woman. I do not need a pity party to feel better about myself. I can cope and continue growing because rain is the only way flowers bloom.

7. "Be nice to yourself. It's hard to be happy when someone is being mean to you all the time."

If you continue to criticize yourself and only focus on your "flaws," you will never be able to be happy. I know it is harsh but if you don't love yourself, you won't be able to ever fully love anyone. Being kind and allowing yourself to grow is the best self-care. Take a break from whatever you're busy with at the time if you need to. Take a breath and focus on the reasons you love yourself and what all you have accomplished.

8. "I wanna make my parents proud, my enemies jealous, and myself satisfies."

This quote points you in the direction of self-growth because it allows you to remember there are never excuses for yourself. Growing up is a part of life, so is adaptation and evolution. You have to go with the flow and keep up with the times.

9. "Your body is not a temple..."

"Your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest, thick canopies of maple trees and sweet wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated."

Do not ever let anything keep your down, break through the ceiling if you have to. Keep pushing and working for whatever dreams you have.

10. "You don't have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life..."

"You don't ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn't matter whether someone is s relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend, or a new acquaintance — you don't have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It's one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignored your boundaries, and "continues" to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go." — Daniell Koepke

Sometimes, you had to leave behind people you thought would be in your life forever because they're holding you back. Sometimes they just always bring negativity and make you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes people make cool jokes and don't understand how it isn't funny. These people are toxic and it is okay to remove them from your life. Keep growing but always remember what could have happened if you stayed behind.

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