Chances are you’ve run across a clique or two in your time, especially if you’re female. Cliques can range from annoying and exclusive friend groups to destructive, nasty bullying machines. Either way, they’re not usually positive. Here are three ways to avoid running afoul of them without trashing your social reputation.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Have you heard the Internet adage “Don’t feed the trolls”? The same principle applies here. The less you play into a toxic clique’s hands, the better off you (and others) will be, and the less power over you they’ll have. If you can manage, psychologically and physically, to keep your distance, that’s half the battle. This is probably the best way to avoid getting caught up in a clique -- just keep yourself away from its members.
To try and get people together, encourage group settings and events. If you must, try and separate members who would normally hang together and shut everyone else out. (It’s like when your teacher prevented the two class clowns/slackers from being partners -- it was for their own good, and the teacher’s sanity). Don’t get caught up in secret sabotage, drama, and mind games. You need them the same way you need to pig out on ice cream and soda before going for a 5-mile run. It might be tempting; it might feel good in the moment, but it’s not good for you, and the consequences will be unpleasant.
Don’t settle for weak communication -- or NO communication.
Girls are particularly good at being passive-aggressive, and that wreaks havoc on relationships. I’m the type of person who prefers to confront interpersonal problems directly, which has helped me discern and solve some issues. Even if you aren’t that kind of person, or your particular situation wouldn’t be helped by sitting down and talking it out, I still strongly recommend trying to reason with the person. Do so one-on-one -- this way the clique can’t gang up on you, and you’ll often find that people are more reasonable and forgiving when they’re away from peer pressure.
In short, do your best to be someone who will solve problems instead of create them. It may not feel satisfying to take the moral high ground when others are flinging mud at you and at each other, but keeping clean pays off in the long run.