Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: Jaelle on March 26, 2013, 07:29:59 PM

Title: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Jaelle on March 26, 2013, 07:29:59 PM
I mentioned in the Prom Cling-On thread that I'd done a few things like the AG in the thread. I was a shy, geeky, lonely high schooler and thought I was doing the right thing.

It seemed like all the adults in my life told me to "Talk to people! Show an interest! They just think you like to be alone!" So I tried.

In hindsight, I probably butted in on conversations I wasn't privy to, tagged along with groups that probably didn't really want me, showed up at parties I hadn't been explicitly invited to and generally lingered on the edges, hoping to be let in. It didn't really work, but I was so proud that I was trying! I was being brave!

Oh, people were, for the most part, polite if cool about it. (And just quietly changed the time/place of the parties.) But now I look back and wince. 

Since reading that other thread, I've been wondering what sort of advice I'd give that high school me, or someone like me. I'm not coming up with much, even years later with an intrinsically different personality.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: CreteGirl on March 26, 2013, 07:43:43 PM
I think the advice I would give is if you are the one doing all the work in the friendship and are doing all of the inviting, you need to take a step back.  If people keep making excuses on why they cannot attend activities you suggest, pay attention. 

People who want to spend time with you will make an effort to do so.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 26, 2013, 07:50:04 PM
I also think rather than trying to insert yourself into a group, get involved in something like volunteer work, clubs, etc. Something with activities, and you might be surprised at how many friends you find there.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: CrochetFanatic on March 26, 2013, 07:52:57 PM
I mentioned in the Prom Cling-On thread that I'd done a few things like the AG in the thread. I was a shy, geeky, lonely high schooler and thought I was doing the right thing.

It seemed like all the adults in my life told me to "Talk to people! Show an interest! They just think you like to be alone!" So I tried.

In hindsight, I probably butted in on conversations I wasn't privy to, tagged along with groups that probably didn't really want me, showed up at parties I hadn't been explicitly invited to and generally lingered on the edges, hoping to be let in. It didn't really work, but I was so proud that I was trying! I was being brave!

Oh, people were, for the most part, polite if cool about it. (And just quietly changed the time/place of the parties.) But now I look back and wince. 

Since reading that other thread, I've been wondering what sort of advice I'd give that high school me, or someone like me. I'm not coming up with much, even years later with an intrinsically different personality.

Thoughts?

Only that I'd be interested to see what others might come up with, since I was never in the "In Crowd".  I couldn't post in the other thread because I simply can't be objective.  A life on the fringes is a lonely one.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Carotte on March 26, 2013, 07:53:54 PM
Hum, maybe a two part answer, first it's nice to explain to shy teenager that 'virtual' friendships are still friendships. It's so much easier to find people with the same interests in the internet that being a part of a forum is a great way to socialise and meet new people.
Face-to-face interaction is always nice, but for some people it's not the answer.

Then, like CreteGirl said, the ability to take a step back and see if your tries at friendships are being reciprocated is an usefull thing to do.
For an highschooler (or even a working person) it's nice to test the water little by little, first a few words in the hallway, commiserating about the same thing, maybe a specific question.  Engage first in a non-commissional manner and see if the person in front react by answering and stopping the exchange or by answering and continuing the exchange.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Library Dragon on March 26, 2013, 07:57:59 PM
Find something you genuinely enjoy and join groups/clubs surrounding that interest.  You will have gotten across the biggest hurdle by sharing a common interest. 

I was painfully shy and didn't have much opportunity or support for clubs, but I had two in high school:

1.  Theater in high school.  Ironically I never knew what to say.  Being in theater with a scrpt of words to say helped. 

2.  NRA hunter safety classes.  Yep!  I liked helping others learn to be responsible firearms owners.

Be realistic.  You won't get along with everyone and it won't be perfect.  You will have a better chance to make friends when you already like the same things.  Volunteering will help you meet a rotating group of people. 
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Jaelle on March 26, 2013, 08:00:33 PM
Hum, maybe a two part answer, first it's nice to explain to shy teenager that 'virtual' friendships are still friendships. It's so much easier to find people with the same interests in the internet that being a part of a forum is a great way to socialise and meet new people.
Face-to-face interaction is always nice, but for some people it's not the answer.

Very true. I wish I'd had a few more internet options back in the 1990s. :)  Today ... maybe it would be different. Being a sci-fi-loving, fantasy-reading geek in a small town back then just made me unbearably different.

The one thing I would love to tell then-me: Don't change for anyone. Your real friends will like you the way you are, geeky hobbies and all. :D And your DH will, too.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: StarFaerie on March 26, 2013, 08:49:10 PM
I'd want to tell myself. "Hang in there, it gets better. School is a small pond, but once you leave you get to jump in the ocean and there are plenty of others just like you out there."

I was miserable and alone through all 6 years of high school. Always on the periphery, trying to get in. I was a nerd and a geek in an all girls school with no-one else like me. Then I went to university. First day I turned up wearing a Star Trek t-shirt and a necklace made from a medal I had been awarded for science (it was a beautiful design and if you didn't know what it was, you wouldn't realise it wasn't just a gorgeous piece of jewellery). Within minutes a guy had approched me to tell me about his same medal and another 2 came over to chat about Star Trek. I had found my people, and those 3 and many others are still my friends 15 years later and still enjoying our geekiness and nerdiness.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 26, 2013, 09:43:31 PM
My advice (in no particular order):

1) Act relaxed and confident. I know this can be bloody hard, especially if you're feeling the exact opposite. But generally, people are attracted to those who smile and seem sure of themselves.

2) Take an interest in others. I think this IS good advice. But there's an art to it. Don't bombard people with random questions about their lives. Instead, take things slow and try to let conversations develop naturally. Give the other person room to ask questions about you. If they don't, move on (see point 6).

3) There are some activities where it's ok (IMO) to tag along. For example, movies are a good example. But the trick is to ASK whether it's ok if you come along. You shouldn't assume (or demand) that you're invited. And if you ask, and the answer is "no", you have to gracefully accept that.

4) Organise an event yourself. Be pro-active. If there are no takers, then move on (again, see point 6).

5) Don't cling to one person constantly (eg like the girl in the Prom thread).

6) If you're not "clicking" with a group / person, then move on. Recognise that sometimes it's no one's fault, but you just aren't a good match. And remember that some groups are more clique-ish than others. But hanging around a group in the hopes that you'll "wear them down" isn't going to work. In fact, it can be very demoralising. If, after a few months, you haven't made any proper friends within that group (and by "proper friends", I don't just mean people who are nice to you. I mean people who you can email, phone, and hang out with socially), it's time to move on.

An additional piece of advice for a teenager who's finding it hard making friends at school - join an out-of-school activity and expand your horizons.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Amara on March 26, 2013, 09:44:57 PM
My time was so painful--I was one of the two most unpopular girls all throughout those four years--that I have no advice to pass on. The only thing I can say is that it does end even when it feels it never will. It ends when you graduate and you begin to find that so much more exists for you than existed then.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Firecat on March 26, 2013, 10:16:10 PM
The number one thing: It Gets Better. Truly, it does. It feels like forever at the time, and like nothing will ever change. But once you're out of high school, there are so many more options. And in the meantime, being the "outsider" can give you some great opportunities to observe and learn about how the "in crowd" interacts. Which may not seem like much, but can be really useful when dealing with office politics later.

In the meantime, joining an activity or two can really help. For me it was Speech Team and doing backstage stuff for theater. Sometimes it's easier to talk to people one-on-one than to try to join a group - but don't cling to any one person. Instead, like a previous poster said, try saying hi to the person with the locker next to yours. Help that lost-looking new person find their next class. Ask the person carrying that book if it's good (when they're not actually reading it...). And then see how they respond; if they answer and don't continue, that's ok. It's still a couple of minutes of pleasant interaction.

Try to be patient and remember that high school isn't forever. It just feels that way sometimes.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: VorFemme on March 26, 2013, 10:24:51 PM
Hum, maybe a two part answer, first it's nice to explain to shy teenager that 'virtual' friendships are still friendships. It's so much easier to find people with the same interests in the internet that being a part of a forum is a great way to socialise and meet new people.
Face-to-face interaction is always nice, but for some people it's not the answer.

Very true. I wish I'd had a few more internet options back in the 1990s. :)  Today ... maybe it would be different. Being a sci-fi-loving, fantasy-reading geek in a small town back then just made me unbearably different.

The one thing I would love to tell then-me: Don't change for anyone. Your real friends will like you the way you are, geeky hobbies and all. :D And your DH will, too.

If you thought being a glasses wearing sci fi reading nerdy geek was bad in the 90s......try 20 years earlier as a girl geek in the70s.....

It took a while.  I'm still not a natural at relating to people...even though I've been doing the Jane Goodall studying the primates thing for decades...

Dad is a "natural" with people.  Mom was not.  Guess which side I took after?
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: nuit93 on March 26, 2013, 10:26:40 PM
I was like that too--very few social skills despite coming from a large family.  Plus, I had no idea how to stand up for myself so I made a great target for bullies.

I did volunteer work at the pressure of my mother, however it was at the local library where I was the youngest person there by about a decade.  Not the place to learn how to interact with my peers!  I also was in orchestra through middle and high school (also heavily encouraged by my mother), which didn't lend itself to much social opportunity.

Senior year of high school I decided to try something different and way out of character for me, and signed up for theater (as a semester long credit class).  I loved it so much I decided to try out for the school play and got a small part in that as well!  Definitely a turning point for me, if I could do it over again I would have started long ago. 
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: bloo on March 26, 2013, 10:44:19 PM
I POD the PP's that mention volunteering and clubs.

Being self-aware is big. Ask yourself - How do I seem to other people?

I had no friends in middle school (6-8th grades). I was very shy and made timid efforts in elementary school. I felt rebuffed at my attempts to make friends and quit trying easily. Looking back - some of it was bullying while some was gentle teasing. So I didn't even try in middle school.

It was hard. I felt depressed fairly often and occasionally angry.

But looking back now there are times I almost wish I could go back to being invisible. One of the things I learned about myself, is that - to myself - I'm a pretty interesting person. I like me. Sure, no one else seemed to but I still did  :). Time by myself became necessary. To decompress and to meditate. I had plenty of time to enjoy reading, playing Barbies (yes I played with them 'til I was 17...I loved styling their hair), decorating and redecorating my room on a dime, teaching myself some rudimentary cooking, taking walks, making mudpies (really), going on bike rides, collecting stickers and whatnot.

I tell my own kids two things when it comes to friends and their own personalities: "It's better to have no friends than bad friends" and "Only the boring are bored".

In high school things changed to the extent that people seemed to want to make friends with me and I wasn't interesting in having more than a few friends. Clingy people were 'out'. I wasn't clingy and can't tolerate people like that. At all. However my need for 'alone time' continued to the extent that I would fib and tell my friends I wasn't allowed to go out but in reality I just needed to be alone. It was easy if I was staying home, harder if I went to the mall to go shopping by myself or to the movies all alone. I hoped I wouldn't get caught. It never bothered me if my friends planned stuff w/each other w/o me. If they were doing something with each other I'd think 'great, maybe I'll go the beach...' Having an afterschool job helped tremendously at learning to interact with people and breaking through my natural shyness.

So advice: Enjoy being by yourself by taking up hobbies, volunteering, a job, etc. Make yourself interesting and other people will be drawn to you. Try to learn and apply social cues. Show personal interest but don't interrogate. It's harder to be alone when you're a true extrovert but even extroverts need to take the time to meditate on things.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: LadyL on March 27, 2013, 08:27:36 AM
6) If you're not "clicking" with a group / person, then move on. Recognise that sometimes it's no one's fault, but you just aren't a good match. And remember that some groups are more clique-ish than others. But hanging around a group in the hopes that you'll "wear them down" isn't going to work. In fact, it can be very demoralising. If, after a few months, you haven't made any proper friends within that group (and by "proper friends", I don't just mean people who are nice to you. I mean people who you can email, phone, and hang out with socially), it's time to move on.

THIS.

LordL and his twin brother dealt with being high school outcasts very differently. LordL accepted that the cliquish "cool kids" weren't going to accept him, and found other friends (who he is still friends with to this day). His brother spent all of high school trying to fit in and win the cliques over. He ended up making himself a bigger target for bullying by trying so hard with people who were petty, cruel, and just didn't want to be friends with him.  These days, LordL is outgoing and friendly, and is comfortable with himself. His brother, on the other hand, still holds a lot of bitterness and resentment towards society because of how he was treated in high school. His lingering insecurity leads to bombastic showboating behavior, which turns people off and further isolates him. Given that they are identical twins I think a huge part of why their personalities are so different now is because of their experiences in high school.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: cattlekid on March 27, 2013, 08:57:47 AM
I would go with three pieces of advice:

1.  It gets better.

2.  Nothing in high school matters in 20 years.

3.  You'd be surprised how many people are fighting their own battles.  25 years down the road, issues that afflicted several of my high school classmates have since come to light.  I now actually feel bad that I just thought that they were nasty people in high school, not realizing that they carried burdens of their own.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Zilla on March 27, 2013, 09:01:31 AM
I also think rather than trying to insert yourself into a group, get involved in something like volunteer work, clubs, etc. Something with activities, and you might be surprised at how many friends you find there.


This is the advice I give my girls.  If you don't fit the "popular" girl mold and instantly attract friends, it's hard to make friends.  But joining stuff that you enjoy doing such as an academic club, or sport etc.  It's much easier to friend people that way.  Even a karate class or dance etc.  Whatever you like to do.


I hate that advice you got or the "just be yourself they will flock to you!" and when they don't, then what? 
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Sharnita on March 27, 2013, 09:05:10 AM
I agree it does get better but I think you need to ne cautious with that. For some kids hearing that it will get better in a year or two or four years isn't reassuring, it is telling them they need to put up with whatever they are.suffering for that long. If they are really unhappy then that just sounds terrible. Tell them yhings will get better but ask how you  might help in the  meantime.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on March 27, 2013, 09:30:28 AM
6) If you're not "clicking" with a group / person, then move on. Recognise that sometimes it's no one's fault, but you just aren't a good match. And remember that some groups are more clique-ish than others. But hanging around a group in the hopes that you'll "wear them down" isn't going to work. In fact, it can be very demoralising. If, after a few months, you haven't made any proper friends within that group (and by "proper friends", I don't just mean people who are nice to you. I mean people who you can email, phone, and hang out with socially), it's time to move on.

THIS.

LordL and his twin brother dealt with being high school outcasts very differently. LordL accepted that the cliquish "cool kids" weren't going to accept him, and found other friends (who he is still friends with to this day). His brother spent all of high school trying to fit in and win the cliques over. He ended up making himself a bigger target for bullying by trying so hard with people who were petty, cruel, and just didn't want to be friends with him.  These days, LordL is outgoing and friendly, and is comfortable with himself. His brother, on the other hand, still holds a lot of bitterness and resentment towards society because of how he was treated in high school. His lingering insecurity leads to bombastic showboating behavior, which turns people off and further isolates him. Given that they are identical twins I think a huge part of why their personalities are so different now is because of their experiences in high school.

I think this is a very important point.  I was not part of the popular crowd, but I had a few good friends and we were happy being on the fringes and being our nerdy, geeky selves.  But I've seen other kids who were so desperate to be part of the "in crowd" that they were exposing themselves to a lot of cruel and bullying behaviors.  Instead of worrying about not fitting in with the right crowd, it is worth it to take some time to look around and see if there are other "fringe" people you can be friends with.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: audrey1962 on March 27, 2013, 09:43:16 AM
I would advise joining a club, church, theatre group, volunteer group or other social activity that includes many of your peers. Oh, and maybe a part-time job, too.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on March 27, 2013, 09:43:28 AM
I would go with three pieces of advice:

1.  It gets better.

2.  Nothing in high school matters in 20 years.

3.  You'd be surprised how many people are fighting their own battles.  25 years down the road, issues that afflicted several of my high school classmates have since come to light.  I now actually feel bad that I just thought that they were nasty people in high school, not realizing that they carried burdens of their own.

I like this.  I would add 1 more.

4. The Best Years of Your Life are still yet to come. 
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 27, 2013, 09:56:03 AM
I mentioned in the other thread that in school I was in the "middle tier"--not popular, but not an outcast either. I was notable for getting good grades but otherwise I kept my head down, stuck to my own friends (whom I wasn't necessarily that close to, but they were the "least non-compatible" kids in my small school), and wasn't interested in doing social stuff anyway. It seems kind of awful to say, "Keep your head down, don't try to reach beyond your circle." But, thinking back, a number of the kids I saw who were bullied or ostracized (especially girls) were the ones who really, really wanted to be in the popular groups, and made themselves clingy, embarrassing pests by hanging around the popular girls whenever they could.

So I would say, if you want to be friends with someone/a group, ask yourself why first. If it's just because they're popular and pretty and throw cool parties--that's not a good basis for a friendship. (Or if you keep trying to "befriend" a popular boy because you think he's cute and cool, without knowing anything else about him.) Find people you have something in common with first--you see them reading a book you like or wearing a shirt for a band you like, or you're both in a club together. Kids can smell desperation a mile away, it's like blood to a shark.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 27, 2013, 10:17:48 AM
Hum, maybe a two part answer, first it's nice to explain to shy teenager that 'virtual' friendships are still friendships. It's so much easier to find people with the same interests in the internet that being a part of a forum is a great way to socialise and meet new people.
Face-to-face interaction is always nice, but for some people it's not the answer.

Very true. I wish I'd had a few more internet options back in the 1990s. :)  Today ... maybe it would be different. Being a sci-fi-loving, fantasy-reading geek in a small town back then just made me unbearably different.

The one thing I would love to tell then-me: Don't change for anyone. Your real friends will like you the way you are, geeky hobbies and all. :D And your DH will, too.

This is what I try to teach my boys.  My oldest, sweetly dorky as he can be, (he compares himself to Neville Longbottom) thankfully hasn't been the subject of much teasing or ridicule.   Our middle son on the other hand is a bit shy and socially awkward, and doesn't have many friends and some that he really enjoyed playing with moved away but he does get along with some kids in his class.  However they do have friends at church.

My mother was always encouraging me to try and fit in and do what it took to fit in but I really didn't want to.  So I want the boys to know they shouldn't change who they are to fit in because real friends will like them for who they are.

And POD to the internet friends thing.  As an 80's-90's student, I would have liked to have that outlet for making friends.  It's a lot easier to find people with whom you have things in common.  I met one friend because we both had husbands in the military at the time, found out we lived on the same base, and had a similar sense of humor.    Another friend I met through fanfiction.net because we both wrote POTC fanfiction.   It was at a time when people were calling me "weird and immature" for loving the Pirates of the Caribbean movies so it was nice to meet someone in their 50's who was as obsessed as I am.  :)

My mother kept pushing me to make "real friends" because apparently friends you communicate with online aren't "real" friends.  Course by now we've seen each other 3 times and talk on the phone at least once a week.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: nuit93 on March 27, 2013, 10:21:25 AM
I also think rather than trying to insert yourself into a group, get involved in something like volunteer work, clubs, etc. Something with activities, and you might be surprised at how many friends you find there.


This is the advice I give my girls.  If you don't fit the "popular" girl mold and instantly attract friends, it's hard to make friends.  But joining stuff that you enjoy doing such as an academic club, or sport etc.  It's much easier to friend people that way.  Even a karate class or dance etc.  Whatever you like to do.


I hate that advice you got or the "just be yourself they will flock to you!" and when they don't, then what?


Yeah, I heard that advice too.

It...doesn't work.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: magicdomino on March 27, 2013, 10:34:18 AM
I also think rather than trying to insert yourself into a group, get involved in something like volunteer work, clubs, etc. Something with activities, and you might be surprised at how many friends you find there.


This is the advice I give my girls.  If you don't fit the "popular" girl mold and instantly attract friends, it's hard to make friends.  But joining stuff that you enjoy doing such as an academic club, or sport etc.  It's much easier to friend people that way.  Even a karate class or dance etc.  Whatever you like to do.


I hate that advice you got or the "just be yourself they will flock to you!" and when they don't, then what?


Yeah, I heard that advice too.

It...doesn't work.

No, it doesn't.   :P

My advice to a high school outcast:  Ignore anyone who tells you that these "are the best years of your life."  Either they were one of the cool kids, or their current life is nothing to envy. 
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 27, 2013, 10:56:29 AM
I always liked the quote from Dr. Seuss.  "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." 

One thing that was kind of a issue between myself and my mother is that she was a very social extrovert. She really didn't get that while I didn't have a lot of friends, I had maybe one or two really close friends and some acquaintances and was just fine with that.   And other than maybe two friends that I had growing up, she really didn't like many of my friends as they were just too odd for her but I loved 'em cause they were odd and in return they seemed to enjoy my quirks too.

So my advice to a preteen-teen or really anyone dealing with that isn't that people will flock to you if you're yourself, but rather the ones who are drawn to you are more likely to be good friends since they're drawn to the real you.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 27, 2013, 11:03:55 AM
My time was so painful--I was one of the two most unpopular girls all throughout those four years--that I have no advice to pass on. The only thing I can say is that it does end even when it feels it never will. It ends when you graduate and you begin to find that so much more exists for you than existed then.

I will add to this that while you may not realize it now, the stuff that was so very important such as wearing the right clothes, being seen doing certain things, and so on, will not make one teeny bit of difference when you're older.  Now, I could care less if something comes from Macys v. Walmart, and so on. But back then, oh no, i HAD to wear what everyone else did.

I laugh at myself now, but growing up we had a big dog, a mastiff. Who would not walk on a leash for anything, so we simply let her out in the yard, where she did her business, but never left it, as she was a big wussy. My job, which I hated with every fiber of my being, mainly because I was terrifed someone I knew would come down the street and see me, was to scoop the poop. With a giant pooper scooper we had. The backyard was fine, but the dog didn't have a fave area, so I would have to do the front as well. I had this paralyzing fear of beeing seen, so I'd skip the front and get yelled at.

Now, how on earth could I have been so silly? but back then it  was a HUUUUUUUGE thing for me.  But it was huge, like a giant set of tongs and I was sure anyone who saw me that I knew would laugh and make fun of me and that would be the end of me.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: wolfie on March 27, 2013, 11:05:09 AM
It seems kind of awful to say, "Keep your head down, don't try to reach beyond your circle."

It does sound mean when you put it that way. But it isn't so much a "don't reach for the high fruit - you don't deserve it" so much as - you can't like and be friends with everyone and if someone doesn't like you or want to be your friend then you should look elsewhere. You can look to expand your social circle and give someone a try - but if you are rejected then going back time and time again is just a recipe for disaster.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: heartmug on March 27, 2013, 11:05:32 AM
I think the advice I would give is if you are the one doing all the work in the friendship and are doing all of the inviting, you need to take a step back.  If people keep making excuses on why they cannot attend activities you suggest, pay attention. 

People who want to spend time with you will make an effort to do so.

Great advice.  I have done this with a certain relative and it is very telling.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 27, 2013, 11:07:41 AM

3.  You'd be surprised how many people are fighting their own battles.  25 years down the road, issues that afflicted several of my high school classmates have since come to light.  I now actually feel bad that I just thought that they were nasty people in high school, not realizing that they carried burdens of their own.

I totally agree with this. I'm slightly older than you are; going on 30 years, but after my 25th reunion, and reconnecting with a bunch of people, I had no idea how good I had it at home. One girl, who was gorgeous, popular, etc. apparently came from a home with abusive, alcoholic parents. And rumor has it today, and some proof, that she has ahem, her own S&M "business".

Others had parents with similar, or other issues, so don't believe what you see and hear. Some people are just better at hiding things than others.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Emmy on March 27, 2013, 11:45:26 AM
I had a few friends and some comfortable acquaintances in high school, but I never really felt like I fit in with a group.  It seems like I clicked with a few individuals, but was still on the outside of the group.  In the years past high school, I realize that I am not a huge 'group' person.  I am naturally quiet and tend not to shine in large groups and realize that is just who I am and am content with that now.  It's just hard when most of school seems to revolve around groups.  My friends tend to be individuals I kept in touch with from various places over the years or small groups, but I still don't feel comfortable with large groups.

I like the advice that 'it does get better'.  Even if it did seem like it would last forever, knowing it would eventually end and there was light at the end of the tunnel was helpful.

There is no 'magic formula' for making friends or fitting in.  Sometimes you just don't click with certain people and that's how it is.  It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you.  However, it is still best to avoid being too clingy and being obsessed with somebody because they are pretty, cool, or popular without having anything in common.  Maybe the person could make an amusing observation to the person next to them that would let the person know they are friendly and open for discussion, but not try to insert themselves in a group without being invited.

I also really like the idea of joining an outside activity, especially if your school is very small.  In a small school where things are 'set', it can be really hard to break out of the status quo and make new friends.  Finding an outside interest would introduce a student to others who share the same interest and allow them a new setting where they can talk to people without having their high school reputation follow them around.  Even if it doesn't help much in school, an outside activity they enjoy is a morale booster. 

Siamesecat, I can relate to your feelings.  One of my biggest fears in school was running into somebody I knew from school, especially somebody in the popular group.  If that happened, I would do the awkward 'look away and pretend I didn't see them' thing and worry they would tell the whole school they saw me and make fun of me.  My dad collected classic cars (and still does) and I remember ducking down in the seat of the car when we would ride around town so nobody would see me.  The worst was when he drove to school and dropped me off and honked the horn before the school doors opened so there was a bunch of students outside.  I realize how silly that all sounds, but if my DD starts to act just as silly when she reaches that age, I'll remember just how hard it was and have some pity on her.

Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 27, 2013, 12:03:06 PM
I had a few friends and some comfortable acquaintances in high school, but I never really felt like I fit in with a group.  It seems like I clicked with a few individuals, but was still on the outside of the group.  In the years past high school, I realize that I am not a huge 'group' person.  I am naturally quiet and tend not to shine in large groups and realize that is just who I am and am content with that now.  It's just hard when most of school seems to revolve around groups.  My friends tend to be individuals I kept in touch with from various places over the years or small groups, but I still don't feel comfortable with large groups.

 
Siamesecat, I can relate to your feelings.  One of my biggest fears in school was running into somebody I knew from school, especially somebody in the popular group.  If that happened, I would do the awkward 'look away and pretend I didn't see them' thing and worry they would tell the whole school they saw me and make fun of me.  My dad collected classic cars (and still does) and I remember ducking down in the seat of the car when we would ride around town so nobody would see me.  The worst was when he drove to school and dropped me off and honked the horn before the school doors opened so there was a bunch of students outside.  I realize how silly that all sounds, but if my DD starts to act just as silly when she reaches that age, I'll remember just how hard it was and have some pity on her.

I am the same way. I have friends, but not a huge group like some people do. I struggle with staying in touch too, but am working on that.  And next month am attending my 25th college reunion.

And even after HS and college, when my parents were still living in my hometown and i'd be there, I'd be terrified of seeing someone from HS for fear my old insecurities would come back. I was also terrified of going to my HS reunion a few years back, but forced myself too. I'm so glad I did! No one, aside from a few from the "old" cliques of girls, cared who you were, waht you looked like, and so on. It was soo much fun. And I'm eagerly anticipating my 30th next year!
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: lilfox on March 27, 2013, 12:45:42 PM
I read somewhere (in all the bullying articles recently) that one major helpful thing in a kid's life is to have at least one friend, someone you believe looks forward to seeing you as much as you like to see them.

But I think at times, you'll have to be that person for yourself.  And that goes along with the advice to be kind to yourself and to explore your own interests for the sake of developing into a person YOU like.

And I say that as someone over 20 years out of high school who is no longer in real touch with anyone from there, only one person from college, and only a handful since then.  It's still true that when you have no close friends for a time, you can do some introspection on how to be a better friend in the future but you can also try to put aside worrying that you're a loser loner outcast and use the pent-up energy on learning or doing something new.

To offer another Dr Seuss quote: "Alone is something you'll be quite a lot."  Alone can be sad but it can also give you the space to do what you like simply because you like it and that can be a very positive thing.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: TurtleDove on March 27, 2013, 01:00:56 PM
I liked lilfox's post.  I think the best advice is to focus not on whether other people like you but rather YOU like you.  (General you) Be a person you want to spend time with, because you will be spending all of your time with you (and other people, but YOU are the one constant).  I would imagine that depending on what your interests are, if you pursue what really interests YOU as opposed to what you think should interest you, you will find like minded people and viola...friends.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Thipu1 on March 27, 2013, 01:03:01 PM
Wow!  So many wonderful stories have been shared on this thread.  Thank you all.

I think the saddest people I have met were those who say that 'the best years of their lives' were in High school.  On a recent vacation, a table-mate who had to be in his 70s, asked another table-mate of about the same age how many letters he had earned in High school athletics. 

Both men were perfectly in control of their wits but this does strike me as an instance of 'second childhood'. FTR, the other man laughed the question off because, before retirement, he was a genuine  rocket scientist with NASA and sports wasn't his first concern in High school. 

High school was Okay.  I wasn't in with the cool kids but I had a few friends.  We went to see the Beatles at Shea together and also attended a Stones concert right before 'Satisfaction' was released. 
We had a certain cachet of our own and liked being the weird kids.

Sure we would have enjoyed being invited to the cool parties but we weren't.  As my Grandparents would have said, 'In my day you made your own fun'.  We did.
 
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: scansons on March 27, 2013, 01:03:10 PM
Looking back at that time for me, here is the advice I would give myself then.

1. Stop looking for deep and abiding friendships.  Those happen naturally, or they don't, and you can't force it.  At the time I desperately wanted a BFF and those just aren't very common.  I think I took a lot of nice people the wrong way because they only wanted a friendship, or an acquaintanceship, and nothing more.  And I probably didn't appreciate what I did have. 

2. Almost nobody is looking at you and laughing.  That is to say.  As long as you don't catch them doing that, they probably aren't.  You are being way harder on yourself than anyone else.  Stop it.
They are all more way interesting to themselves than you are too them.  Just like you are way more interesting to you then they really are to you.

3. Assume nothing when it comes to other people.  Mostly you'll be wrong if you do.

4. Hold on.  It gets better.  Which is to say that I had almost no friends in high school.  But many many friends I've met during college and since.   

(Also, weirdly, many of the people in high school who I though hated me, proved that was not true at all once we were all adults.  There was even one I worked with for four years, and had lunch with almost every day for most of that time.  In high school, I thought she hated every gut I had.  Turned out it wasn't me.  Or it wasn't just me.)
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 27, 2013, 01:31:23 PM
I liked lilfox's post.  I think the best advice is to focus not on whether other people like you but rather YOU like you.  (General you) Be a person you want to spend time with, because you will be spending all of your time with you (and other people, but YOU are the one constant).  I would imagine that depending on what your interests are, if you pursue what really interests YOU as opposed to what you think should interest you, you will find like minded people and viola...friends.

Definitely! I am very solitary, and enjoy it most of the time. My mom, however, still presses me about "being social" but quite honestly, at this point in my life its not so much that I am painfullly shy as I was as a child, but I enjoy my solitude. I really do.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Girlie on March 27, 2013, 03:17:35 PM
Ooh, boy.... My story is a long one, so I'm not going to tell it. I'll just say that I was a very lonely outcast who would have liked having someone to eat lunch with.

That being said, I did get an awful lot of reading done. :)

My best advice is not to let it get you down. Highschool may seem like forever (and it does seem to drag when you're in it), but it's four years out of your life. Think about that in percentages. If you live to be one hundred, then it's a very tiny portion of your life.

My other piece of advice: unhappy people will do whatever they can to drag you down with them. Bullying is about power and placement. Calling someone ugly, or fat, or making up lies about them is nothing more than a reflection of the bully's character, and it has NOTHING to do with the truth about the victim. Do not be a bully, stand up for others, and stand up for yourself. There is nothing shameful or wrong in not allowing harrassment to continue, because no one deserves to be treated in that way. Hold your head high, and look people in the eyes. Being an "outcast" is not the same thing as being weak.

Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Emmy on March 27, 2013, 10:21:07 PM
My other piece of advice: unhappy people will do whatever they can to drag you down with them. Bullying is about power and placement. Calling someone ugly, or fat, or making up lies about them is nothing more than a reflection of the bully's character, and it has NOTHING to do with the truth about the victim. Do not be a bully, stand up for others, and stand up for yourself. There is nothing shameful or wrong in not allowing harrassment to continue, because no one deserves to be treated in that way. Hold your head high, and look people in the eyes. Being an "outcast" is not the same thing as being weak.

I like that.  It is important for people to remember that because bullying victims often feel worthless and that somehow what the bully is saying must be true.  Several years after high school, I was seeing somebody who would insult me verbally.  Whether he was insecure and wanted me to feel bad about myself so I would think I couldn't do better (I did much better btw) or he really felt this way, I wished I realized that he was problem and not me during those weeks I was doubting myself.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Slartibartfast on March 28, 2013, 01:58:39 AM
I know this wouldn't make a moving feel-good movie, but . . .

there's "being yourself" and there's being yourself.  One involves keeping your own style but generally finding socially acceptable ways to display it; the other is aggressively saying "If you don't like me exactly as I want to be, F you."  The former will (eventually) help you find friends; the latter not so much.  Examine what it is that makes you unpopular and try to make an unbiased judgement about how important that element is to you - is your right to insert broadway show tunes into conversation whenever possible a part of "who you are" you need to cherish, or is it a habit you could tone down if it's keeping you from making friends?

Along the same lines - in high school, your friends define your social standing.  In the rest of the life, they define your quality of life - if you don't have friends you can trust, you won't have an outlet to find a significant other, let off steam, cry on someone's shoulder, etc.  And throughout life but especially in high school, you and your friends are kind of a package deal when it comes to meeting new people.  It is absolutely your choice if you want to be friends with the emo/theater/jock/whatever crowd, but that choice limits the other friends you can make.  Some people seem to naturally be able to straddle the clique divides, but odds are you aren't one of them  :-\  Long story short, if your social group is causing you more stress than enjoyment and you didn't really want to be spending time with them anyway, creating some distance can actually help your social life in the long run.

All that said, it also comes down to luck  :P  I was lucky - the popular girls my year were actually pretty nice, good students, and were in choir with me for years.  I was never super-popular but they accepted me for my singing voice - and my year, being a good student wasn't a bad thing because they were good students too.  (All three of the most popular girls are now elementary school teachers, actually, and I bet they're fantastic at it.)  My sister was a year behind me, and it was a totally different story - the popular girls her year were cheerleaders without a whole lot else going for them, and they had a "mean girls" clique straight out of Hollywood.  My sister's best friend was the biggest social reject in the school, and since my sister refused to sever that friendship, her social life suffered a lot.  I think if she had been in my year it wouldn't have been anywhere near as much of a big deal.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Ceallach on March 28, 2013, 02:13:41 AM
I would say instead of working to get people to be friends with you, work on being the kind of person you'd like as a friend.

I think my biggest problem as a teenager was really that I was self absorbed and self conscious, it was all about me. It was about desperately trying to fit in and get cool friends.  Once I grew up I started working on being a better, more well rounded individual and suddenly found people liked me. Similarly, I was desperate for a boyfriend in high school, but it was when I had cooled off and stopped pushing it, and in fact had started planning an exciting single future, that I suddenly met my DH (9 years ago now!).  Sometimes we focus so obsessively on what we want that we can't see the wood for the trees.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: magician5 on March 28, 2013, 02:33:12 AM
Let me recommend meetups.com for suggestions on local mutual-interest gatherings, hikes, lectures, etc.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Cami on March 28, 2013, 07:50:04 AM
When I was in middle school, I was the outcast, the cling on. It was especially difficult because I was in the same position at home because my parents and my sister formed a tight circle of three and I was the afterthought on all occasions. After a particularly horrendous 7th grade experience, I decided that I couldn't do anything about my home life, but I did have the power to change my school life. I realized that I was well-liked and popular in Girl Scouts, so I had to figure out what was so different about school. I distanced myself from the people with whom I'd been trying to be friends and decided to:

1. Stop worrying about making friends, especially "cool" friends. Just let it happen or not the way I did in Girl Scouts.  Just calm down and stop worrying about it. (In other words, remove that reek of desperation.)
2. Just be friendly with everyone untili such time as they proved themselves unworthy of my regard.
3. Just be myself -- which is what I was in Girl Scouts.
4. Focus on the activities where I was accepted -- in particular, Girl Scouts.

By the time I graduated from high school and my parents insisted upon having a graduation party (I'd refused, because I had visions of my 13th birthday party debacle -- the catalyst for my epiphany), not only did I have a full house, but what strikes me now is that I had people there from EVERY group in school. The jocks, the drama geeks, the math geeks, the people who didn't stand out in any way, etc. Even my mother who never noticed much about my life commented that I seemed to be friends with everyone and a girl standing next to her piped up and said, "That's because Cami is friendly WITH everyone."

I gave that advice to my dd and she found it worked for her as well.

Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Gyburc on March 28, 2013, 12:23:27 PM
I was the quintessential high school outcast. I was bullied quite nastily by a few people and largely ignored by most of the others. This was partly because I was one of those annoying students who knew all the answers, partly because I was a late developer and pretty self-conscious as a result.

Probably the biggest thing, though, was that I was interested in things that no-one else was interested in - instead of pop music, I listened to Wagner and Vaughan Williams, instead of going to parties and pubs I went to church and sang in choirs. I didn't watch the TV programmes that everyone else did, I read fantasy books, drew pictures and tried to write stories (very badly). In hindsight, I was a pretentious little twerp.  :)

If I were to give my younger self advice now I would say this: It's absolutely OK for you to be different and to be interested in different things. But don't forget that a lot of your classmates are secretly feeling insecure and uncertain about themselves (just like you are) and are trying to deal with it by fitting in with the crowd. Of course they are going to be wary of someone who makes such a point of being different and 'weird'.

I would say, wait until you are a bit older, and get away from school. You will find that there really are other people out there who are square pegs in round holes, who like 'weird' books and 'weird' music, and who are secure enough in themselves to cope with the idea of someone else being different.

And I'm tremendously grateful that it's less common for people here in the UK to talk about high school being the 'best years of your lives'. Total piffle.  :)
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: NyaChan on March 28, 2013, 12:57:08 PM
I was very shy and convinced that no one liked me.  I found friends in Chorus and Madrigals as a freshman and was very upset when my parents forced me to quit Madrigals the next year as I thought (rightly I found out) that these friendships would fade away without proximity as so much time was involved in participating.  Then a year of misery afterwards, I found a great group of friends and learned to be more outgoing once I felt comfortable.

The sticker - one of those friends told me our senior year that another girl she knew and I thought was one of the cool kids had mentioned to her that she was surprised at how nice and friendly I was as previously she thought I purposefully kept to myself at school and didn't want to interact with others.  I had no idea at the time that my self defense mechanism, sitting to the side, bringing a book, and reading while everyone else hung out with friends that at the time I didn't have was interpreted that way.  Learned a lesson and made me feel a lot better.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 28, 2013, 01:05:34 PM
For me the best thing was going to college, as I attended a university 2.5 hours from my hometown.   Totally new people who didn't have an opinion formed about me since the 2nd grade.  I was able to be myself and get along just fine with others. :)
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Ms_Cellany on March 28, 2013, 03:00:09 PM
I think the advice I would give is if you are the one doing all the work in the friendship and are doing all of the inviting, you need to take a step back.  If people keep making excuses on why they cannot attend activities you suggest, pay attention. 

People who want to spend time with you will make an effort to do so.

I was extremely blind to social clues and eventually made two rules for myself that have worked out well:

-- If you're telling a story and get interrupted, don't resume the story unless someone asks you to.
-- If someone is looking away a lot, or leaning away, they want to leave. Let them.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 28, 2013, 04:29:05 PM
I know this wouldn't make a moving feel-good movie, but . . .

there's "being yourself" and there's being yourself.  One involves keeping your own style but generally finding socially acceptable ways to display it; the other is aggressively saying "If you don't like me exactly as I want to be, F you."  The former will (eventually) help you find friends; the latter not so much.  Examine what it is that makes you unpopular and try to make an unbiased judgement about how important that element is to you - is your right to insert broadway show tunes into conversation whenever possible a part of "who you are" you need to cherish, or is it a habit you could tone down if it's keeping you from making friends?

I think this is really good advice. It kind of goes along with what I said earlier, in that it can be said/interpreted in a bad way or a useful way. In my post the advice was about asking yourself why you want to be friends with certain people who are in very different circles, and if you really have a solid basis for a friendship with them or if you just like them because they're popular--which can also be phrased as, "Keep your head down and don't try to reach out beyond your circle."

One of my co-workers for five long years was a guy, Mike, who wasn't inherently bad, but he'd been a social outcast since elementary school and even now reeked of desperation and insecurity, which he tried to camouflage by being an obnoxious know-it-all who couldn't handle the slightest bit of constructive criticism or advice. That meant people were trying to "CHANGE HIM" and he just wouldn't put up with it! Never mind the fact that healthy people grow, mature, evolve, adapt to changing circumstances, try new strategies if their current ones aren't working for them, and realize that friendship is a two-way street involving the occasional compromise.

Unlike a lot of these stories, I'm please to report that Mike did actually have a couple of friends here (though he wanted more, and a girlfriend); and that at the next place he worked, he met his current wife. :) But I think his adult life (not to mention my office life) would have been a lot less stressful if he'd been more self-aware and open to change--secure enough in himself to admit that he might need to change in small ways now and then.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Minmom3 on March 28, 2013, 07:57:38 PM
I also think rather than trying to insert yourself into a group, get involved in something like volunteer work, clubs, etc. Something with activities, and you might be surprised at how many friends you find there.

I had my girls in Girl Scouts.  It wasn't a perfect fit, but they liked it.  Then, we heard about 4-H, and joined up.  #1 was in 6th grade, #2 was in 5th, #3 would have been in 3rd.  It was excellent.  Animals and a lot of other people who loved them too.  It kept my kids busy for YEARS, and, they're still friends and talk to a lot of them, and now everybody is in their 20's, #1 is 28.  They have made friends that will probably last them for life.  Not necessarily as best buddies, but as people they know they have things in common with, people they still speak to.  My girls joined a sewing project, a dairy goat project, and a couple of other things I now forget, so they met a variety of children at the monthly club meetings and at the monthly project meetings. 

I know quite a few children who really learned how to interact with others because of 4-H.  Sometimes they got suggestions on behavior from age peers.  Sometimes from the project teen leader "Dude, you gotta STOP doing xxxx, it drives people nuts".  Sometimes it got worse and an adult had to sit with the parents and the child and discuss what behavior was not acceptable and what was not advisable.  Sometimes people got kicked out of projects or the entire club for behavior that caused enough trouble and got enough people angry.  (When you have livestock that belong to children, and all the children in the project are responsible for xxx, and certain families don't make sure their children do what they're supposed to - the welfare of the livestock can be at risk.  4-H doesn't mess around with those situations.)  But, it always ended with people being kicked out, it didn't start that way.  It always started as minimalist as possible, and only ramped up if it had to.  It didn't usually have to.

Not that I'm saying that 4-H is the be all and end all - but it's one of many ways children can do things with their peers and make friends.  Friends who will correct their behavior when needed.  Not all peer pressure is a bad thing...
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 28, 2013, 09:11:34 PM
I've found for my oldest son, being an acolyte (altar server) in our church has helped him to mature, and my middle son had his first chance to be an acolyte tonight.  He has ADHD and as such he does have a few difficulties controlling some of his impulses to just say whatever is on his mind or fidget.    However he did a great job tonight and was able to stand still and not goof off or fidget at all and followed instructions so I think it'll be good for him in learning to control himself for knowing that he can do it.

That and they've both found good friends in both the choir and the acolyte guild. 

I was in girl scouts from Brownies-early Seniors and got along with all the girls but made a few friends, some I'm still in touch with on fbook.  I also ran cross country in high school and played softball in middle school.  I wasn't terribly good at either sport but at least I could run and did enjoy the social aspect of it. 
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: #borecore on March 28, 2013, 09:43:56 PM
I was so afraid of everything, and unfortunately I don't think there's a way to tell anyone (but especially not a teenager), "Don't be scared!" and expect it to fix everything.

But a few things:
Worry about cultivating the friendships you have AND enjoy, not the ones you struggle through every minute of. Get in touch with people over vacations and breaks -- they're probably just as bored as you are.

It's OK to read all the time. Doing things alone and being lonely are separate things, and the former is really enjoyable if you want it to be.

If your family life stinks, get out of the house more. Or find after-school activities. It's good for building friendships and avoiding drama. It's OK to get involved in things you don't LOVE, too. Try more new things.

Friends you make outside school can be just as valuable as school friends.

It's not just OK not to have a boyfriend -- it's good! Don't date boys just because they ask  you out and you don't find them repulsive.

It's OK not to have a "BFF." Having several "OK" or "good" friends will do just fine. Spread yourself a little thinner.

Your mom is wrong, no one cares about your acne. They want people who look confident, not perfect.

It's good to avoid those who bullied you in middle school, but you don't have to go into frantic/fearful mode anymore. You know you're the better person, so be confident in that.

Avoid gossip. It's OK to walk away rather than get sucked in.

Be "weird" if you're weird, but don't use it as a defense mechanism.
Title: Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
Post by: TurtleDove on March 28, 2013, 09:45:55 PM
jmarvellous, that was very well put.