Author Topic: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)  (Read 3201 times)

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cattlekid

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2013, 09:57:47 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.

Zilla

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2013, 10:01:31 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? 

Sharnita

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2013, 10:05:10 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.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2013, 10:30:28 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.

audrey1962

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2013, 10:43:16 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.

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2013, 10:43:28 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. 

Lynn2000

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2013, 10:56:03 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.
~Lynn2000

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2013, 11:17:48 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.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

nuit93

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2013, 11:21:25 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.

magicdomino

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2013, 11:34:18 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. 

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2013, 11:56:29 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.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

siamesecat2965

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2013, 12:03:55 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.

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.

wolfie

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2013, 12:05:09 PM »
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.

heartmug

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2013, 12:05:32 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.

Great advice.  I have done this with a certain relative and it is very telling.
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

siamesecat2965

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Re: Advice for the high school outcast (Spin-off of Prom Cling-On)
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2013, 12:07:41 PM »

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.