Abandoning Your Clique
ABANDONING YOUR CLIQUE
So today, I was at work, and my co-worker was razzing me about being a hipster, which if you’ve met me, totally isn’t who I am. I live in Detroit, which at the moment of this writing is within the top 5 hipster cities in America, so it’s easy to just get labeled hipster based on both my generation, and my living location.
After a few minutes of just going back and forth, we got to talking about what it means to be a hipster. Honestly we got to talking about social cliques in general when he tells me “you know, you’re not actually a hipster, I know I get after you about that a lot but I feel like you’re more than just hipster, your an amalgamation of several different cliques. A little skater, a little hipster, a little geeky, it’s kind of cool.”.
That got me thinking, where did I pick up all these different styles of thinking and culture? We like to play so far into our cliques at times, that it’s hard to escape from the method of thinking that we’re all individuals, separate from the group.
We drift to the familiar, the safety in numbers, so too often, we drift towards cliques and we lose ourselves. When I was in high school, I mostly associated myself with the burnouts and outcasts, which was fine.
But after high school, I got into comic books, so I started to associate myself as a nerd during college. After college when me and my friends started to discover ourselves in a little town called Brighton, MI (about halfway between Detroit and Lansing), I was calling myself a creative on account of the comic book scripting work that I was learning and aspiring to do so vehemently at the time.
But somewhere along the way, when I was learning to better myself with socialization, and having fun, and making connections, I lost that connection with cliques until my co-worker had brought it up. It just lost its importance.
So after work, I sat down at the coffee shop near my apartment and started thinking about what my image might be to someone looking from the outside in. I think my colleague hit the nail on the head, I can’t peg myself in any one singular clique anymore.
In fact looking back, I don’t think that I ever could’ve pegged myself in any one clique at any point in my life, I just didn’t fit the description that was tagged with them. I’m not just a geek, not just a burnout, not just a creative, and yet I’m all of these things and more!
I’m Steven, my style is strangely reminiscent of the skater town in which I grew up, my manners draw from my gentlemanly upbringing, my hippie outlook comes from the culture that I epitomize. My rocker mindset comes from the culture I live in, my interests often come from the nerdy and artistic culture which I love, and my speaking habits come from the hipster atmosphere my generation has placed upon the city! I am all of these things, and yet none of them.
What I’m trying to get at here, is that living with the mindset of being in a specific caste/group/clique is not beneficial to becoming mature, outgoing individuals. They breed habits that lead to down a single road, assimilation with a group.
While you can often pick out those that do so, the people that catch our attention are people that go against the grain, who associate themselves with as many different groups as possible, INDIVIDUALS. Sure, we may hang out in groups of humans but when you come down to it, you are a singular person and wonderful in your own right.
Thinking in group mindsets is so limiting, so I’m asking you to step away from your cliques, and go watch the world around you. SEr what other things you might find yourselves interested in!
When you step out from the groups shadow, you’re shown that you’ll be accepted in a wide variety of places. You aren’t limited to a select number of places simply because of who you associate yourself with, you slowly build a confidence that comes with being self reliant.
More than that, you learn that the things that those other “cliques” are into, are pretty cool! You build friendships with more people, the people that interest you, and I can guarantee that they’ll be interested in you to!
Because they see that you’re not afraid to discover and find who YOU are, and aren’t so reliant on the people around you to define yourself! Even if you don’t inhabit these traits already, it shows the world around you that you want to be Genuine with yourself. To be Outgoing and Confident in your own way, a way that’s different than everyone else.
You’ve broken away from the group and have become a more stand out character in the grand scheme of life, because you don’t place a label on yourself anymore! You’re free to search for life as you see fit, and can choose which parts of things that you WANT to look like. Think like, do, see, and yearn for.
At that point when you look back a few years down the line and see who you were as part of a group, you chuckle to yourself just a little bit. For the briefest of minutes, and look forward to discovering the next thing that catches your eye.
For more on Confidence, check out this article!
For more on being Outgoing, check out this article!
For more on being Genuine, check out this article!