Popular people: why I can't figure out how to be one of them
You'd think that the quest for popularity would have been left behind in the distant high-school past for someone of the mature age of nearly-forty (ie. me).
Mostly, I don't care about being 'popular', about being the life of the party. I am who I am. I'm serious, a bit nerdy, scheduled and organised and a bit shockable. I have a good sense of humour, but I also like my 10.30 bedtime and when it comes to fun vs sleep, I pick sleep every time. (Hey, let's be honest, in my world, sleep IS fun.)
But then, every so often, I meet a popular person and I feel this medium sized pang. "I wish she was my friend," I think. Some five year old part of me wants to take her and make her my very own best friend, someone who I know will always choose me and play with me at recess time.
Or, I wish that it was me that was being sought out, being fawned over. "I wish I was her," I think. (That's the fourteen year old part of me that wants 59 likes on every single facebook photo I post.)
Once I realise what I'm doing I give myself a little shake and get a grip. "You're a nice person, you have friends, and people like you," I think to myself. "And God loves you. He made you just how you are."
It's easier once I think better, but I'm still always shocked at the strength of my reaction - or even the fact that I still have that reaction at all.
And then I get to wondering: why are some people popular and others not? Is it cultivated? Is it natural? What is that 'it' quality that we all seem to recognise? Why do we look down on people who try to be popular?
Could you learn to 'dance' your way to popularity? I'm not so sure. I think it's a personality type combined with the right environment.
I can pretty much say for sure that I'll never be 'popular', but I know I'm loved. And that's good.