Welcome to Our Clique!Jan 11, 2022
Whoa! Wow. Welcome to all our new subscribers! We are so glad you’ve joined Our Newsletter Clique - otherwise known as our Socially Appropriate-ish Family!
For those who just arrived, I’m worried you won’t get all our private jokes! But wait. Don’t leave. You are invited to read all the previous newsletters on our website so that you feel right at home in Our Clique.
The term “clique” has such a bad reputation. Often, parents are worried about their child’s role in a clique. Or they’re worried that their child is excluded from a clique. It’s almost unfair to the word, because really, there are benefits to being in a clique! But there are costs too. So, let’s do a cost/benefit analysis:
What does the word mean? A clique is a small group of people, with shared interests.
(BTW, that’s exactly us! 🎉 We are here because of a common interest – i.e., to learn about topics related to therapy, and to become more self-aware people, educators, spouses, friends, and parents.)
So, why do cliques have a bad rap?
Well, that’s because often (but not always!) cliques have the quality of exclusiveness, not allowing others to join and sometimes not allowing members to leave.
But - to be clear – that is not true about Our Socially Appropriate-ish clique. Because we totally want others to join!
We are a healthy clique.
Let’s talk about the qualities of a healthy clique:
• Community. Cliques can provide a sense community for people with shared hobbies, interests, views, or purposes.
• Togetherness. Cliques can provide people with a shared history, a sense of closeness and togetherness as they journey through life. (If you want a visual of these cliques, check out Miami in the winter!)
• Validation and Support. Cliques can provide a sense of validation and support for people going through a particular experience, either positive or negative.
You. Are. Not. Alone.
Ex: In our (amazing) school, Yeshiva Ktana of Passaic, Mrs. Karen Rosenfeld, LCSW runs a group children of divorced parents called “Banana Splits.” You cannot imagine how much strengthening and healing is done in that clique. They’re definitely a clique.
• Values. Cliques can have their own unique value system. In a complicated world, it’s helpful to stick with people who have the same value system as you.
Unhealthy cliques, on the other hand, can be hurtful to those outside and even to those in the clique. But what is so attractive about unhealthy cliques?
• Status. Instead of focusing on values, unhealthy cliques are about maintaining status and popularity.
In fact, members often give up their own identities and values in exchange for status. This is often subtle, and it is remarkably damaging.
• FOMO. Need I say more?
• Power. Belonging to and especially leading a clique makes people feel powerful. In fact, a leader may keep people out (or force existing members out) because they perceive a threat to their power. Because of this power dynamic, other members often use flattery and manipulation to maintain their status in the eyes of the Queen Bees (leader).
Obviously, cliques are complicated. So, to cut to the chase, here are some quick tips to help you and your children survive cliques, whether on the outside or the inside:
• Know yourself! Ask yourself or your child these types of questions:
- Do you want to be part of their group because you want to feel accepted by the clique members?
- Do you share the same values?
- Has your clique morphed into something that makes you uncomfortable?
- How does your clique influence how you think about yourself?
- How does your clique influence how others who are not part of the clique think about you?
- Does your clique prevent you from doing what you want to do or wearing what you want to wear?
- Do you feel like a better person in the clique? Or do you feel like they’re pulling you down?
• Stick with activities that make you feel good about yourself. Whether you are in the group or not - don’t let the group pressure you to give up things you love to do. For example, if you or your child enjoys working hard in school - be careful that the group doesn’t pressure you to stop. This pressure – to stop being you – can be overt but more often it is hidden and subtle.
• Keep social circles open as much as is reasonable. Be sure that you are not narrowly limited to one clique.
• Speak up if something makes you uncomfortable. Everyone should have a safe person who they can freely speak to. Ask your child to identify who that person would be if they needed to. If you’re on the outside of the clique, try asking for help from someone else Sometimes a teacher, for example, can help maneuver things, sometimes they can’t, but either way speaking about it can help.
• Confidence. (You should review our Newsletter on Confidence!) Your child (or you) should have a mind of their own. You can remind them that confidence is attractive and that it’s more important to be true to oneself than to be part of something that makes you uncomfortable. Be confident about what feels right to you.
Ok, that's enough for today! Review this with your families for great dinner conversations!
Until next week,
And a reminder! (Am I the Queen Bee here? Ha- I think I am!) Let me say clearly that we would love others to join Our Clique! Everyone should please forward this email to (at least) one friend and invite them to sign up here as proof that we’re not exclusive.
(Marketing well done? 😉)
Speaking of marketing, special shout out to Between Carpools! Thank you BCP!