Dealing with Cliques

 

Remember

  • A clique is a tight-knit group of people that often have very specific rules about how members should behave.
  • You should NEVER feel pressured to be someone else or act a certain way to get the approval of others.
  • Speak up if you notice that the people you are hanging out with are mean to others.

If you've ever had to deal with cliques, you already know that it can be mildly annoying to really frustrating, and sometimes very hurtful. Learning ways to cope with cliques will help you realize that you don't need approval from a group to feel good about yourself.

What is a clique?

A clique is tight knit group of people that often have specific rules about how members should behave such as; the way someone should act, dress, or talk. People in a clique might also think it's cool to make fun of people outside of the clique. Instead of caring for each other and creating lasting friendships, sometimes people involved in cliques seem to only care about themselves and the things they are interested in. Cliques may target victims (who are not members of their clique) and tease and bully them for being different or sometimes for no apparent reason. Members of a clique may be more concerned about their social standing within the group rather than making friends.

 

Who belongs to cliques?

Cliques often affect people of all ages, and both guys and girls. They can be found in elementary school, middle school (especially), high school, college, and in the workplace.

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Replies to This Discussion

A clique is a tight-knit group of people that often have very specific rules about how members should behave.

Maybe this is off-topic, but the second I read that, my VERY FIRST association was to Atheism-Plus ... which I should mention parenthetically that I have NO use for.

Hah! I agree Loren.

It isn't just the workplace, it's also social groups and demographics that have cliques. Geeks/nerds have become cliquish in recent years. I've always found lesbians extremely cliquish.

I didn't know about that Prog Rock Girl.

I avoid cliques myself - that's why I am posting all this stuff. : )

Yes, I am trying to educate others on what the meaning of clique is and that it isn't a useful thing to belong to.

I avoid cliques.

I see Atheism+ in an entirely different light, Loren, as a group trying to raise consciousness about gender oppression in atheism.

Every movement has leaders. An online movement is more likely to have leaders who interact with one another, online especially, than for example the Civil Rights movement. I don't think that makes the Atheism+ movement a clique. Of course the group shares specific rules about how members should behave. Would the Civil Rights movement have welcomed members who behaved overtly racist?

Our desire to eliminate sexism in atheist groups manifests caring, even though our common purpose isn't friendship. Just because the caring generalizes to all female victims of sexist behavior instead of paying attention only to individual victims, doesn't make it less caring.

Instead of caring for each other and creating lasting friendships, sometimes people involved in cliques seem to only care about themselves and the things they are interested in.

I haven't seem female Atheism+ leaders tease or bully others "for being different or for no apparent reason". Remember the distinction between behavior and person. Feminists are angry about sexist behavior, we focus on behavior and the attitudes that justify it, not on putting down men for being men. Behavior and attitudes can change. We seek such change, not degradation of men.

Cliques may target victims (who are not members of their clique) and tease and bully them for being different or sometimes for no apparent reason.


I suggest you reexamine your first association. Perhaps you feel targeted or rejected as an individual. I assure you that is not the intent in Atheism+. If you were exposed to an expression from a feminist that sounded that way, please put it in context. I'm sure some individual white people were the subject of personal attack by angry African-Americans during the Civil Rights struggle. Those outiler behaviors did not represent the intent of the Civil Rights movement or its leaders. Social movements include entire populations with diverse personalities. There will always be some expressions that are extreme from a few participants, at the extreme ends of the bell curve. Judge the entire movement in context. You are smart.

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