Does Being Popular Guarantee Happiness?

Q: I would love to be popular. If I could just become popular, I would have lots of friends and feel good about myself. Tell me how to achieve instant popularity!

It’s easy to think once you are popular life becomes perfect and everything, including happiness, comes easily. Popular people seem to have it made. They appear to be ‘in charge’.

You may have heard the saying ‘the grass always looks greener on the other side.’ It does look greener until you get there and realize that even the ‘popular people’ have challenges. They may experience negative judgements, gossip, trying to keep up with one another, not feeling completely accepted etc.

Sometimes it’s too easy to define our self-worth for reasons outside ourselves – for example: ‘I’m acceptable, worthwhile and happy because I have so many friends.’ When your self-worth depends on the number of friends you have, it can end up creating unhappiness, especially if you don’t reach the magical number of friends you have decided will make you popular.

I have spoken to many students who are considered part of the ‘popular crowd’ who still struggle because they don’t feel truly accepted and liked by others or themselves. Being popular and having lots of friends does not guarantee happiness and that you will feel good about yourself.

Feeling good about YOU comes from truly believing that you are wonderful just the way you are! This comes from inside you, not from being popular or from the number of friends you have.

Your focus should be on have loving, accepting and supportive friends. I have learned that the quality of friendships you create is far more important than the quantity.

When you choose to completely accept who you are, regardless of social status, feeling good about yourself and your life follows.

Here is an Exercise to Help You Work Towards Feeling Good about Yourself

• Starting with ‘I choose to believe I am _____________’  fill in the blank with your answer to this question: What do you want to believe about YOU?

• Some examples of what you could put in the blank are: confident, loving, accepting, empathetic, kind etc.

• Once completed, place it somewhere in your room so that it is a visual reminder of what you want to believe about yourself, regardless of the number of friends you have or what others may say about you. Defining who you are and the character values that are important to you helps to build confidence, self-acceptance and resilience.

• Keep repeating what it is that you want to believe about YOU. This will remind you that: You are Enough, You are Important,  You are Somebody!

Choose not to put your happiness on hold because you are waiting to become ‘popular’. Instead, work on being the best person and friend that you can be. The more confident and accepting you are of yourself the easier it will be to attract great friends.

Take pride in who you are and what you have to offer!

Until next time…