Humans are social animals. Some are a bit more social than others, of course, but we are all most comfortable in the company of our friends. But when does a group of friends turn into a clique? And what does it matter if it does surely not all cliques
are as horrible as the ones in books, TV and movies.
By most definitions, a clique is a very close, exclusive group of friends. The sticky point is the "exclusive". Nobody really cares if you have a best friend. They only care if you have a best friend who won't allow you to hang out with anyone else including your other friends.
How Does it All Begin?
Very few people would ever start out with the intention of making a group designed to hurt others or make them feel left out. Actually, I take that back few people over the age of twelve make clubs designed to hurt someone else. Surely, you've never started a "We Hate (insert name here) Club," have you? At least I would hope you haven't in the last few weeks.
Real cliques begin innocently enough. A small group of friends spend time together. They might give each other nicknames and have tons of inside jokes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Groups of friends start to go wrong when they exclude or hurt others.
If you meet a new girl and think she would be fun to hang out with, great! If your best friends say you would be a total loser to even thinking about hanging out with someone besides them even for one afternoon, not so great. If your friends seem to think they own you or you feel like you have to explain any other friends you might have, congratulations, you're in a clique.
Bad cliques are pretty easy to spot. The only time you might have trouble seeing one is if you're right in the middle of it. Try to take a step back every now and again to be sure you aren't heading into the dark side. Now, on a lighter note, there is such a thing as a good clique.
If you find a close group of friends who are genuinely nice to others and welcome others with open arms, you're in good hands. Not all small groups of friends are bad. Some are actually great. Working with friends to solve problems or help others is one of the best ways to feel good about yourself and grow closer to your friends.
A Clique by Any Other Name...
Some groups of friends just call themselves cliques because they like the name. Even here on The Doll Palace there are Cliques and Clubs
. These are not the exclusive snobby groups you might think of at your local junior high or high school. They are just groups of friends meeting each other and talking about dolls. Yes there are some restrictions to joining a few of the Doll Palace Cliques. But being a certain age is not the same thing as being mocked at school for the rest of your life because some kids don't like your personal style.
Having a close group of real friends is one of the greatest gifts you can ask for. Hopefully you and your friends would never make fun of others or pressure a friend to not be friendly with anyone else. Staying true to each other is wonderful, just be sure you're also staying true to yourself.