What makes certain kids popular?
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Post Sun, Apr 24 2022, 8:35 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I don’t mean stuff they have, I mean what about their personality draws other people to them?

And I don’t mean ideally what we should value in other people, I mean in elementary aged kids, how come some kids make it and some don’t? Can anyone break it down for me?

I don’t need my kids to be queen bees, but I do wonder how come they’re not the kids other kids are chasing, and they are very often left out. We have a nice house, lots of fun toys, my kids are dressed nicely, they are polite, not aggressive or wild. I buy them lots of cool prizes and gadgets and whatever little toys are trending .. But somehow they’re just not “it” kids.

I’m not looking for tips on dressing them better or what in toys to buy them. I love them to bits exactly how they are and don’t want to change them. I’m really just trying to understand.

Growing up my siblings and I were nebs, but it was understandable. Poor, divorced parents, not dressed well, not confident , small run down apartment , geeky etc. But my kids are growing up so differently and still…

I’m really just looking for sociological, psychological, anthropological perspective.

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Post Sun, Apr 24 2022, 8:42 pm
I believe charisma and Mazal plays a big part in making someone popular.
Something that helps for boys is being good at sports.
Being fun helps and being more talkative generally helps, although there are some quiet people as well that are popular.

Money, cool toys, and gadgets may attract friends , but that’s usually friends who are using you or taking advantage because they want to get something from you. That is not real popularity and those are not real friends. They don’t like you, they like what you own.
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 3:23 am
One of my kids is popular. She’s somewhat overweight, has frizzy hair, and is an okay but not great student. We’re a simple regular family so no fancy wardrobe or anything, and no special talents. So there’s nothing externally that would make you think she’d be popular. The secret? My dd has always liked people, it’s as simple as that. She asks people questions about themselves and remembers what they say. She really enjoys connecting with all types. You can just tell when you talk with her, that she likes you and accepts you the way you are. She also loves to arrange fun group activities, because she gets bored if she spends too much time by herself. So she’s always texting and calling people to hang out. She’s basically a connector. No one else in our family is like this - we’re all introverts who tend to overthink stuff.
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 7:22 am
OP: Do your kids care that they're not popular? Or is it just you?
If they don't care, it's damaging to try forcing it on them. As long as they have a couple close friends and healthy self esteem, nothing more is needed.
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 7:43 am
amother [ Maroon ] wrote:
So, I also have a few siblings who are hugely popular despite the fact that I'm an introvert.
And the thing is, their popularity does not include me. Apparently I'm not one of the people they feel the need to charm and be friendly to.

It's very hurtful TBH.

I'd give anything for less popular siblings that I could just have a nice normal friendly relationship with and not feel like I'm in HS trying to get in with the cool crowd.

Im in the same situation!
How do you live with it?
Its so painfull
I had to disconnect and cut off from them because it was too hard and had to struggle with self esteem.
I wish I would have the tools to have some what of a relationship with them without it effecting me.
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 8:25 am
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 9:22 am
One of my kids is very popular, the rest are not. Honestly, I buy one of my other kids much "cooler" clothes than him (most of my kids wear hand-me-downs from relatives, nothing special) because he wants them so that he can "fit in" better. He doesn't care. He honestly dresses more nebby than my other kids, his choice.

And yet kids gravitate towards him.

On Purim it is so obvious, and I feel kind of badly for my other kids since there's no way to ignore it. Our doorbell keeps ringing with kids from his class whose names I've never heard of before, but apparently they think he's their best friend. My other kids get a handful of shalach manos, and the one I mentioned above usually only gets from the kids he gives to. But this kid seems to get from practically every kid in his class! He feels badly about it and tries to downplay it in front of his siblings.

Which tells you what he's like. He's the kid who had the confidence in first grade to stand up to some fourth graders who were bothering his friends at recess. He's the kid who learns with another weaker boy every night because he feels badly for him and wants to help, and I need to force him to set boundaries and say no because he doesn't want to hurt this boy's feelings if he can't learn with him one night. He's the kid who decides he wants to learn a new skill, like an instrument or whatever, and then practices like crazy until he does it on such a high level that people are in awe of him. He's also very bright academically but very conscious of not making other people jealous of that. He throws himself into everything and is the opposite of lazy, and he cares about other people.

He also has anxiety that no one outside of our home ever sees. He feels like he's constantly in the spotlight and people are watching him, and he doesn't like that. He is always nervous that he's offended someone else or made someone feel bad.

I was the opposite of him as a kid...but I was happy. I had a handful of friends that shifted over the years, but that was all I needed. I was happy with that. I was friendly to other kids, but stayed far away from the popular ones because they intimidated me. And some of them weren't nice, so why would I want to be friends with them?

I agree with other posters on here. The goal should not be "to be popular." It should be "to have enough friends to feel good about yourself." For some people, that means one best friend and no more. And that's fine. My mother was much more outgoing than I am, and she always felt that I should "be more social" and hang out with other people. But if I had my two close friends, I had no interest in being social beyond that. I was happy, felt accepted, and was annoyed by my mother's insinuation that I should have more.

Just food for thought.
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 12:30 pm
Personality, my MIL was praising a cousin of her a teen who helped a lot after the shiva in Israel, she mopped the whole house and cleaned everything immediately up. She was the kind of girl I would have been jaelous at, because she is really easy going, is busy is not forcing herself to be on top, she would be the nice girl next door.
I'm really chaotic, I don't hang my coat for instance I place it somewhere... same with keys, bags I'm not really good at cleaning things up, or asking if I can do anything or whatever. Like at school I won't be the girl who will 'fix' it... This cousin is a nice girl, but a girl like me would be totally overshadowed by a girl like her...
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 1:05 pm
Popularity also changes. I know people who weren’t popular as kids that are now the ones everyone wants to be friends with as grownups.

One of my children was absurdly popular in elementary school, but now not so much in high school.

I always think you need one or two really good friends.
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 1:08 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Idk I find cultivating my kids interests tends to make them weird. Unless it’s a very popular interest. Like making slime for girls and basketball for boys. Nobody cares about woodworking and horseback riding and look at them funny if they’re into it.

It's not the actual interest that makes them popular, it's the confidence they gain by practising it.

It doesn't matter if no one else is interested in woodworking, if your child likes it, let them persue it, invest time in it and see themselves improving and gaining skills. That will boost their overall confidence and strengthen their sense of self, and that's what will make others more drawn to them.

Also, they might make friends at the woodworking or horseback riding lessons!
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 1:35 pm
My oldest daughter is extremely popular. She’s adorable and confident, can make a conversation with a wall and has a heart of gold. She’s a head counselor type. Extremely talented in a lot of areas and people just love being around her. She also has ADD and is on medication. Her teachers love her and get extremely frustrated at her at the same time. I think it’s her confidence and her golden heart that makes everyone love her. She’s also hilarious.
I often say that I am popular through my kids lol. I inevitably meet friends mothers. It’s funny to me because I was the bullied nerd as a kid.
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 4:41 pm
One of my teachers in high school told my mother at PTA that I was very popular. My mother came home and told me and I remember being shocked because I had never thought about it that way.
I wasn't one of the cool kids or one of the rich kids or even the smartest kid, but then I realized that I was one of the only kids in my grade of about 60 girls who was friends with everyone. I had a few close friends but I had no problem being paired with anyone in the grade to work on a project. I would schmooze with whoever I sat down next to, whether they were from the cool crowd or the nerdy crowd. I thought I was just a nice person but looking back, I see that I was confident with myself, socially adept and had the ability to relate and connect with everyone.
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Post Mon, Apr 25 2022, 6:41 pm
I think it's charisma, being outgoing, and the biggest part mazel.
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Post Tue, Apr 26 2022, 6:25 pm
Zahava94 wrote:
OP: Do your kids care that they're not popular? Or is it just you?
If they don't care, it's damaging to try forcing it on them. As long as they have a couple close friends and healthy self esteem, nothing more is needed.

OP, wondering the same as above
You mentioned your children being sad that they’re not included/ it’s hard to keep pursuing. Is this something your kids have discussed with you or is it your own insecurities and burn out? If it’s not something they’re bothered by, then I’d say let it rest. It’s hard as a parent to think our kids aren’t happy or to see from our vantage point that they’re not popular, but if it’s not bothering them then let it be.
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Post Tue, Apr 26 2022, 6:30 pm
dena613 wrote:
The externals you posted about in you r opening post do make a difference though.

Put-together and stylish extroverted people.tend to be more popular than extroverted people who aren't as stylish.

Not always true at all.
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Post Tue, Apr 26 2022, 6:32 pm
Popular girls are confident and nice, approachable.
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Post Tue, Apr 26 2022, 6:38 pm
Op same here with my kids.

I've found that the stinking snobbish kids with rotten middos, intense and complicated personalities are the popular ones.
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Post Tue, Apr 26 2022, 6:55 pm
I specifically am heartbroken for one dd being rejected or like Op says being the persuer totally affects her self esteem. She is basically all criteria posted above in order to win the popularity contest (extremely talented and musical, street smart, confident, entertaining, super people skills and social skills, cutest wittiest comments, dresses up to date and is prettypretty...)and I'm constantly hearing from adults how they go crazy over her yet she is outright rejected by the popular girls in her grade.
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Post Tue, Apr 26 2022, 9:49 pm
I’m a Morah and this is what I have carefully observed:
1) the “mazel” component is a real thing in that so much depends on the makeup of personality types in a class. A child will struggle socially in one class, only to develop strong friendships in another. So that’s something to daven for- “chaveirim toivim”, in Gut Fun Avrohom.
2) kids are drawn to confident kids, but to me that means comfortable in their own skin. That explains why some girls are “popular” even without the “stuff”. They come across as nice, welcoming, and mainly not needy. They will act age appropriately and not make themselves shmatas for others in the name of “being nice” and never saying no, even if they don’t want to do a favor and then resenting when it’s not reciprocated. Confidence means backbone.
Basically, “social intelligence” is really important and it has very little to do with how you dress and how much stuff you have.
But don’t stop davening for chaverim toivim!
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