Most of us wish to be accepted by others. It influences what we think about ourselves and others, how we feel and how we behave. All of us can’t be the most popular person in a group, but constantly thinking about it only makes matters worse.
1 Accept that each person is unique: Perceptions of being ‘cool’ in school are very narrow. What you must keep in mind is that everybody’s different and that’s what makes each of us special. Learn to appreciate these differences, and don’t try to be like the popular kid in class.
2 Each person has their strengths: While some people find it easier to talk to others, some are better at sport and some at maths. Every person has their own individual strengths. Identify your own strength.
3 Do not compare: Comparisons can cause rifts between the best of friends. Remember that it’s not your friend who is making the comparison but others who are not even involved in your relationship. Don’t let these thoughts of comparison ruin your friendship.
4 People don’t care much about your marks: People don’t make friends with you because of the marks you score. In fact, most of your friends wouldn’t even care. Look at the bigger picture. What matters is being a good person and being kind to others around you.
5 Share your thoughts with your buddies: If you want to develop better friendships, share your thoughts and time with them. Make time for them and listen and understand their thoughts and feelings.
6 Friendships develop over time: Friendships aren’t formed overnight. Give yourself and others some time. Don’t try too hard to fit in right away. What matter are the attachments you form over time.
7 No negative self-concepts: We all have our share of positive and negative attributes. But many of us have a tendency of focusing on everything bad about ourselves and completely disregarding the positives. Don’t get bogged down by negative thoughts. Don’t define yourself by what you think is not good enough about you.
8 Appreciate your friends’ good points: Comparisons cause envy. Instead, acknowledge the positives in your friend, appreciate them, and maybe even learn from them.
9 Enjoy: For a while at least, try to let go of who is better and who is smarter. Engage in activities that you enjoy and have fun with your friends. We all want to fit in. But what we must not forget is that having one really good friend is better than being the most popular kid in class. So, like yourself for who you are and appreciate the people you have in your life.
The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare