Get in with the in crowd…


Have you ever asked yourself what it would take to be in with the in crowd? You know, the people you want to dress like…look like…be like? It all stems from our need to be accepted, liked, and appreciated. But it's not that easy…or is it?


For me, the in crowd at school was comprised of jocks, cheerleaders, or potheads. I was lumped in with everyone else, often taunted and underappreciated for my vast array of creative gifts. Remember the old TV show, now back in fashion, Square Pegs? Picture me as Sarah Jessica Parker's character Patty or her friend Lauren.  I always thought Johnny Flash was kinda cool because he did his own thing, no matter what. That was me.


So I laid low. I did my own thing. I had some friends that I hung out with but sometimes even they didn't get my jokes or like the same things I did. Was I so unusual? Would I ever fit in ANYWHERE? The answer was yes…and no.


The bar scene allowed me to meet some people I may not have otherwise. People who not only got my jokes, but sometimes laughed (pity or not, I didn't care). They read the same kinds of books I did, listened to the same kinds of music (or turned me on to new stuff), and actually listened to me. This became my in crowd. The difference about our in crowd versus the ones you don't create yourself is this: I was already "in". People on the outside looking into our crowd had a sense of awe about us, overhearing snippets of our conversations, which could range from the latest SciFi book to politics to music to sex to obscure Gary Larson references (blah, blah, blah, Ginger). If you didn't get it, any of it, you didn't last long. Not that we were in the least bit mean. We were a bunch of misfits ourselves, so many of us knew exclusion. We weren't into that.


But I digress.


Social circles change. And in order to keep up or get in, you have to be willing to change as well. I'm treading on thin ice here, so read this carefully.  To best express what I mean, I'll use some examples.


The Geek:

I used to tell my underlings that you should always be nice to the geeks. Why? Because they're the ones who will end up owning companies like Microsoft; becoming world-renowned concert pianists; or horror of horrors, your boss. That and because you just should.


So how does the geek de-geek-ify? Well, geeks are usually labeled so because they are very smart and/or socially awkward. But those social stigmas, like bad SAT scores, can be overcome. (Being smart is good, just as long as you aren't a Cliff Claven type.)


Scenario: A geek is invited to attend a house party for his college graduation. While he would normally avoid such a potentially humiliating event, a semi-geek friend insists. So what does he do?



The Wannabe

Everyone knows a wannabe. The wannabe is someone who's always hanging around certain groups but seems to offer no input or value. S/he is always just kinda there. This is probably most prevalent with musicians. If it's a woman, almost everyone assumes she's a groupie. But what if she's just wants to hang out and fit in?


Scenario: A woman who desperately wants to be part of a band but has no musical experience. How does she break in?



So there you have it…just a couple of ways to break into your in crowd. There are so many types of organizations that cater to your tastes and are still very cool. You just need to find them and develop your own passion or skill. People will come to respect your contributions and hobbies (unless it's something really disgusting like collecting the decaying remains of roadkill). Above all, don't change into something you're not. Sooner, rather than later, you'll regret it.