Thursday, August 26, 2010

Popularity Enters Adulthood

For those of you who say popularity is only a problem in high school, I would like to challenge that philosophy. I'm told all the time, people grow up and popularity doesn't matter anymore. But I live with unpopularity everyday. I'm 31, and I think I deal with it just as much as I did when I was 16, just in a different way. It all comes in the form of people not coming to events I plan.

Just before my best friend got married, I threw her a lingerie shower. I guess this was about 9 years ago. I invited so many people. But only the bride-to-be, her soon-to-be sister-in-law, and myself showed up. I will always believe if someone else had planned it, more people would have come...

This idea haunts me even today. A few weeks ago, I hosted a Spa party, and I invited 20 ladies. Only 3 showed up.

I am the leader of the singles group at my church. I use that term, "leader" loosely, because, number one: it's a new group,
and number two: I don't have many willing to take part in group activities. We have about 10 singles, which is awesome, since we have such a small church. I believe it's important for singles to hang out together, and befriend each other. Being single is hard, and the only people who understand just how hard it is are other singles. I'm not saying couples don't have it hard...but singles face totally different issues. So, it's important we support one another. Well, i've been planning events for months now...and usually only about 3 show up. I just wonder if popularity is playing a role. I'm not the "popular" one, or the "cool" one. I wonder if someone else in the group were to plan the same events on the same day if more people would show up.

I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God gave me a heart for other singles. I have had this singles group on my heart for years--even before I became part of this church. I just pray everyday, asking God if someone else would be a better leader than me...better at getting others involved.

So yes, I believe popularity, or the lack thereof is a big problem today. This has never been an issue for me. I've always been able to befriend everyone--hang out with anybody. So, this is an issue that leaves me perplexed! I just wish folks would get over it and look at others as someone different from them, and therefore someone you might be able to learn something from...and someone that might make their life better by allowing that person into it.


Odie Langley said...

Nicole from how I read your heart the problem is not with you but with the others. I believe this is a different world than it was when I was much younger. People seem more distant now and harder to get close to for whatever reason. I think a lot has to do with the desire to acquire things and those things being more important that friendships which is sad. Hang in there Nicole, God makes all things wonderful "in His time".

Eric said...

Nicole, I can understand where you come from. I will say that everyone is stretched to the MAXX these days. Maybe the next time the group meets, ask the question, "what are ideas they have and if the next event/activity is planned would any of you show up?"
Popularity is a crazy thing and the devil loves to make one feel that they are not liked or cared about because no one showed up to this or that. If people are telling you that they will show up but do not then that is wrong on their part.
I struggle with being used. I feel that certain friends are not friends anymore because Jennifer and I are not available to watch their children anymore, because we have 1 1/2 of our own, or because we now have a child and they don't or they don't like to come to our hosue so when they are invited, they say yes, I am cooking dinner and get the call that they all of a sudden cannot come, but when they call us to come over to their house we better go.
Anyway, if God has called you to be a Leader of Singles then all you can do is continually pray and seek His direction on where to lead you so you can lead them. Satan hates a leader and he is attacking you where he knows it will hurt you. I will keep you in my prayers but remember to just call the group together and get ideas from them etc.

Nicole said...

Eric, I have done that...asked them what kind of things they're interested in. They told me Different types of outings, and they want to mingle with other singles groups. So I am doing just that...this Saturday, we have an outing scheduled with another singles group in the area--and right now, only two of my singles are going--others say they might...but that usually means they don't. I just continue to pray.

Anonymous said...

Dear friend, all we need is one good friend. :) and on this blog you have 27 friends... You are love :) hang-in-there and before you know it... your circle will be bigger.

Peace and love to you


فكر بصمت said...

Nicole, i like what you write.

rebrecker said...

This was so heartfelt, it meade me want to give you a big hug. It can't feel very nice wondering that about yourself, but like Odie says, the problem is not with you but with the others. I've been there in your position many, many times and you've just gotta think, 'I like who I am and the people who show that they like me are the people worth liking back'.

marwankanafani said...

Okay, I stumbled onto this blog post after seeing a movie about a former popular girl who never really grows up. So, I was fascinated by the idea of popularity among adults, something that isn't often discussed but seems relevant.
First off, I applaud your candid post. It takes insight and courage to speak so honestly. Second, I don't agree with the other comments. My perspective is that of a former popular kid who is now a popular adult, at least in the way that you're defining popularity. People gravitate to me and very often follow my lead. I'm not a particularly successful person or anything. But whatever the social situation, I'm usually the one bringing it together; not as the life of the party but as the ameliorant.
Anyway, this is the answer. Ready?
Okay, popularity comes from not giving a shit what people think of you. That's it. You're going to do this thing because YOU think it's cool, not because people are going to come. So, in other words, you genuinely have to get to a place within yourself that doesn't care if people show up. I wanna go rock climbing and it'd be cool to bring people along. Hey guys, I'm going rock climbing so come along. But you have to know and believe within yourself that you're going to have just a good a time without them, perhaps in different ways, as you would with them.
I've had plenty and plenty of events that no one gave a shit about. People no-show to things I set up ALL the time. And I no-show to my popular friend's stuff all the time. I've been a musician in my days and I can't count how many shows no one came to. But it never really bothered me because I, deep down in my heart of hearts, never relied on them to make that event special and cool.

So, what's the conclusion. The conclusion is this. If you have things in your life that you care about, share them with people. But make sure you are being honest with yourself that you care about them. Those things should matter to you whether or not other people think they're important. Like, the singles solidarity thing; I think that's cool, but no one wants to highlight their single-ness. Instead, I would just get together with my single friends under the auspice of it being something different- like cooking together or wine tasting or seeing stupid movies, or whatever. That way you're showing solidarity and support but not because you're single. It's because you have shared interests.

Anyway, don't ever let anyone tell you "oh, you're so sweet, don't change, you're perfect and it's everyone else's fault." That's horseshit. We all need to keep improving ourselves to be better and blaming others and ignoring our shortcomings keeps us frozen in our inadequacies. God made you who you are but He also gave you the ability to improve yourself. The first step: stop giving a shit about what anyone else thinks and do your thing with or without a crowd. You do that for a while and really get used to it- let it sink in- let yourself really believe- and I guarantee you that you'll feel a whole lot more validated and popular.