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At what point is someone popular?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Canterpiece, May 19, 2020 at 3:37 PM.

  1. Canterpiece

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    It's such a vague term. Do you think it has to reach a certain number of friends or acquaintances before someone can be considered popular? I'm not sure if I am or not, I thought I was but now I'm not sure. Not that it matters.

    When do you consider someone a friend rather than an acquaintance? At what point do they cross that line? I think that there are two main types of friends; the distant passive friend and the close active friend.

    Personally, I tend to think of myself as fairly introverted. I often become tired from social interactions fairly quickly. Yet sometimes I meet people that I could talk to for hours and hours without getting tired. When I meet such people, it's great. I prefer small groups and one-on-one conversation over large groups.

    Most of my friends are distant in that although we know each other, I feel as though I'm on the edge of the social group. There are a lot of inside jokes and nudges between them and it makes me sad. I mean, it's good for them, but I feel left out. That I'm intruding on a conversation. I was in one of the conversations recently and now I feel a bit down.

    Friendships that develop quickly with little effort are great but they can also be scary. I've known people that I've gotten close to only for them to end up being toxic and sometimes that best friend can turn out to be an enemy that uses information against you.

    Yet I don't want to be completely secretive because I don't want to be boring. Friendships can be like a rather delicate dance it seems. There are a few though that happen easily and it's refreshing when they do.
     
    #1 Canterpiece, May 19, 2020 at 3:37 PM
    Last edited: May 19, 2020 at 3:41 PM
  2. Ram90

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    To be, the line between acquaintance and friend is pretty simple, a friend is someone who might know a lot about me in terms of my family, my friends, my interests. And I might've hung out with them outside of work, on weekends, we would've been at each others' houses, I would've gotten drunk with them, confessed a lot of things. Sure some of these might be reserved for best friends, but that's another line that can be drawn.

    An acquaintance on the other hand could be somebody I meet or run into socially or occasionally, who might be a "friend" on social media, but just someone who on my "list" for the heck of it. We might send each other hello and how are you doing messages every now and then, but nothing really more than that. I might even categorize them as business acquaintances, social acquaintances and so on, based on where and how often I run into them in life.

    I've been part of groups, where I considered them as my friends, but I was shut out from some particular conversations, excluded, not on purpose though. It just so happened that some of them just met and/or talked more often with each other than with me and hence had inside jokes, more experiences to talk and laugh about. I didn't let that bother me too much, since in the larger social group, I had a few people I spoke to more often than the others, so I shared a separate bond with them too. Of course, you can and might end up feeling a bit sad, if they're the major social group or friends in your life, but my rule is that friends come and go, so I try to not stay too attached to friends at any point in life. :slight_smile:
     
  3. Destin

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    My criteria for popularity is whether other people initiate reaching out to you more than you initiate reaching out to other people, which shows your desirability to others, and you talk or hang out with at least 10 people per week outside of work/class which is required.

    I consider someone a friend instead of an acquaintance if I've known them for at least a month, we've hung out in person at least 10 times, and hung out 1 on 1 at least twice. If we don't talk at all for more than a year they lose friend status and return to acquaintance level until the friend criteria is satisfied again.

    I only have 1 best friend at a time. I don't believe in the multiple best friend thing, that defeats the purpose of "best" which is the 1 person that you would support over everyone else if it came down to it with limited time etc.

    Yes, I have incredibly specific definitions which may seem crazy. I used to keep a list of friends/acquaintances with their names, contact information etc. when I was in high school and partied nonstop so needed a way to quantify the difference between random people I partied with and actual friends.
     
    #3 Destin, May 19, 2020 at 6:03 PM
    Last edited: May 19, 2020 at 6:04 PM
  4. Chierro

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    Popularity is utter bullshit and means nothing after high school. Frankly it doesn't mean anything in high school. Find the people who you care about and stick with them. Everyone finds their people at their own time and sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes longer than you'd like. I've never considered myself popular, but I found my people. When you've found your people, you'll know. It clicks.
    And I'll be perfectly honest...this is bad advice.

    Don't worry about popularity.
     
  5. Destin

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    I never said it was advice. It's just my very petty personal system. I've been screwed over by "friends" a lot so had to get more specific in who I consider a friend to avoid it.
     
    #5 Destin, May 19, 2020 at 8:46 PM
    Last edited: May 19, 2020 at 8:49 PM
  6. Destin

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    Disagree with this though. Even though people resist admitting it, a ton of job offers, promotions, the salary you get paid at your job, business deals, and even living in places like Co-Ops where the other residents have to approve you before you can live there are based pretty heavily on popularity and likability. There are tons of people who are severely underpaid because their boss simply doesn't like them and tons of people who are way overpaid just because they're well liked. Celebrities and politicians exist solely based on popularity too.
     
    #6 Destin, May 19, 2020 at 9:27 PM
    Last edited: May 19, 2020 at 9:28 PM
  7. Aytch

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    I also get confused about whether or not someone is a favored acquaintance or a friend since I'm terrible at reading people. If I want to be friends with this person, I just ask if they consider me a friend, and if they do, we are friends. If we enjoy chatting but I don't have any drive to be closer with them, I consider them a favored acquaintance. If I consider them a favored acquaintance and they consider me a friend, I give them a chance. As for popularity, it's pretty abstract. I think very few people actually consider themselves popular and defining who and who isn't popular is situational. I wouldn't worry about it, though. Once I started ignoring trends and who was 'popular,' I was a lot happier.
     
  8. BlueMonday

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    When they're good-looking.
     
  9. Linning

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    I would say popularity and number of friends have nothing to do with each other, in fact the more popular you are probably the harder it is to make genuine friends.

    If you saw me at a lesbian/queer party, you would see a lot of girls talking to me, saying hi to me, hugging me and catching up. I might look popular from an outsider perspective and while at parties I am never alone, I wouldn't say any of those people are my friends. Sometimes popularity is about people liking you for the wrong reasons. I don't feel like many of the people who gravitate toward me, and specifically in these type of events actually care about getting to know me and connect with me on a deeper level, so being ''popular'' bring very little value when that's the case.

    As for friends vs acquaintances. I have lots of acquaintances but I can count on one hand the number of friends I feel would genuinely show up for me. I met a girl last year, and she is by far the best friend I have ever had. I know for all the things we naturally want to do for each other, we talk most days, we navigate our busy schedules to make sure we always have time to meet, we naturally will alternate plans and show up with comfort food at the other person's door if one of us is having a low-day, we have deep conversation until the early hours of the morning and connect in ways I have rarely connected in my life AND we also talk about the hard stuff, there is no taboo, we talk about everything and we hold each other accountable without any fear that the friendship might not make it, because we both value the friendship enough to actually want to hear the hard stuff so we can change and maintain the friendship/strengthen it etc...

    On the other hand for acquaintances it's more like " Oh, I wonder if I will see X at the party, would be nice." and then enjoying bumping into them and catching up not feeling really any need to text them or see them outside of those occasions we happen to bump into each other.
    Acquaintances are people I don't feel the need to invest proper time into, I like them, they are nice, but I don't miss them when I don't see them. Friends not only do I feel the need to invest time in them, but I also want to invest time in and with them and thoroughly enjoy their company.

    If you don't feel welcome into a group, continue to look for your people. People who make you feel good and loved and not like an outsider because that's the way friends should make you feel.
     
    #9 Linning, May 23, 2020 at 4:05 AM
    Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 4:05 AM
  10. musicteach

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    Popularity is a matter of opinion. Sometimes I’m popular with the band students, which often leads me to being unpopular with the Band Parents Association. On the flip side, of I’m popular with the BPA, I tend to be unpopular with the students. Of course if I’m popular with our schools administrators, I can almost guarantee I’m unpopular with both the BPA and students. Popular with the band staff may mean I’m not popular with either the BPA or students, depending on the situation.

    The real question is does it matter?
     
  11. HM03

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    I'd consider a friend somebody I initiate online and irl chats with and they initiate at a semi equal rate too. I really trust them. Our chats range from being dumb to really serious. I feel comfortable talking about whatever to them. And being introverted, I actually want to talk to them and hang out. Most of the time I'd say somebody that I chat with at least every week or two, but there is a person or two that I'm so friends with that I may chat with a couple times a year. For that friendship, it's less about quantity of interactions and moreso how easy it is to resume those interactions. It might be a bit weird (and why I don't have a ton of friends) but it's not very motivating for me to have a friend if we aren't real and deep with each other. Life is too busy and I'm too introverted to waste energy that way often.

    In terms of popularity, I think the person has to have significantly more admirers than haters. Not sure how many admirers/friends they need, but after a certain amounts it's like "dang, they have a lot of friends" lol.