I woke up the other night in a bit of a panic. I had been in the middle of a bad dream that had raised a bunch of old insecurities.
I was never the cool kid growing up. In fact, I was the antithesis of the cool kid and was often bullied and considered a bit odd.
I’m currently part of some communities — both offline and online (and a combination of online and offline) — where there is definitely a “cool kid” group and then a bit of a second tier group of folks.
It’s a challenge for me to not let old insecurities rear their ugly head and feel like I’m somehow less important than the others in the group.
If there is ever a time when my passive aggressive tendencies rear their ugly head is when I’m starting to feel like I’m not one of the cool kids.
Within the online communities especially what I often see — and wish I could help alleviate — is when other people feel like they are not part of the “cool kids” crowd and if one of the “cool kids” disagrees with them they often see this as an attack versus a discussion. Those people disagreeing them often gets seen as a reflection on the whole group and the next thing you know they are posting a message saying how disagreeable the entire group is to them.
Unfortunately, we live in a hierarchical society, so it’s unlikely we will ever be parts of communities where everything is on the same level.
What we can be responsible for is our own reaction to these hierarchical structures. We may never get a chance to sit at the “cool kids” table, and that’s okay. Sometimes we need to build our own “cool kids” table and surround ourselves with people that support us and want to see us succeed.