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Problems with Popularity: Dear Dish-It Gives Advice

Jul 18, 2017

Most people write in about wanting to be popular, but you'd be surprised to know that kids also write in about the pressures of being popular. Today on Dear Dish-It’s, “Let’s Talk About it Tuesday” we are going to be looking at questions from kids and teens who are battling with all areas of being popular. It might always seem glamorous, but there are prices to be paid. Today’s questions will give us a broader sense of the topic of popularity and the different issues, which surround it.

Let’s Take a Look at This Week’s Questions:

Being popular does not make you the leader.Being popular does not make you the leader.

Question by popular girl

I have a dilemma, in school, I’m popular, I didn't do anything but be myself, almost everyone (or should I say other [popular kids] like me and the [non-popular kids] hate me for that. I try to be nice to everyone, I spend most of my time with my friends though I hang with lots of other people, and I'm a rather sarcastic person, I don't know what to do, I really don’t like the idea of people hating me and I never asked to be popular nor did I try....            


Do you know that they hate you or are you just assuming this? Hate is a very strong word, maybe they just don’t feel comfortable, and like you wouldn’t want to talk to them? Why not try reaching out and being friendly to them and see what happens? This problem could easily all be in your head. You never truly know until you confront the situation. Sounds to me like you just want to get along with everyone. 

It's hard when you just want to fit in with everyone.It's hard when you just want to fit in with everyone.

Question by Confused

I am popular but know I am wondering if it's really worth all the trouble. In the morning it's such an effort to make sure that everything is perfect, that my skirt is rolled just right because if it's too long then people will give funny looks, too short then I will be called names that no one wants to hear. Because I am real tall people expect me to love sports and join all the after school clubs, even the sports teachers. I do gymnastics as well so that makes me too stereotypically. But mainly one of the biggest stresses is that I think I may be doing too much because as well as the sport and gymnastics I am the school council head, top in most subjects and do the school advice column for the school newspaper. All at the same time as trying to keep my popular rep up. Hiding behind this fake smile is starting to get to me. Is being popular worth it


Sounds like you are taking on a lot and it is exhausting you. Is there any way you can lighten up your load? Focus on what and who is making you happy and give less attention to the rest. The rest seems like it is draining you. All these expectations of what people demand as normal aren't necessarily. Metaphorically speaking, wear your skirt however you like, in whatever way that makes you the most happy. You have to ask yourself what’s more important, being popular or being happy?

We all want to feel like we belong.We all want to feel like we belong.

Question by LAYSLOVE

What do I do? I'm to popular.


It’s interesting because most kids and teens write in to say the opposite. People aren’t always aware that there is a lot of pressure placed upon popular kids too. It’s wonderful that you are so liked, but it sounds like you need things to calm down. It’s perfectly okay to take some space and take some time for yourself. You don’t have to say “yes” to everything you are asked out to. Be selective. Hang out with the people who bring out the best in you and make you feel the most comfortable. This doesn’t mean you have to stop talking to anyone or be rude because you can still maintain friendliness with people without getting too close to them.

Popular kids have social stress too.Popular kids have social stress too.

Question by wondering

How do I become popular? Boys don't think that I'm pretty and they always think of me as just one of the guys! Some people think I'm a weirdo! But next year I'm going to a new school (middle school), so I’m going to try to become popular! Should I start wearing a little bit of makeup? And should I try to become the kind of girl people like??


Personally, I don’t think you should have to change a thing if you are happy the way that you are. If you want to make an adjustment and be more feminine this is totally your call, but the most important thing is that you stay true to yourself. Believe it or not even tomboys find love, and you’re more likely to find true love by being who you are. It’s natural to feel the pressure of starting over and wanting things to change, but you can not force it.


As you can tell that even the people who are popular question if they want that status. It’s really about finding happiness and finding where you are happy. You don’t have to sacrifice being happy just to be popular, nor do you have to take so much on at school to retain your popular status. Aim to be comfortable and free and without burden. Your social life should be bringing you joy not sadness or frustration. Remember that, and remember to ask yourself if you are truly happy. Do things for the right reasons, follow your gut and don’t worry about anything else.  

Even popular kids face stress.Even popular kids face stress.

Interested in getting in touch with Dear Dish-It? Simply email deardish@kidzworld.com with your concern, and we will address you on “Let’s Talk about it Tuesday” if your question is suitable for our topic of conversation. Regardless, keep your eyes peeled as Dear Dish-It it is covering a lot of issues, and you never know when your question or topic of concern will be featured in an article. Please let us know if you would like your handle to be listed as anonymous and list your age in your question if you would like as that can impact advice. To learn the Do's and Don'ts of Dear Dish-It and to find out what kind of questions are appropriate, check out this article!

Have Your Say

Do you like being popular? Do you feel happier just doing your own thing?




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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

Goodness... I see where your mother is coming from: if you eat too much, no matter how healthy the food is, and don't work off the calories, you're going to gain weight. But she's being very obsessive and dramatic about it. There is nothing wrong with eating pizza or a cookie every now and then, and there's nothing wrong with relaxing from time to time either. As long as you aren't constantly eating junk and not burning the calories, then you do not have a problem. Eating unhealthy things every now and then does not make you fat. EATING every now and then does not make you fat. Try explaining this to her, calmly and patiently. Tell her that you don't want to be forced to do all of this exercising - being forced to exercise makes it a lot less interesting. Do not take "This is for your own good" for an answer; if you do not want to do it, it is NOT for your good. (This, of course, would be a different story if you were actually fat.) ALSO tell her that exercising too much and not satiating your cravings is JUST AS UNHEALTHY AS BEING FAT IS. If you were to not eat healthful meals and not snack every now and then, no matter how healthy or unhealthy the food is, plus exercise so frequently, you would not be healthy.  Eating is good for you, even if the food isn't. Eating too little and eating too much is not healthy. Exercise is good for you. Not exercising enough and exercising too much is not good for you. If you talking to her doesn't help, try telling another adult how you feel, and maybe they can help get it through to her. Regardless of what happens, take care of yourself. Moderate how much you eat, but don't limit yourself to less than you feel you need. Exercise, but don't do something you don't want to; working out should be fun. Good luck with everything. I'm really sorry that she makes you feel so badly about this.
reply 1 day
jake495 posted in Family Issues:
Make sure she knows its your body not hers In a respectful way of course
reply 1 day
I'm perfectly happy with myself. I'm around 5'6" and somewhere between 140-150 pounds, and I don't feel fat. But my mom is constantly telling me that I am, or, at least, that I'm going to be. She forces me to go to exercise classes because I don't like many sports, tries making me go on diets, but I don't want to. She tells me that if I continue the way I am, having an extra cookie once in a while and only eating cereal for breakfast, that I'll end up fat, and she makes sure to emphasize how horrible that is for a person to live with. She rolls her eyes and sighs whenever she sees me getting a snack, and just in general makes me feel awful for eating the things I like and for relaxing. I've told her that I don't want to do these things and that she makes me feel bad when she says things like that, but she swears it's for my own good and that I should never want to be fat, that it ruins people's lives. How should I deal with this?
reply 1 day
drowning posted in Friends:
"NS12" wrote: I meet this guy at a festival and we have been talking for the whole week and my mum has noticed I keep texting someone and I know I need to tell her but I don t know how I am going to tell her, I doubt she ll get angry or anything but he lives about 4/5 hours away from me. I know I need to tell her as I don t like keeping secrets from her. I know this was a bit ago, but I truly hope that you were able to be open with your mother. If you feel as if they won't get mad at you, then chances are that your guardian will not. Honesty is the best policy, and if you feel guilt keeping a secret, then it is one you probably shouldn't be keeping.
reply 2 days
I agree with @rainbowpoptart. You really shouldn't worry about relationships that much given your age. I promise, they're better things to worry about than boys and more secure romances occur later on in life anyways. But, given the situation, you shouldn't worry about either. The boy is unfaithful and so is your friend. If your best friend really valued your friendship, she would not have put it in a position that could end it. Don't waste your time on those who will not put you first just as you do for them; better people will come into your life and they are the ones who you should really worry about.
reply 2 days