Why I Don’t Care About Being Popular Anymore

In middle school, being popular felt like the most important thing in the world. I just wanted to fit in and be liked. I tried so hard to impress the “cool kids” and obsessed over my social media followers. But pursuing popularity made me utterly miserable.

I had low self-esteem and based my worth on external validation. I posted endless photos and memes seeking compliments and filtered my true self. I changed how I dressed, talked and acted to gain approval from others. But inside, I felt like a fraud.

My insecurity reached its peak after a falling out with friends’ in my freshman year. I realized the people I was trying so hard to impress didn’t really care about me. They only wanted me around when I provided entertainment or boosted their status.

In that dark time, I turned to food and gaming to cope. I stopped hanging out with people and isolated myself. My grades tanked. I thought my life was over without her.

But with the support of my mentors, I realized the truth: I was chasing shallow friendships. None of those people knew the real me. They didn’t care when I was hurting. They just wanted entertainment, not authentic connection.

I decided that I would rather have three real friends than 300 fake ones. I committed to embracing my true self, quirks and all. I invested in people who lifted me up as I was, not who I pretended to be. As actress Zendaya has said, “Don’t change or dim your light for anyone.”

Letting go of my obsession with popularity freed me. I no longer tie my self-worth to likes or followers. I focus on developing my talents, helping others, and deepening true bonds.

Here is my advice to teens who think being popular is #goals: Don’t believe the myth. Insecurity fuels the quest for popularity. You are enough as you are. Choose friends wisely. Show compassion. Pursue purpose, not passive approval. Your worth isn’t defined by your reputation. Focus inward, not outward.

The right people will appreciate the real, imperfect and quirky you. Release the burden of conformity. Celebrate your individuality. Spread kindness. Victory is living authentically. Self-love attracts belonging. Value substance over surface-level status.

Popularity fades, but your impact and principles endure. Blaze your own trail. The path to fulfillment starts from within.

Colton Fidelman is the author of the Book, The Teenage Guide to Success. Unlock the secret to teen success with ‘The TICK TOCK Formula’ – a modern compelling blend of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens’ and the powerful insights of ‘Start with Why’. This book empowers teenagers to conquer challenges, fulfill their passions, and make a world-changing impact, guided by the wisdom of twenty remarkable trailblazers.


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ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

6 Responses to Why I Don’t Care About Being Popular Anymore

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  2. Barbara Lynch says:

    Wow, this article really resonated with me. I went through a similar experience in middle school, constantly seeking approval from the so-called “cool kids” and basing my self-worth on external validation. It’s heartbreaking to realize that the pursuit of popularity can lead to such misery and a sense of emptiness. I remember how I was not very good at homework and asked for help from https://edubirdie.com/examples/serial-killer/ to get the highest score. The realization that those one tries so hard to impress may not genuinely care hits hard. I love the emphasis on the importance of authentic connections and the courage to embrace one’s true self. This article serves as a beacon of guidance for teens caught up in the popularity race. It’s a testament to the fact that true fulfillment comes from within, and genuine connections are far more meaningful than surface-level popularity.

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