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  1. #21
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    I knew quite a few really bright kids that were very popular in school. Okay, maybe not so much the math & science prodigys (I'm sure there were exceptions) but I'd say that generally, really dumb people didn't fair all that well either. Infact, I'd say that one of the bigger popularity criterias I noticed was confidence. Popular kids were typically confident in their interactions, willing to put themselves out on a limb, etc. Sure there were a few elite groups of movie-star bitches that drew envy, but I wouldn't categorize them as "popular" because they only ran within their own small clique. In elementary my school practically ostracized the gifted and talented kids.. but this was a weird construct created BY the school. I got thrown into GT in 5th grade, seperated from all my buddys, and it was a total nightmare. The teacher over the program WANTED an elite group. Had something to do with teaching disagreements with other teachers. And the school WANTED him as a teacher. So they gave him his own dam building, and we never left it. Never got included with other class sports etc. Then, it seemed like the GT kids always got the lead roles in school plays (okay, because tbh the GT kids read a little better, memorized lines better, etc.) and it caused quite a bit of resentment with other 10 and 11 yr olds. But looking at later jr. high/highschool development, there were plenty of intelligent, popular people. AND, not every dumb kid was cool. Lots of idiots that were as smooth as sandpaper. Popularity correlates wtih social skills, which if anything, I might argue the opposite of the OP. It can take tremendous intelligence to successfully interact with the masses.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  2. #22
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    Has this not how it's been throughout any decade/century/etc? I don't know why it 'has' to be that way, but it seems like it simply is. Re. the thread title itself, I think one can be very smart, and be 'cool', IF the same person is also skilled at athletics and/or socially confident and interested in leadership-type things - such as school council or the like. I can think of one guy in particular in my high school who was reasonably smart, but also very into sports and school council, AND good looking (by society's standards) -- so he kinda rode through and could be smart without being uncool. Same applied to a girl, who was kinda the female version of this guy (minus the sports, I guess).

    I didn't feel particularly out of place or disliked in elementary school, although things started to get a little weirder by 6th grade. By that point some of my former friends had begun to ditch me in favor of the cheerleading types (or with one, went goth and of course I'm not goth-ish so..yeah. lol). And junior high, like it seems to be for most people with the exception of the bullies/and or extremely confident/arrogant kids/ kids good at sports, was kinda a nightmare. I was in the dorkiest group of all, and I knew it. Which made it worse. (yay for being aware of the social cliques and body language of everyone ) It boiled down to my having no confidence whatsoever, by this point.

    By high school I had kinda closed myself off to everyone, and has already been mentioned, went about hiding most things about me that I knew would be uncool. (i.e. birdwatching, etc) Of course the ironic thing of all of this is IF one is confident about all of these weird things, and doesn't care, then they become basically impermeable to teasing, and in theory could make some of these weirder traits more 'cool'/acceptable if they were actually unabashedly solid in themselves - in a way. I just wasn't able to do that - as I did care, lol. I'm guessing most individuals aren't really able to be solid until adulthood - thus as adults all of these oddities become OK to externalize and not hide.

    In h.s. I was still known as being really smart, but also universally described as quiet and also 'sweet'. I was also avoided, though (which I learned years after the fact), because people were afraid of my quietness and basically I was unapproachable. So a lot of it was self-imposed as well (but I couldn't have been anyone/anything different at the time, I don't think. It was what it was.) I was teased on occasion, which I internalized too much, but less so than in junior high. For the most part in h.s. I was pretty invisible.
    I agree that one can be smart and popular. Some people are just all around amazing. However, being smart alone as a trait is just not acceptable. For me, I had a bunch of survivable traits in school. The smartness was always really obvious. (I talk a lot, and I was well known.) Kids are desperate to find labels. I had to be "the smart one" which is a bit of social death and it stood out the most of the other traits. I actually avoided joining band and theater because I figured they had enough to raise their eyebrows about. It's so arbitrary. At the end of the day, I woke up and realized that generalized intelligence is the only thing that I really have. (Which is not much, compared to everything else that people have: Beauty, athleticism, faith, charm, motivation... you know what I mean.) I don't understand why intelligence needs to be knocked so much, it's just a trait. I was liked. Definitely not for that. Had to tone that one down a bit and felt like I had to lose a part of myself.

    You are right, though. Sensitivity to teasing plays a big role as well. For me, popularity became greater than anything.
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
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    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    I knew quite a few really bright kids that were very popular in school. Okay, maybe not so much the math & science prodigys (I'm sure there were exceptions) but I'd say that generally, really dumb people didn't fair all that well either. Infact, I'd say that one of the bigger popularity criterias I noticed was confidence. Popular kids were typically confident in their interactions, willing to put themselves out on a limb, etc. Sure there were a few elite groups of movie-star bitches that drew envy, but I wouldn't categorize them as "popular" because they only ran within their own small clique. In elementary my school practically ostracized the gifted and talented kids.. but this was a weird construct created BY the school. I got thrown into GT in 5th grade, seperated from all my buddys, and it was a total nightmare. The teacher over the program WANTED an elite group. Had something to do with teaching disagreements with other teachers. And the school WANTED him as a teacher. So they gave him his own dam building, and we never left it. Never got included with other class sports etc. Then, it seemed like the GT kids always got the lead roles in school plays (okay, because tbh the GT kids read a little better, memorized lines better, etc.) and it caused quite a bit of resentment with other 10 and 11 yr olds. But looking at later jr. high/highschool development, there were plenty of intelligent, popular people. AND, not every dumb kid was cool. Lots of idiots that were as smooth as sandpaper. Popularity correlates wtih social skills, which if anything, I might argue the opposite of the OP. It can take tremendous intelligence to successfully interact with the masses.
    Yes, popular kids have a certain level of confidence, which apparently hormones gave me. I hit puberty maybe two months before switching schools in the 7th grade, and think a combination of the change of environment and the fact that my full-fledged ENFP nature kicked in around the age of twelve furthered my social ease.

    Not only that, but the reason why I enjoyed so much social success in high school is because of where I went to high school...I was in a place where I had access to friends who had moved there from New York, New Jersey, Ohio, California, et al...in fact, many of my friends in high school in North Carolina were from other places (like I was, except I happened to be from a small town in WV) because of the economic boom in the Triangle area in the 90's. My access to "artsy" types was considerably greater than it ever had been at smaller schools or in smaller towns. I finally found people LIKE ME in high school, if that makes any sense.

    But even before then I was able to pull off a certain social acceptance with the preps for about two to two and a half years which I can only attribute, again, to puberty and cuteness, unfortunately lol.

    I walked away from them, publicly, in 9th grade because I realized I hated most of them. I got the acceptance I had wanted, then didn't want it anymore.

    I was pretty confident in high school, too, almost cocky in some ways.

    Yeah, I think things like confidence, social skills, or at least ability to perform some "socially desirable" thing like playing sports, cheerleading, being in a band, being able to do skateboard tricks, or pulling off the "arty cool" thing were all ways to be popular in high school.

    But I'm going to say for the most part, I think ShortnSweet also has a point. Children who are "book smart" can be looked down on for being nerds. I really hated my 5th grade through first half of 7th grade experience, I mean it was socially hell. I feel sorry for people who had to endure that all the way through their high school years. I feel lucky it ended when it did.

  4. #24
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    <snip>
    I cut your post out because it was too smarty pants. :P

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    I cut your post out because it was too smarty pants. :P
    I think her new user name should be SmartyPants.

  6. #26
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    I cut your post out because it was too smarty pants. :P


    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    I think her new user name should be SmartyPants.
    I wish there was a land of all smart people who knew what smart meant and all appreciated each other. I'm not thinking book clubs or intellectual gatherings. I'm thinking just smart people who understand stuff. Then when someone introduced me to their friend as "the smart friend." I could argue and say, "No, YOU'RE the smart friend!" And then the new stranger would be like, 'I'm the NEW smart friend!" And we would all laugh and shake hands and basque in each others' smart presence.

    *sigh*
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
    My Johari
    by sns.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    I wish there was a land of all smart people who knew what smart meant and all appreciated each other. I'm not thinking book clubs or intellectual gatherings. I'm thinking just smart people who understand stuff. Then when someone introduced me to their friend as "the smart friend." I could argue and say, "No, YOU'RE the smart friend!" And then the new stranger would be like, 'I'm the NEW smart friend!" And we would all laugh and shake hands and basque in each others' smart presence.

    *sigh*
    I love you, SmartyPants.

  8. #28
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I was in the accelerated classes in elementary school, which basically spelled NERD to everyone in the regular classes... I compensated for that by being a good athlete and having the ability to kick the ass of anyone who actually CALLED me a nerd (which meant a lot of fighting when I went to the state geography bee... 4 times )... I discovered that it's better to be feared than to be taunted!

    In middle school I was in the popular crowd... I maintained social status by manipulating people, running the black market homework trade and being a good athlete... I was also an officer in the science club and was in band, but had gotten classy enough to get someone else to beat up anyone who made a big deal of it by then. Fear is a very useful tool in middle school

    In high school I decided that the popular crowd was really boring, and like marm, I wandered off and hung out with the soccer players, exchange students and smart kids... they were a lot more fun! nobody made a big deal about it or anything because it was assumed that I'd probably end up rich some day AND I could still kick thier asses!

    I have the reputation for being "quite quirky" at work, but it's balanced with a reputation for being the most fun person that anyone can work with... if you're going to be smart or odd, you've pretty much GOT to have some qualities considered cool in order to survive socially, it seems
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  9. #29
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    School was hell for me. Absolute hell. Things didn't start gettin better until University. Even that took a while.
    I won't go into my whole story again, LOL. I was fine once all the dumb kids failed School C. Some of my major tormentors disappeared then. It was a little easier to be myself then. I did miss my Best friend of the time, she was sent to Boarding School.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #30
    Aquaria mrcockburn's Avatar
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    Yeah, I wasn't really "popular" in middle or high school either. Mostly because I spent that time taunting the popular kids.

    I was so so SO annoying. Looking back, I can't believe no one kicked my ass to hell.

    I was that annoying kid who, with a band of minions, would go around teasing the popular kids (like, skipping in circles around them, jumping up and down in their faces singing Aqua's Barbie Girl song, at least when I was 12 or so. lol), making smartass remarks in class, giving my gym teacher the finger, etc.

    In high school, I was more "rebellious", I guess. Skipping class, smoking, partying, etc. Not popular per se, but I always had a group that followed me for whatever reason.

    Needless to say, my citizenship grade was appalling. lol But I still graduated all AP classes with an A average.

    *then again, I probably wouldn't have done all the HW to get the A's if I hadn't had a psycho ENTJ adoptive father all over my ass, who got a lot of phone calls about my "misbehavior". lol. But I was always just a naturally good test taker though.
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