Three Downsides of Popularity And How To Deal With Them

True popularity is awesome, in part because it means you have the skills to do many things well. So, being popular is one of the greatest things you can be. However, I would be lying if I said it was totally without downsides. Below I list a few of the potential downsides, so you can be prepared for them, especially as you start to live your “new life.” Note that it is your popularity skills that will allow you to deal with these downsides, so you can handle them!

The Rock-Star Problem

When people like you, they want to be around you. The more people that like you and admire you, the larger the number of “fans” that vie for your attention. This is often a good thing, but it can go awry. Sometimes people can want your attention so much that they become obsessive or start stalking you. Even if you aren’t being obsessed over, it can still become problematic when you can’t go anywhere without someone wanting your attention. Some unpopular guys dream of girls stalking them, but when it happens, it isn’t fun. Just ask celebrities that can’t get any peace.

You deal with this by being able to set boundaries. If you have four people trying to talk to you in a restaurant while you are eating, you will have to be assertive and let them know that now is not a good time. You should still be cool and charming (and maybe offer them some time later), but you will have to assert yourself. Dealing with stalkers can be tougher. Blocking them from your phone, social media, etc, can be helpful in extreme cases.

People May Love You…And Treat You Like Crap

As you become more confident and generally attractive, people will sometimes treat you badly. In case you haven’t noticed, people often don’t act in accord with what they really want. They may absolutely love and admire you, but, in order to avoid any kind of future emotional pain, they will close you out of their life immediately or “flake out.” A friendship or romantic relationship with you will be unlike any relationship they have ever had. Typically this contrasts to the bland and unfulfilling – but safe – relationship they have with others.

You see, as you become more confident, excellent, funny, etc, people (especially girls) will compare you to the people in their lives. They may be committed to their husbands or boyfriends who are whiny, boring, and unsuccessful. You would think these girls would be happy to escape their pathetic relationships for a while (I am simply talking about you being friends with them at this point…whether you pursue someone in a committed relationship is up to you and your values) to see you. However, sometimes having a great example of a guy so close to them, while a bad example is at home with them causes too much cognitive dissonance. Rather than enjoy you, they may choose to just cut off the friendship, by being emotionally distant, etc.

Don’t freak out by this. It likely isn’t anything you did that was bad; in fact it was caused by you being too good. Take it as a compliment and move on to the next girl vying for your attention that is actually single. Also, have some compassion for women in this situation. Don’t be a jerk or get whiny about it. People’s lives can be complicated.

People Will Want Your Time

A clock on a mantle

When you are good at what you do (excellence) and fun and relaxed, people naturally want you to be a part of things they do. This means you may get asked to do things a lot. At my previous job, I was always being asked to be on committees, get involved in athletics, and spearhead various things. It became frustrating.

I became frustrated because I believed it was important to “do everything.” I had to learn to say “no” and you will too. Also, it is important to get some perspective. Remember, with your new confident self, it isn’t that people are trying to walk all over you; it is that they value what you offer. By learning how to confidently but respectfully say “no” you will guarantee that people won’t ever “walk all over you,” because you determine that.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is author of seven self-help books, and an in-demand speaker and consultant. Over a million readers per year read his online content, and his writings have been referenced in many publications and news outlets, including Girls Life, Fox News, the New York Times, Huffington Post, and BBC. He also writes for The Popular Teen, and other sites. Follow him on Twitter.

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