Would you tend to agree that cliques are a lifelong dynamic?

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Joined: 13 Nov 2022
Gender: Male
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13 Nov 2022, 9:07 pm

I've always found it rather humorous that the idea of a "clique" is something that slowly dissipates after your formative years of education. The worst being in Highschool, then steadily normalizing until you get out of college and into the adult world. The necessary requirements of growing up and out of immaturity.

Now, don't get me wrong - Some people really change course. I've had a handful of people come up to me over the years and begin to recall memories that we had together. I had no idea this person would even know who I am, let alone act as though we are and were FRIENDS. Genuinely twilight zone grade stuff.

So here's my question - Do you think that those who successfully adopt adulthood and maturity are the aberration, or those that become further cemented into the Highschool mindset of "in" and "out" crowds.

Many a time I have run across those that are actually worse than they were in our formative years... Because we live in a materialistic, vapid, surface level society they have inhabited the role of a complete and utter social climber. If you cannot offer them something, move along.

It's like some interactions of friendships gone by make you realize that perhaps you were too hard on yourself. You WERE accepted and just didn't know it. Others present the contrary, you didn't fit in and you still don't now. All of your suspicions still prove accurate.

Any replies would be great. This is a fantastic website, by the way.


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Joined: 25 Oct 2013
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Posts: 1,036

14 Nov 2022, 7:12 am

There is a familial / tribal element to cliques. One might make a case that for people who have broken families (such as in poverty areas) the need for a group is even higher which may account for street gangs.

Up until 100 years ago families were very large, stable, and located on one place. Since then families have become smaller to the point of becoming increasingly rare. Mobility has also taken its toll.

Some with Aspergers may be better positioned to weather the social isolation that increasingly defines our society. Social media is becoming the "wire mother" of the Harlow experiment of modern life.


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Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 71
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14 Nov 2022, 1:20 pm

I think cliques are probably a lifelong dynamic for many, but I'm not convinced that they're necessarily a bad thing. Depends on your definition. To me it's just a group with perhaps a certain amount of exclusiveness in its ideology (which could be said about most groups). I don't necessarily object to a group being exclusive, though I accept that exclusiveness can cause significant problems. Some groups just aren't looking for new members. I'd like it if every group in the world welcomed me with open arms, because I've felt the pain of it not being so and it's been great when I've been treated like a friend right from the start, but I don't feel I have a particular right to plonk myself just anywhere on the planet without so much as a by your leave.


Joined: 28 Jun 2022
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14 Nov 2022, 8:41 pm

Some patterns will not change. As far as social cliques over a lifetime, a lot of that depends on what career you have and if you have kids. After having kids, my social life really plummeted to zero. I have a lot of workplace "friendships" that really work well because we only talk about a narrow set of things and so many other things are strictly off limits (no politics, no religion).

I've noticed over my life (39 yo male) that I continually "fall prey" to the narcissistic person.

In middle school my best friend was a kid who made fun of others in school a lot and was the "class troublemaker" in 6th and 7th grades.

In high school, my best friend was ANOTHER guy that made fun of others at school and was a grade A narcissist. He cheated on tests habitually and lied to everyone.

In college - do you want to guess? My best friend was another grade A narcissist.

It really hit home in reflection - when I was friends with them I was convinced they were going to do amazing things in life but I can say now that they have not. They were great at spinning this story. The guy in college made himself out to be a future internet startup millionaire, the guy in college said he was going to be a surgeon, and I don't remember enough about the middle school one.

So remember how I said that pattern doesn't change?

Guess whom I married? My wife has a very "healthy" dose of ego. Her ego does not match her life accomplishments in her career, but if you look at her social media page you'd think she is this super successful self made businesswoman.

What I realized in life is that sometimes you can't fight it. I have low self esteem and I seek the contact high from high self esteem people. High self esteem people often have deep insecurities and like people like me validating them.

Its such a common pattern amongst autistic people and Id say in terms of social patterns, most people play the same "role" in their social circles their entire lives. Givers give, takers take.