Q&A Friday #36: Were You Popular In High School?

Question: Were you popular in high school? — oneisnotprime

Answer: Early on in Junior High School and High School, I wasn’t particularly good with people, lacked self-confidence, was shy, and wasn’t particularly athletic. I did make my high school baseball team for one semester, but spent the whole season on the bench.

This was pretty much the case until I had one trivial, but ultimately very significant experience. Someone asked me who sang a really well known song, something by the Police. Like “Every Breath You Take.” I had no idea, because I didn’t care much about music, and I guessed something ridiculous like Loverboy, which produced incredulous laughter.

However, that gave me an idea. I knew I was really smart, so I figured, why couldn’t I apply that brainpower to learning to be popular? And that’s exactly what I did. I started watching MTV to learn about musical groups. I read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People (along with other books), to learn about how to deal with people. I started reading self-help books. I watched popular people and tried to find things I could use, in my own way, to make me popular.

Did it work?

Yeah, it did. I was never wildly popular or anything, but I hung out with the kids who were, got invited to their parties, ate lunch every day with a hot group of girls, dated regularly, and had a huge role in the school play my senior year (Cheaper by Dozen. I was the Father. I had about 4 bazillion lines).

So, it all worked out OK in the end.

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