When you’re in your teens, you might feel like you’ve got to be popular in order to succeed. Some people make popularity a focus even in college and university. However, once you reach your mid-20s and move into the workforce, you’ll find that popularity isn’t the key to success. Popularity is a short-term prize. You’ll find yourself quickly disillusioned of the idea that popularity is the most important factor. Other skills and capacities turn out to be more valuable. In fact, being effective and competent is more crucial than being popular. Why, you ask?
Popularity is short-lived, competence is eternal
Popularity is ephemeral – you’re popular as long others want you to be. If they decide one day you no longer inspire admiration in them, it’s easy for them to find another person to worship and follow.
Popularity fills your mind with the superficial, making you lose sight of what really matters
Popularity shifts the focus away from important priorities, such as education and other enduring values. It forces you to concentrate on more superficial and eventually inconsequential priorities, like your looks, having lots of friends, and other social markers.
Popularity might got you a job, but it won’t help you keep it
Your popularity might lure a HR manager to hire you over another more competent candidate, but how are you planning to secure your job if you’re lacking central skills?
You might be excellent in making new friends or making other laugh, but what if your typing performance is virtually nonexistent? Lacking standard skills such as touch-typing and email etiquette can prove to be a heavy toll on your career and subsequent professional success.
Popularity is too high-maintenance
To sustain your popularity it takes a lot of effort, socializing, and time. To keep up, you must constantly be in performance mode 100% of the time, and do everything exactly as expected. That’s a lot of pressure, and for what, really?
Popularity makes you self-conscious
Those people who are popular are in general more likely to become perfectionists. They expect a lot from themselves and others and as a result, they’re in a constant pursuit of the perfect life. However, while striving for perfection can be a good thing, it’s easy to let it become an unhealthy obsession.
Popular people are always in the spotlight, or at least they think they are. They can find it extremely hard to keep up with all their friends and the expectations everyone has from them, ending up being too self-conscious and anxious about pleasing everyone. On the other hand, if you focus on being efficient and competent, others will want to be like you, and they’ll be the ones who are trying to impress you.
Popularity makes it easy to prioritize all the wrong things
It is a good thing to take care of yourself, to care about your appearance, and about your social life – but only up to a degree. Being popular often places too much pressure in always delivering 100% in these aspects of your life. Ultimately it’s pushing you to focus on the wrong kind of priorities.
If you constantly need to have the coolest hairstyle and most trendy clothing, when are you going to invest in your education and cultivate your inner potential as a human being? Why prioritize looks and social status over real knowledge, competency, and meaningful relationships?
Popularity makes it hard to tell friends from people who only want benefits
Those who’ve been popular once in their lives generally readily confess that they had a really difficult time telling their true friends from the fake ones. Many people can work to get your friendship, but only to benefit from your success and popularity. You’ll only realize it when your popularity abandons you – and with it, all these so-called friends.