Are You a Group or a Clique?

Filed under Your Friendships Your Heart on Nov 02 12 by

Photo by Monica Manklang

We all have friends that we keep closer than others. You and your best friend might understand each other in a way that no one else does. We tend to bond over common interests, common personality traits, or being in similar life situations.

There’s nothing wrong with having a few friends that are closer, or even with having groups of friends. The problem arises when your innocent “group” turns into a “clique”. Cliques don’t just happen in high school—they can be found just as easily in churches and workplaces. But what’s the difference between being a “group” and a “clique”? And how can you know if your group of friends is becoming cliquish?

Characteristics of Cliques

Exclusivity. Does your group remain the same, or do you reach out to new people? Even if you aren’t purposely ignoring people, you could be giving off a bad vibe to others if you get too comfortable with your own group to ever spend time talking to anyone else.

Rivalry. Do you ever find yourself in an “us vs. them” mentality? When you start to feel competitive toward another group rather than encouraging and supportive, you might be on the way to becoming a clique.

Gossip. Do you and your friends find yourselves talking about other people behind their backs? Gossip is something that can drive the divide between groups of friends even deeper, and it will change the way that you and your friends view others.

Defeating the Clique Mentality

It’s easy to become a bit closed-off without even realizing it. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to ensure that your group remains friendly and open without sacrificing your friendships with each other.

Reach out to others. When you are in a group situation, don’t just get caught up in your own thing. Be alert to people around you who might feel left out and make a specific effort to include them.

Take a break from your friends. That’s not to say that you need to ditch them, but once in a while, make the choice to focus your efforts on chatting with someone that you don’t usually talk to. Who knows—you might have more in common than you thought!

Speak positively. There’s a lot of power in words, even if they never get back to the people you are talking about. Words have the power to change your attitude and someone else’s attitude about a person. If you speak well about other people, those that hear your words will also tend to think better of them. You can change the whole attitude of a group by changing the way you speak.

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Lauren D'Alessandro
As the founder of The You Are Project’s print magazine and blog, Lauren is passionate about developing publications that inspire creativity and action. Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of You Are REAL and the creator and manager of our website. Her dream is to continue using writing and publications as tools for communicating God’s love to the world. Keep up with her latest endeavors at