Who else thought that the “popular table” or the “mean girls” group would disappear after high school and college?
I definitely did.. but turns out that “popular table” syndrome lives on well into your professional life.
It has always seemed crazy to me that part of human nature is to feel good after making someone else feel left out, excluded or not as good as you and your so called “selected friends”.
Of course, I am no angel and I am sure I have done a fair share of “mean girling” in my time. But to go to work and feel that quiet hush come over a work cafeteria when you or someone else walks in among a group of co-workers is not something I was expecting.
I mean we are adults, we are professionals, right?
We have all experienced the “popular table”, “mean girl” syndrome at one point or another and know that it doesn’t feel good, so why continue to do it?’
Of course, I don’t have the answer on why people continue to do it but I do know that it lives on and it doesn’t feel good.
I think the best part of becoming older is realizing that being part of the “popular group” at work isn’t going to get you any further than it did in high school or college.
That making people feel that way, only makes you look bad especially in a work environment.
So here is my advice:
If today you are eating lunch with a bunch of co-workers and see someone eating at their desk by themselves, or come in and out of the cafeteria to get their lunch. Say HELLO, invite them over and make them feel welcome. If they decline ( because not everyone has time to eat lunch away from there desk) don’t hold it against them, don’t talk about them after they leave, just take it as a nice decline and eat your lunch.
If you are one of those people being quietly hushed over at “popular table” brush it off. You don’t need theirs or anyone else’s approval to do your job well or be who you want to be. If they still want to participate in the popular kids club, let them but I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. In my experience, it’s the people not sitting at the popular tablet that end up having the most fun and being the most successful.