SURVEY SAYS: High School Cliques

August 5, 2013 – Last week I asked NewsDash readers what groups or personas they most fit in with in high school.

Nearly 36% of responding readers selected “none,” while 26.4% said they were “brains” in high school. Nearly 13% indicated they most fit in with the artistic/drama, music group, and 8% identified themselves as athletes.

Among responding readers, 5.7% were cheerleaders, 4.6% were in student government and service clubs, and 2.3% each selected “tech nerd,” “class clown,” and “trouble maker.” No one admitted to being a teacher’s pet.

Nearly 91% of responding readers said they are not part of any clique at work, while 9.2% indicated they are.

In the verbatim responses, several readers reported they were accepted by many or all groups in high school. Most had negative comments about cliques at the workplace, but a few identified their workplace clique as being more about a favorite activity than about personas. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “Work in the (only) HRD of a multi-company organization and must regularly demonstrate the Swiss are partisans by comparison. Even our doors don’t ‘clique’ shut.”


I kind of talked and hung out with various groups in high school and found that I do the same thing now.


When you work in HR you are naturally excluded from work cliques.


Funny story, sort of. The clique in our department was my boss and a select few in our department. Our company sold and now her buddies are gone. So NOW she realizes I exist...


Too many painful memories.... hopefully have left the cliques behind.


My clique is a craft clique that meets at lunch to knit or crochet. We have many other unproductive cliques at work. They are just like the childish high school cliques. I can't be bothered with them.


High School? My family had just moved to a small town and as a child of a semi-public parent, during the first class on my first day of high school I was specifically identified due to a unique last name. There were a few good friends, but we were never part of the 'in' crowd. At work? We try to do our jobs and stay out of the political limelight. As things change at work the cliques also shift and those who are "in" one day can be "out" in the future. If we wait long enough, cliques will shift.


It's like John Hughes designed our environment. Fortunately, I am able to move about all the cliques, which is the same thing I did in high school.


I have always been a go with the flow kind of person. In high school, I could relate to most groups, other than those stuck up cheerleaders! In my job as HR I think I relate pretty well to both the common folk & management.


we have them at work and it causes hard feelings just like High School all over!


My clique at work is more a departmental group that has strong ties and loyalty to the group we work with than the high school clique of similar personalities.

Verbatim (cont.)

Last HS reunion I went to (which was 30th), the cliques were still intact...which is why I skipped the 35th.


Cliques at work are far more annoying, since the object is to generate productive work!


They are restrictive, limiting, and for the most part, destructive as it can lead to bullying and intimidation against those within and outside the clique.


Always been a bit of a loner wanting to make my own way. My parents never had to worry about peer pressure with me! I made and still make my own decisions and set my own path. If everyone has it, I don't want it. Sometimes it's challenging to be on the "outside" now and then but it's still what I prefer and fits well with my HR duties, no favorites.


I was part of a clique at work in my younger years. We all partied and hung out after work. Not anymore. However, high school was a different ballgame. I was with the cool crowd.


Our band clique and its members were referred to as "bandhole." You'd hear it, sing-song, when you'd be marching in the parades, football games, or even walking by yourself down the hall. There was an actual way to call it out...make a fist and use it as a sort of megaphone which also looked like you were coughing if a teacher was looking. It turned into a term of endearment by the time I was a senior because our class got along extremely well. We'd even say it to each other!


Cliques are boring. People are multifaceted and shouldn't limit themselves to labels or only interacting with friends or people like themselves.


It is unbelievable that cliques are in existence in the workplace. It is rather sickening how the cliques in our office are allowed to break the rules and never get reprimanded. Also, I am stunned as the power of one of the cliques in our office. I am a woman in my mid-fifties, whom has worked in offices since being a teen and my current office is unbelievably "cliquey".


In my day, you were 'in' if you were part of a clique and 'out' if you were a loner ... choose from jocks, brains, or hards ... I always had more fun with hards.


I was in two cliques - athletes and brains. In my high school (in OKC) the jocks ruled campus, but they/we were very inclusive, not exclusive and actually set a fine example of how to get along with everyone. I'm proud to have been part of that. I like to think those lessons carried forward and helped shaped me into a good boss, but I suppose you would have to ask my staff about that.

Verbatim (cont.)

Hard to be in a clique at work when you are a female benefits manager in a small regional corporate office of male Finance/IT/Sales people. Nice guys but not much personality; even the sales guys are a little weird.


Now as in high school I have friends in many groups/cliques and don't quite fit in any of them.


I was the awkward kid with the funny name and out of style clothes etc. that everyone made fun of, I was miserable in school. At work, I am just as miserable all the same cliques are here if not more. You forgot to list the mean girls clique from high school. They become the "mean women" at work.


I think they are nothing but trouble.


In high school, I was a cheerleader, but I was also in the National Honor Society, and I was involved with the drama club. It was difficult to fit into any one clique, and I was very often the target of ridicule by one of the cliques. Now, after many years in the workforce, I belong to a group of wonderful women who meet at least once a week to knit and chat. Some may consider it a clique, because we are often together, but we do not exclude people, and we are not disrespectful of others who do not join us. We get together because of our common interests.


At work? NO WAY! High school was enough for me.


I'm in the Director of Human Resources clique of one:)


Didn't really belong to a clique in high school, pretty much got along with all the cliques that were there as I had friends in most of them.


Cliques exist at work. There are just some personalities that naturally gravitate to one another and there is nothing wrong with that, but if you are in a position of leadership it is important to foster a team environment and give your team, including the cliques the opportunity and skills to go outside and play with the tech will positively benefit the organization.


There is one big clique at my job, with smaller sub-groups. It keeps growing, like a monster octopus, pulling in new people with its tentacles.

Verbatim (cont.)

The high school cliques were a combination of where you lived in the city (generally you would have attended the same K-6 and middle schools) and course of study (college prep associated with students in their classes etc.). At work there are cliques in the plant set up primarily on an age basis.


I run with the Mom clique at work.


I never felt I was in a clique in high school, although I saw them around me. I fit best in music with a side specialty of teacher's pet, and I felt generally excluded and laughed at - if not actually hated. At work (many, many years later!) there's still some of that going on, but I will and do work with anyone here since I believe I work FOR everyone.


It amazes me how many people are unwilling to let go of high school. I mean high school has been over for YEARS. You can grow up now guys. It's OK.


Work in the (only) HRD of a multi-company organization and must regularly demonstrate the Swiss are partisans by comparison. Even our doors don't "clique" shut.


Most cliques are about perception rather than exclusivity. I have found that if you approach people in a friendly manner they are usually accepting.


Since we lived in caves, mankind has huddled together with like individuals to seek the shelter of others like "us." But cliques, wherever they are found seem to be mostly about rejecting those people (or perspectives) that are different. And, in most cases, that rejection seems designed to eliminate, not assimilate, those differences. Sad, but it appears to be part of our DNA.



NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.