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The Teen Popularity Handbook cover If you like our website content, you’ll love this book!

It is the only book of its kind. It is the handbook of how to be a popular teen, teaching you how to develop the skills to be successful in high school and beyond. Every teen, parent, grandparent, etc, needs this book.

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From the back of the book:

Any teen can become popular!

When you’re popular, life is exciting. Popular people are surrounded by close friends, fans, and secret admirers. They have the skills to form meaningful romantic relationships and rarely get bullied, because they have the confidence to stand up for themselves and others.

Wouldn’t it feel great to give a class presentation without anxiety? To have the confidence and right words to ask that special someone to the dance? Or to be able to read your crush’s body language to know what he or she really thinks about you?

How would your life change if you replaced your feelings of loneliness, awkwardness, and frustration with happiness and self-confidence?

But…Can you be popular? Yes! Popular teens think and act in ways that make them loved and admired. This book reveals these scientifically-backed “popularity secrets” and makes learning and applying them in your life fun and easy.

Don’t worry, The Teen Popularity Handbook isn’t going to turn you into a bully or “mean girl,” but a confident, fun, and well-liked teen everyone wants to get to know. Also, since studies show that popular high-schoolers earn more money later in life than unpopular teens, the benefits of being popular never end. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start your exciting transformation into a popular teen right now!

280 pages. 

Order today in paperback and Kindle!

Three Reasons Teens Should Care About Politics

Polling Station SignYou’re a teen and maybe you don’t care about the political process at all. I don’t blame you. It’s easy to not care about voting when it’s become a billion dollar industry, and you may be too young to vote anyway. It seems like one vote doesn’t count and if you don’t have millions to throw into campaigns, you’re a nobody.

Maybe you can’t stand the candidates. Right now it looks like it is going to be Trump versus Hillary. I don’t sense a lot of support from young for either of these.

Despite these issues, the American electoral process does matter for teens too.

Here are three reasons why.

The Issues Impact You

Teens can be directly affected by the decisions of politicians at all levels. Going to college? The government can help with grants or loans. Want more class options at your school? Only if the government thinks it’s beneficial. Is your school failing? Maybe the state government has cut funding. Also, local leaders determine rules about curfew, age of consent laws, and other decisions that impact your freedom (or lack of it).

This, of course, is in addition to the issues that impact you indirectly. For example, every dollar your parents pay in taxes won’t be going to buy you the new iPhone!

The point is that even if teens don’t care about government, the government still cares about them (and it may not always be pleasant).

You Can Still Make A Difference

Although those under the age of eighteen can’t vote, they still have freedom of speech and association. So, even if you aren’t old enough to vote, you can write your leaders, protest in various ways, and join politically oriented clubs and groups, etc.

If a law impacts you, especially a local one, then go and offer your opinion. Although the United States has its problems, generally people of all ages can peacefully state their opinions without interference.

Start a movement, read up on politics. Do anything to let your views be heard.

It’s Your Future

Right now most leaders are in at least their fifties or older. However, they’re making decisions not only for today, but also for many, many years down the line. Their votes could hurt or harm you many years from now. Take the national debt. That debt belongs to everyone. The people spending it now won’t be around to pay it off. Who will be? You!

So, as the election approaches in 2016, you may want to start paying a little more attention to the political world around you. You don’t have to be obsessed or get too into it. But, it’s your future (and present), so you should probably care at least a little bit!

Lonely Teenager: What You Can Do

depressed teen girl

Image courtesy of ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you a lonely teenager? If so, you’re not alone (pardon the pun). Lots of teenage guys and girls are lonely. They feel they have few friends or other people in their lives to keep them company. And, loneliness can lead to other bigger problems such as isolation, depression, and even suicide. If you are a lonely teen, then we can help you find friends. Here are four tips explaining what you can do.

Take The Initiative

If there are lots of lonely teenagers, then maybe a solution would be to actually introduce them to each other! However, you don’t need a friend finder service. You may just need to take the initiative with the people you know. If you’re bored and lonely, then text a friend and invite him or her over. Go through your Instagram or Snapchat contacts and see who wants to go out for a coffee or play a game of basketball. Sometimes it is just a matter of being the one who takes the initiative. However…

Take It To The Real World

When studying loneliness, scientists have discovered that online activity doesn’t take the place of real world interaction. So, you may be texting all day and “hanging out” on social media. However, it likely isn’t enough to ease your lonely feelings.

Humans are hard wired for real world relationships. So, a lonely teenager needs to get out of the online or phone experience and get face to face. You can use texts or social media to get there, but don’t stop with just the electronics. Oh, and you may want to consider even spending time with the people in your house (like your family).

Expand Your Social Circle

If you’re lonely, could it be that you’re a snob? If you look down on most people, then you’re not going to have a lot of people around you. Open up and allow yourself to meet people outside of your normal social circle. Don’t hang with dangerous losers, but find new friends outside of your usual clique. You may find your new best friend and can kiss loneliness goodbye.

Expand Your Interests

Maybe you’re a lonely teenager because your interests are too limiting. Try to expand them. Play a new sport, take up an instrument, join a club, and so on. Make yourself well-rounded. You’ll not only have more things to do, but you’ll also be around a lot more people. So, with this new interest and new circle of friends, you’ll probably find that loneliness is out the door.

Remember, you don’t have to be lonely. Good luck in finding friends and combating loneliness. Get out there and be happy!

Why Jocks Are Popular

navy footballLikely at your school, jocks, or athletes, are the most popular people in the school. It may not seem fair if you’re not athletically inclined, but there’s a reason why jocks do so well socially in school. And, it’s beyond anyone’s control. I may not like many of the rules, but I can’t really change them. Why? It’s because of millions of years of evolution.

Humans evolved certain traits that enhanced survival. In other words, traits that led to survival of the species were considered valuable in the eyes of other humans. So, with early humans, the most valued males were those who were strong, powerful, and confident leaders.

And, in ancient times, the men who were strong and powerful protectors and warriors were…the athletes who could hunt and fight for the tribe. The guy who was great at other things, even if he was really talented, would be useless to the community or even dead if he wasn’t at least somewhat athletic.

So, if you are a guy and wonder why jocks are popular with girls (and even other guys) when they don’t seem all that nice or charming, it’s because evolution has programmed women to like them! That’s right, those beautiful girls who won’t date you are actually attracted to the athletes without even giving it much thought. If you’re a girl, this may explain why you really hate the jocks with your head, but deep down in your heart would love to date them. You may tell your friends what a jerk the quarterback is, but yet he may have appeared in your dreams.

Also, before anyone writes me saying they know jocks who aren’t popular or guys who are popular without being athletic, save the bytes it takes to send me a message or email. I know that there are exceptions to every rule. But, the rule still holds: athletes, in schools and in the real world, are often extremely popular and attractive. You can’t change the facts.

However, the exceptions are very important. And, if you’re a guy who’s not in the popular or athletic crowd, you can still be popular, successful, and attractive. Fortunately, other traits such as being funny, taking charge, musical talent, etc. are also highly valuable in today’s society (where we don’t have to outrun bears). But, what matters is that you are high value and confident. In high schools, being a jock instantly gives you those traits.

But, you can find those traits elsewhere too, even if it takes a little more work. Browse our site for tons of tips and practical advice that you can use to become more popular and attractive than ever!

The Surprising Factor That Determines 85% Of Your Career Success

money and graphs

Image courtesy of ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As a high school teacher, I notice that many of my most successful students aren’t just those who study for tests and memorize facts. In many cases, the best all around students (those who were academically successful, excellent athletically, involved in clubs, etc.) also have another factor that is responsible for their success: they have outstanding social skills. They relate to others, communicate well, and read others’ emotions.

When the ideas behind The Popular Teen were swirling in my head, I started to research the science of popularity. I found many studies and articles confirming what I observed. Science agrees that emotional, mental, and social factors not only play a very important role in career and financial success, but actually are more important than raw intelligence and technical knowledge (knowing how to do your job) to financial and career success.

Let me repeat that: Your personality and social skills are more important than technical knowledge in career success.

So, you may have the best math skills of any accountant at work, or the teacher with the best lesson plans, or even the most academically gifted student in your class, but that doesn’t mean you will be successful accountant, teacher, or student.

In fact, the guy or gal that is good at his or her job, but who comes across as likable, outgoing, and cool is probably going to get the promotion first and advance in the organization. His or her charisma and likability will create far more opportunities for advancement than any knowledge.

This might fit with what you’ve noticed in your life. Many times the people at the top of companies (and other organizations, even countries) aren’t those who mastered every fine detail of their craft. Rather, they are “people persons” who are great at networking, persuasion, and building relationships.

In fact, research by the Carnegie Institute of Technology determined that 85 percent of a person’s financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” meaning personality, communication, and leadership. Put another way, people with great personalities make more money than those who have bad ones.

This information is shocking because social skills are neglected by almost every educational institution. Schools relentlessly emphasize technical knowledge, to make sure a student knows every fine detail of algebra, grammar, and history, which is a good thing. However, it is shameful that students can leave school lacking basic social skills that are pretty easy to learn.

Ultimately what we do here The Popular Teen and our new site Your Successful Kid is teach social skills, either directly to teens or through helping their parents. If you are a teen, not only will learning social skills help you get more dates, make friends, and make more money, it will make you happier since you are in control of your life (read this site regularly for tips).

Parents, don’t neglect this aspect of your child’s life. It leads to greater success both in the present and later in life.

Why Being A Teen Can Be Emotionally Difficult

upset teen boy

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sure, life can be hard at all ages, but being a teen is particularly difficult. But, dealing with stress really is harder mentally and emotionally for teens. If you’re a teen going through stress, or a parent with a teen, it’s important to realize this. Being a teen is emotionally difficult for a few reasons.

First, teenage brains are still developing. See The Teenage Brain by Frances Jensen for more information about teenage brain development.

So, the brain’s frontal lobe is the part of the brain that logically holds everything together. In teens this isn’t fully developed (it may take as long as your early to mid-twenties until it is!). This means you may not even know who “yourself” is as a teen; this is also why some teens seem to change identities on a weekly basis.

It’s hard enough going through life having a clear sense of identity and purpose. However, due to the way the brain develops, teens naturally lack the brain development to “put it all together” or put everything in perspective. This makes it harder to deal with stressful events because it can lead to feelings of uncertainty and a lack of purpose.

Second, teenagers are going through hormonal changes. These can create not only mood changes, but huge mood swings. Combine this with an undeveloped frontal lobe and it can seem like you are going crazy. The extremes can be staggering, from being extremely happy one minute to incredible sad the next, sometimes even without explanation. Also, guys, especially teen guys, tend to take riskier behavior in the presence of women, thanks to the the testosterone flowing through their bodies.

Third, teens are going through a lot of feelings and changes for the first time, and they feel them in a more heightened way. Since they are still developing, teen brains are more sensitive to dopamine, which causes them to take more risks and and seek more thrills. They don’t always know what these feelings mean, and due to the lack of frontal lobe development, they haven’t developed the skills to cope with them. So, feelings, especially those surrounding love and relationships are new. They’re exciting, but also scary. And, when things don’t work out (or do), it can lead to an inability to properly react. Imagine going through something that’s both new and emotionally tough.

Finally, teens mainly spend the day with others just as emotionally volatile as themselves- other teens. So, it creates drama and even more emotional stress since these overly stressed teens often cope by bullying and lashing out at others. So, it makes bad situations even worse.

So, if you are a teen who is upset a lot or you’re a parent with a teen who seems to be an emotional roller coaster, it is fairly normal. If a person is seriously depressed or has other mental health issues, then it’s important to seek help. But, a little bit of emotional pressure on teens is very normal.

Guys: Just Stop Declaring Your Love (Especially Over Text)

i-heart-3-youThis is the number one mistake teen guys often make when trying to get a date. So guys, please read carefully. Ladies, if you have had this happen to you, things will start to make sense.

As a teacher, students talk to me a lot about their lives, including their romantic lives (whether I ask or not!). At the end of a school year (and other times even), guys think it is the right time to send girls messages declaring the great love they have felt for them the entire year.

The other day in study hall, some girls were reading some love declaration texts from a guy one of them barely knew. It was hard not to cringe as she read him declaring how beautiful she was and how he couldn’t resist messaging her any longer. I’m not sure which was worse, the guy’s messages or the fact that he poured his heart out and the girls were getting a laugh from that.

Even if they don’t use the “love” word, guys will message some girl about how perfect and beautiful she is, how they have liked her from afar all year, or they had a crush on her, and so forth.

Here is an actual back-and-forth a student showed me:

Guy: Hey I wanted to let you know I have had a crush on you since we met. You are beautiful and perfect 🙂
Girl: Oh
Guy: Yeah, I wanted to let you know how great you are 🙂
Guy: No response lol
Guy: So you don’t feel the same way?
Girl: No, sorry
Guy: Well I will have to go to plan B then
Girl: What?
Guy: Your friend Kayla.

This is actually a mild exchange in many ways, but still very cringe-worthy, especially suggesting that her friend was “plan B.” But, it is typical of the “out of the blue” and random nature of how teen guys often declare their love for girls. Below are examples of why these declarations are a horrible, horrible idea.

It is Artificial

Attraction has to happen naturally. People start dating based on developed attraction and rapport building. Watching a girl from afar, or just being a friend to her, and suddenly dumping an emotional declaration of love onto her (or even worse, an essay explaining it all) isn’t even close to how attraction actually works.

Instead, give attraction time to develop. You can’t go from friend, acquaintance, or “that quiet guy in Spanish class” to “boyfriend material” instantly. Plus, that would go against how women fall for a guy…

It Doesn’t Understand The Way Women Fall In Love

Guys are more like light switches when it comes to attraction. It is an “on/off” thing. Once you feel it, you feel it, and it is immediate, often based mainly on a woman’s looks. This is why most guys are perpetually ready to date their attractive female friends.

Women are more like a volume dial than an “on/off” switch. They need to warm up and be given time to fall for a guy, and figure out what they actually feel. A lot of this is because women take personality into account far more than guys do when evaluating attractiveness.

Love declarations can be awkward for girls because they aren’t expecting them. A guy has turned the switch to “on” and is ready to go, but for the girl, the dial is set to “0.” In her mind, she may just be friends or barely know him. When a guy hits her with a text expressing his romantic feelings, she doesn’t know what to think. For women, it is literally a shock that her friend suddenly wants more. And, it is often unwelcome and awkward because it is so unexpected.

So, guys, instead of declaring your love outright, focus on getting her “volume dial” turned up. Start flirting, being funnier, acting more confidently, etc. Start going from being perceived as “just a friend” (or socially invisible to her) to being a guy she could actually be attracted to. You’ll start noticing signs as she starts flirting, giggling, and communicating with you more and more. This is the only way to a girl’s heart. Anything else is just weird.

cringe-pic

It Shows Insecurity

While a guy may think he is showing confidence by sending his lengthy love declaration, women perceive it as insecurity. If a guy has seen a woman hundreds of times at school, or interacted with her as a friend, then why did he wait so long to express his romantic interest? Why is he doing it over text? Even if in person, why is he making such a huge deal of it?

Guys, let things happen gradually. A confident guy just does things and owns them. He doesn’t overthink or overcomplicate matters. That comes across as insecure. Seeing a girl daily, saying nothing, then randomly declaring her love for her is complicating a simple matter. So, flirt and interact for a while, and then, after reading that she is getting into you, ask her on a date. Have fun on the date, and continue to be funny, confident, and cool, and go from there.

It Isn’t Smooth And Charming

Women like guys that have charm. Like I have already mentioned, a socially skilled guy isn’t going to awkwardly dump his love onto her. He’ll be funny, charming, and mysterious. He’ll make a girl want more of him, instead of coming across as needy.

Guys, instead focus on making her feel good on a regular basis. Make her laugh and smile and want to hang around you. That is how you get her to see you as boyfriend material, not by sending her a random text out of the blue. If you are “just a friend” or invisible to her, I guarantee her romantic interest is elsewhere, probably focused on a guy who is charming and confident. Becoming like those guys is the best strategy.

So guys, stop with the random love declarations. Seriously, just stop. Instead of making her laugh at you with her friends, make her and her friends laugh at your funny and confidently delivered comments.