In high school, everyone knows your business, from the most popular kid in the class to the janitor who cleaning the toilets. Especially at small schools, it’s easy to earn a reputation, but very difficult to shake it.
For teens who want to become more popular and confident, the hardest part may be getting past the image others already have about you, which may even go back to the time you peed your pants – in kindergarten! So, rebooting isn’t easy, but it can be done. Here are four great tips to reboot your image at school.
The reason everyone in your school thinks of you in a certain way is because they’ve known you for years and formed a very detailed opinion of you. So, in order to get them to form a new, lasting opinion, you’ll have to give them some time to change their views.
This may seem unfair, but you likely stereotype others the same way. Let’s say a kid bullied you in third grade, but now is actually pretty nice. You may still see her as a bully even though she hasn’t acted that way in ten years.
That brings us to the second point…
Make Changes Gradually
If you go from awkward geek to confident stud overnight, people aren’t going to take you seriously. In fact, you may just look like you’re trying too hard.
However, if you make that transition gradually over six months, they’ll be more accepting. This is because overnight changes are seen as gimmicks or faking. If you plan on changing your style, your mannerisms, etc. to be more popular, don’t rush and change everything at once. Summer break is a great time for a total reboot since people expect you to come back at least a little different.
Model Other People, But Don’t Be A Clone
If you’re changing your image, find people your age at school (or on TV or the Internet) you think are cool and popular, and then act like they do. What do they say? What do they do? How do they communicate?
Observe their sense of humor, how they dress, etc. Also, notice what they don’t say (like creepy things). However, don’t try to be a clone of these popular people. If I see another teen trying to become popular by wearing a north face jacket, I’m going to scream. So, try to incorporate the positive aspects of their personality into your unique self. Remember, popular kids lead. If you’re a clone of someone else, you’re a follower.
Walk the Walk
Your English teacher may have taught you “show; don’t tell” with regard to your writing. While she wasn’t thinking of re-booting your image, the advice works just as well for that too. Don’t tell people how different you’re becoming. You’ll get annoying really fast. Actually show them by acting, looking, and thinking differently. Let them experience the “new you” firsthand, not just through talk, which is cheap.
These tips should at least help you get started if you want to change your image at your school. Check back regularly for even more popularity tips.