Is it better to be popular or one’s favorite?

Learninglife lessonsmindset

Is it better to be popular or one’s favorite?

I read a post recently on this and thought it would be worth reflecting on. Wow, nobody posed that question to me as a teenager when being popular felt so right and so necessary. I wish someone had, because though I probably would have answered incorrectly or not known how to answer, I would have stuck with it. Now, much older, there’s sufficient life experience to wonder about this properly. Which I have written about before in the good post and enemy post.


There’s enough that we know through films and pop culture and even in our own families that as we age we stop ‘giving a shit’ about much. The older we get the less we care. So from that regard we definitely gravitate to being someone’s favorite as we age, no doubt. It makes sense that as energy, fitness and appearance deteriorate slowly but steadily we can’t take part in a popularity contest. On an individual and personal level we take that approach by default without even considering it. So it makes sense that we will prioritize the popularity in our youth much more than being just somebody’s favorite. But what if we didn’t? What if we took the other approach when we were young or even with our career/job?


I remember as a teenager I wanted to be popular, I wanted to be accepted and liked and have lots of friends.

It didn’t work out that way. But when I went to college I had a desire for it still, but not as strong.

It didn’t work out that way either. Once I reached my mid-twenties, travelling and living abroad the need for acceptance and popularity still existed but faded in the background. Probably it was still important subconsciously to me and imprinted onto my soul without me giving it much attention.

Did it affect my choices? 100%

Did it affect my beliefs and attitudes? 100%

What about my measurement of success and failure? Quite a lot.

So that begs the question of this blog post….

If I had internalized the question and realized how being someone’s favorite can be not only enough, but a lot, plenty, more than enough actually, I probably would have been less anxious as I grew up. One’s favorite means that that someone adores you, respects you, helps you, gives you the benefit of the doubt and listens. One’s favorite advises, supports you and remembers. Isn’t that what we really desire?

Is it worth it to be authentic and original?

In business as in life, the question has merit. In our social media age in which we are constantly seeking validation and acceptance it’s this question that is worth asking ourselves more than ever before. Should we create our brand to identify with everyone (popularity) or just be someone’s favorite? It’s a crossroads really. One in which I have to decide what kind of person I want to be. How much am I willing to sacrifice to be popular? Is it worth it?

Will authenticity and originality get us further?

Each of us must weigh the pros and cons but from the spot I am in right now, I judge the later as being the legit alternative. Because the more authentic and original we are, the more truth we discover about ourselves. The more we discover about ourselves the more others will discover as well – our viewers, listeners, friends, family and our children. Isn’t that worth a lot? Isn’t it worth…..everything? Of course this is the default position but mass media and the internet is making us believe that popularity is the goal. Actually being someone’s favorite is easier, more natural and worthwhile.

Are you someone’s favorite?

Enjoy this episode? You can get more by signing up for the monthly Freshen Up Friday newsletter here: OR visit the Teaching blog page for more.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
growth mindset, learning, life lessons, popularity
Previous Post
First marathon – cold feet
Next Post
Obliterating heat – running in Athens,Greece

Related Posts

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x