Healthcare Training Institute - Quality Education since 1979
CE for Psychologist, Social Worker, Counselor, & MFT!!
In the last section, we discussed the five steps in the compromise on conformity technique for parents of excluded adolescents. These five steps are, paying attention to the adolescent’s style, undergarments, facial or body hair, hygiene, and compromising on media.
In this section, we will discuss helping clients understand four aspects of the ‘clique chick’. These four aspects are, what makes the clique chick tick, the clique squeeze, rapid responses, and the bottom line.
My client, Tanya, age 15, stated, "I couldn’t believe it! Recently I started getting invited to parties at Becca’s house! Becca is the top of everything at school, she’s the perfect clique chick. I felt so excited, I was finally ‘in’ with those girls. They helped me pick out a whole new style, new music… But then I started noticing that at these parties, all those girls drink and smoke. I’ve never wanted to get in to that. Then at the last party, I found myself picking up a beer, just because Becca was. The only thing that stopped me drinking the beer was Becca’s parents showing up."
Sound familiar? How often have you treated a client who found him or herself falling in to imitating a clique chick, even to the point of going against his or her own personal values?
4 Aspects of the 'Clique Chick'
♦ Aspect # 1 - What Makes the ‘Clique Chick Tick’
As you know, most clients can easily identify a clique chick as a popular girl who never goes anywhere without her entourage, and seems more concerned with boys and makeup than academics. Clique chicks are usually the center of many girls attention. This social status can often seem very appealing. I explain to clients like Tanya that an alternate way to understand ‘clique chicks’ is to recognize that in many cases, these clique chicks are girls who cannot yet stand on their own two feet.
I explained to Tanya, "Many times, clique chicks feel unloved at home. Their parents may be busy all of the time, or their families may not be warm when it comes to love. This means that many clique chicks have to get their sense of importance and affections from their peers in the clique." I also explain to my clients that whatever a clique chick’s age, she has picked up adult characteristics prematurely. Often, a clique chick is fifteen going on 25.
The result, as you know, is that a clique chick is a pseudo grown up on one hand, but very immature on the other, with a childlike value system. In order to make up for what they feels they are missing, some clique chicks even turn their own mothers, sisters, and other relatives into part of their entourage.
♦ Aspect # 2 - Clique Squeeze
I ask clients like Tanya to take a moment to consider what may seem to be even benign peer pressure in cliques. What are peers really asking her or him to do? For girls, or boys, feeling the clique squeeze from a clique chick, I recommended Tany focus on herself, talents, and potential. I stated to Tanya, "Rather than spending a lot of energy on trying to please the alphas and betas in the clique, focus on being the strong gamma you are, and what enhances who you are."
♦ Aspect # 3 - Three Rapid Response Skills
Tanya stated, "I understand what you’re saying, but does this mean I shouldn’t dress like the other girls? What if I really like their style?" I answered, "No, not at all. Fashion can be fun, and it can be important. There’s no reason you should get a pair of the new hot color of nail polish. What is important is to use common sense and make your own decisions."
♦ 3-Step Technique: Fad Check
♦ Aspect # 4 - The Bottom Line
I also encouraged Tanya to ask herself each time she became involved with a clique chick to ask herself, "what makes this clique tick?" If the clique squeeze is all about friendship or a worthy cause, it might be worth joining in. But if the clique squeeze is all for show, you might encourage your client to step back and think about what he or she truly wants.
Think of your Tanya. Would understanding how the clique chicks operate help her or him make better decisions regarding her or his peers? Would providing her or him with the Fad Check technique be helpful to her or him?
In this section, we have discussed helping clients understand four aspects of the ‘clique chick’. These four aspects are, what makes the clique chick tick, the clique squeeze, rapid responses, and the bottom line.
In the next section, we will discuss three factors regarding the impact of manipulation on a client within a clique structure. These three factors are, the emotional toll of manipulation, diminished self-reliance and self-esteem, and entrapment and victimization. At the end of the section I will explain the Take Five technique.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Ho, D. Y. F. (2010). Pooled peer ratings, self-ratings, and estimated ratings of therapeutic communication and popularity: A relational analysis. The Humanistic Psychologist, 38(4), 317–335.
Ojanen, T., & Findley-Van Nostrand, D. (2014). Social goals, aggression, peer preference, and popularity: Longitudinal links during middle school. Developmental Psychology, 50(8), 2134–2143.