If a loved one is crying for no discernible reason, it's only natural to want to find out what the source of their pain may be. Such is the case with one man who found his 38-year-old girlfriend upset about her teenage daughter. And the reason for her tears? She's not as popular as she was in high school. The boyfriend reached out to the public via Reddit to explain what happened.
**This article is based on material obtained from sources pertaining to social media, publishing, and psychology websites, which is referenced within the narrative**
In his book, 'Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World,' psychologist Mitch Prinstein shows us that the desire for social acceptance is something that never truly fades away, even if we think it should. Despite our adult lives seeming to be far removed from high school status struggles, the idea of popularity still lingers.
With that in mind, the author of the post is a 40-year-old man who has a 38-year-old girlfriend. His girlfriend has a daughter who is fourteen years old, born out of another relationship. Currently, she's attending high school as a freshman.
The man recently made his way to his girlfriend's home only to find her in tears. He explained:
I tried to figure out what was going on and where I can help when she told me she was crying about her daughter and how she is doing in school. I love her daughter. She is the sweetest girl ever. I wish my daughters were as well behaved as her.
The man painted a picture of his girlfriend's teenage daughter as someone with a well-rounded squad of friends and no qualms about bullying. Overall, he expressed that the adolescent girl appeared truly happy.
So, why was she crying about her daughter? In his own words:
Her mother/my girlfriend was crying because her daughter is not the popular athlete cheerleader homecoming queen that she was in school. Her daughter marches to the beat of her own drum which I think is the best anyone can hope for. Yes she’s a little bit dorky. But her own mother referred to her as a LOSER during this crying fit.
He continued to explain that she's passionate about anime, Pokémon, and video games. Her wardrobe mainly consists of black t-shirts with her favorite characters printed on them. And, according to the man, despite having a different social circle from what her mother wants for her, she's contented and has found people who share the same interests as hers.
The man pointed out some of the following memorable quotes from his conversation with his girlfriend:
'I never would have imagined my daughter would be a dweeb'
'she needs to grow out of this before college'
And, finally, as he sarcastically pointed out as his "personal favorite":
'I wouldn’t have been caught dead with kids that look like that'
Contrary to what the mother may believe about her "dweeb" teenage daughter, psychologist Prinstein suggests that those with higher status, or popularity, during adolescence are more likely to engage in risky behaviors and encounter challenges within relationships until early adulthood. He further suggests that the so-called hardships of being unpopular in childhood can, instead of causing a lifetime of misery, provide psychological benefits into adulthood. These "psychological superpowers," as he described, can help people to be more sensitive and attuned when it comes to understanding others' emotions, providing lifelong advantages.
The boyfriend, however, was a bit blunter in his appraisal of the girlfriend's attitude toward her daughter. He said:
I called her disgusting and told her she should be ashamed of herself. I said her daughter is happy and how would she feel to hear her mom crying about her perceived popularity.
Finally, in the end, he remarked how fortunate she was for having a daughter who doesn't encounter the same struggles that many children do in today's world. Evidently, however, his message went over his girlfriend's head, and she was upset with him for calling her names instead of comforting her while she grieved.
What do you think?
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Thanks for reading,
Park, Colleen. "The Long Reach of Popularity." Psychology Today
Prinstein, Mitch. "Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World." Edelweiss Plus US Trade
u/WeekUnlucky6293. "AITA for calling my girlfriend disgusting and telling her she should be ashamed when she was crying?" Reddit
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