Fun Clique Facts
Fun Clique Facts

44 Exclusive Facts about Cliques

By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published August 22, 2017
  • The word “clique” is from the French word claque, which means a “band of clappers,” or a group of audience members who give pre-arranged responses in a theater performance.[2]
  • In the 2004 movie Mean Girls, the primary mean girl is named Regina, which means “queen” in Latin.[8]
  • In the 2004 movie Mean Girls, the “nice girl,” Cady, is named after Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a 19th-century pioneer in the American women’s rights movement.[8]
  • Cliques are a result of universal instincts, such as desire for familiarity and certainty, control and dominance, and security and support.[9]
  • According to one survey, 80% of 12- to 14-year-olds said that the most important factor of fitting in at school is physical appearance, such as clothes and being attractive.[4]
  • Weird Clique Fact
    When you don't click with the clique
  • Approximately 17% of those who view themselves as introverts consider themselves to be a member of a clique at work, compared with 27% of extroverts.[11]
  • Girls who mature early may find it difficult to fit in. Approximately 7% of Caucasian girls and 27% of African-American girls show signs of puberty by age 7.[4]
  • One mother admitted that she attended her clique’s “chicken-pox party” (a social gathering during which parents deliberately expose unvaccinated children to the virus) even though her daughter had already been vaccinated. She was afraid of being rejected from her group if she didn’t attend.n[14]
  • Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, has amplified clique behavior — including “mommy cliques” — dramatically.[16]
  • Studies of group dynamics show that people form groups within minutes of entering a novel situation. Groups will even form based on irrelevant criteria, such as shirt colors.[4]
  • In one CareerBuilder survey, about 11% of the 3,000 people surveyed said they feel intimidated by cliques at work, and 20% reported that they have done something they are not interested in just to fit in.[11]
  • Office cliques tend to form in corporate environments with weak managements, much like a gang that forms to fill the void of leadership.[11]
  • It is not unusual for a clique to turn on a member for an imagined or real reason, such as a challenge to either the values or the leadership of the group.[16]
  • I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.

    - Groucho Marx

  • Being in a clique at work often means missing out on what other coworkers have to offer. Office cliques tend to lack diversity, and they tend to broadly group people according to their friends rather than according to a person’s individual work.[11]
  • People who belonged to a specific archetypal clique in high school, such as “athlete,” “cheerleader,” “geek,” “class clown,” or “teacher’s pet” were more likely to be in an office clique.[11]
  • Nearly half of all employees in cliquey workplaces report that their boss is part of a clique.[11]
  • A school’s setting helps create or prevent cliques. Schools that offer more elective courses, various ways to complete requirements, and more lax seating arrangements tend to be more cliquish.[1]
  • Researchers found that as kids become more popular, their chances of getting bullied and becoming more involved in social combat actually increase. Only the top 4% of the social elite were the least likely to be bullied or to bully others.[10]
  • Popular Girl Fact
    Middle school can be a pressure cooker of social dynamics, power struggles, strong emotions, and changing friendships
  • About 80% of children are part of a social group at school. Most cliques begin around fourth grade, but some can start as early as kindergarten. By eighth grade, most children have created strict boundaries of a clique.[16]
  • Female cliques generally focus on vocal activities, such as gossip or sharing feelings and thoughts. Male cliques typically form around similar activities and interests.[7]
  • There are usually two ways to join a clique, either by application or invitation. During an application, a person may socialize with lower-level clique members in hopes of impressing the clique leader. With an invitation, the leader of the group usually invites a member.[16]
  • While cliques can be negative, there are also benefits, such as providing social niches, feelings of support, protection, and a sense of identification.[5]
  • While cliques may offer a sense of belonging, they can also have several negative effects, such as promoting conformity, peer pressure, and bullying.[5]
  • Many members of cliques are typically insecure and often rely on the membership in the clique for their identity.[16]
  • While both girls and boys can form cliques, girls tend to develop more-intense intimate relationships with a few other girls, while boys tend to develop less-intense relationships with more boys.[16]
  • Researchers note that it is important to carefully consider joining a clique at work. Once a person is in a clique, it is hard to erase any stigmas that are attached to that clique.[11]
  • Researchers note that it is important to keep a healthy peer group outside of work so as to not rely completely on co-workers for social activity.[11]
  • “Parent cliques” can damage other parents, kids, and an entire school community. One author noted that cliques among “mommy circles” make “high school look like fun.”[3][12]
  • Random Clique Facts
    What happens when mean girls grow up?

  • The leader of a female clique is often referred to as a “queen bee.” She often rules by charisma, force, money, looks, will, and manipulation.[16]
  • A sidekick to a clique’s queen bee is often known as the “lieutenant.” She is said to merely echo the queen bee and to support her no matter what the issue is.[16]
  • If a person’s workplace is cliquey, researchers recommend trying to become a “non-clique role model” or demonstrating non-exclusionary behavior, such as inviting different coworkers to lunch, coffee breaks, or after-work gatherings.[11]
  • A “pleaser” is a person who can be either in or out of the clique. She will often back up the queen bee or the sidekick to the queen bee, but will receive very little credit for it.[16]
  • A clique often has a “banker,” who is the person who holds all the information and gossip, and will often release it for her own benefit.[16]
  • A clique often has a “floater,” who is a person who can go in and out of more than one clique.[16]
  • In more academically rigid school settings, teens are less likely to form cliques based on social attitudes from outside the school. Friendships are instead developed from shared school activities and intellectual interests.[1]
  • Important Clique Fact
    In more academically strict schools, friendships are developed from shared school activities and intellectual interests

  • Male cliques often include a “flunkie,” who is someone who will do anything to please both the leader and other members of the clique. He usually irritates other members and is constantly in trouble.[16]
  • Male cliques often include a “thug” or a “wannabe thug,” who is a person who is smarter than he shows and communicates in a non-verbal, bullying manner.[16]
  • Exclusion from a clique can trigger activity in the same part of the brain that controls physical pain.[16]
  • An eight-week study with kids from eighth through twelfth grade showed a shocking amount of turnover with best friends and clique structure. This means that while a child may feel excluded one day, he or she may not feel excluded the next day.[4]
  • Research shows that teens who felt good about their own social standing did well over time, even if they weren’t considered part of a popular clique.[6]
  • Interesting Senior Citizen Facts
    Bullying can occur anywhere, including among seniors
  • Cliques can even be found in assisted living centers. “Senior bullying” includes social manipulation and exclusion of other seniors.[13]
  • About 20% of students in any school are highly liked, and about 50% are average, meaning that they have some friends, but not necessarily many. The rest are considered neglected or rejected.[15]
  • While social problems associated with cliques are normal, children who are chronically at the bottom 20% of the social hierarchy are at risk for mental problems.[16]
  • While being popular has some risks, studies show a link between the number of friends someone has and higher earnings in the future. Having friends indicates that a person has good social skills, which are beneficial throughout life.[15]
References

1Andrews, Edmund L. “Stanford Researcher Explores Why Cliques Thrive in Some High Schools More Than Others.” Stanford News. November 6, 2014. Accessed: March 28, 2016.

2Clique.” Online Etymology Dictionary. 2016. Accessed: March 28, 2016.

3Crawford, Leslie. “Parent Cliques.” Great Schools. 2013. Accessed: March 28, 2016.

4Giannetti, Charlene C., and Margaret Sagarese. Cliques: 8 Steps to Help Your Child Survive the Social Jungle. New York, NY: Broadway Books, 2001.

5Hartwell-Walker, Marie. “Click or Clique: Positive and Negative Teen Social Groups.” Psychcentral. 2015. Accessed: March 21, 2016.

6Kim, Jen. “You Don’t Have to Be Popular.” Psychology Today. March 1, 2010. Accessed: March 27, 2016.

7Mandel, Joshua. “Social Life in Middle and High School: Dealing with Cliques and Bullies.” Education.com. updated July 9, 2010. Accessed: March 22, 2016.

8Mean Girls (2004) Trivia.” IMBD. 2016. Accessed: March 28, 2016.

9Salkind, Neil J. Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, 2008.

10Singh, Maanvi. “Becoming More Popular Doesn’t Protect Teens from Bullying.” NPR, updated April 2, 2014. Accessed: March 22, 2016.

11Smith, Jacquelyn. “How to Deal with Cliques at Work.” Forbes. July 25, 2013. Accessed: March 27, 2016.

12Sohn, Amy. “The Bitch on the Playground.” New York Magazine. 2014. Accessed: March 28, 2016.

13Span, Paula. “Mean Girls in Assisted Living.” The New York Times. May 31, 2011. Accessed: March 28, 2016.

14Suratt, Julie. “The Terrifyingly Nasty, Backstabbing, and Altogether Miserable World of the Suburban Mom.” Boston Magazine. April 2014. Accessed: March 28, 2016.

15Tugend, Alina. “Peeking at the Negative Side of High School Popularity.” The New York Times. June 18, 2010. Accessed: March 28, 2016.

16Wiseman, Rosalind. Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World. New York, New York: Three Rivers Press, 2009.

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