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Mindset Reality Check on Popularity

"Being popular is easy. All you have to do is tell people what they want to hear, pretend to be interested in things that are completely irrelevant to you,

and be fake and dishonest with everyone and everything."

-Harry Petsanis


By Harry Petsanis and Donna McCance

Popularity is defined as the state of being liked by many people.

In reality, popularity has little to do with being liked, and more to do with people wanting to be around someone or something to fulfill their need for approval by being part of a group or mutual connection to something.

This is because we’ve been conditioned to believe that if we’re comfortable with ourselves, enjoy spending time alone, and don’t want to be part of the collective, then something is wrong with us.

Since we’re forced to be part of something that’s “bigger than us,” we do everything we can to fit in and belong even though it goes against our nature and feels forced upon us in every way.

"Popular" often is a consensus and that consensus involves what is common and what appears to be the way the majority thinks and looks at something. The term “popular opinion” came about based on what the majority thought and believed in.

Popularity isn’t just acting in a way that others act, it’s acting in a way that others expect and demand you to act.

The term “to get along, you have to go along” was created by someone to get other people to think and act the way they do, and we’ve turned that into being popular. “Oh, this is popular, everybody is wearing it. Oh, this is popular, everybody is watching it. Oh, this is popular, everybody is saying it. Oh, this is popular, everyone is doing it.” That’s how trends and fads begin.

It’s important to make a distinction between doing something because you want to do it or doing something because everyone else is doing it, because you want to be perceived positively for falling in line with everyone else.

Consciously, people believe they want to fit in based on societal conditioning. Subconsciously, the reason they’re doing it is because they don’t want the ridicule that comes with not fitting in based on societal conditioning.

The first way to control someone is to show them how bad they’re going to look and feel by not following your agenda. That’s why the terms loner, weird, strange, different, and odd, all have negative connotations. Those words were all created to get people to conform to the norm and then convince them that conformity is popularity.

There’s nothing genuine about being popular. To the contrary, it destroys authenticity because you are placing your efforts on being liked and approved by others rather than being centered on who you truly are and your own values.

Keep your ego in check and do not be flattered when people surround you with praise. It’s usually because they are benefiting from something you are doing. If you want to know the truth, see what happens when the benefit ends. They will quickly move on to the next shiny object and you’ll be left in the dirt.

When you place your happiness on what other people think and feel about you, you will never be happy. It’s impossible to please everyone, and it’s impossible to be everything everyone wants you to be.

If you like something, or want to do something, do it because YOU like it, and YOU want to do it, not because it’s what everyone else is doing. Make your own choices and your own decisions.

About the Authors

Harry Petsanis is a philosopher of human nature, mindset specialist, and lifelong fitness and wellness advisor. He is a writer and author, with three published books: “The Truth is A Lie,” “The Logical Path To Life,” and "Knowing Me from A to Z, A Child's Mindset," which he co-authored with Donna McCance, M.Ed.. Harry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He has an intense passion for psychology and the human condition.

Donna McCance, M.Ed. is a business administrator, writer, author, licensed teacher and principal/vice principal with over 20 years experience teaching in elementary education and educational leadership. She has a Masters in Education, Masters in Human Services Management, Bachelors in Business Administration and Associates in Business Administration.

Click here to order Harry Petsanis’s books

The Truth is A Lie" and "The Logical Path To Life"

Go to

to order Harry Petsanis's and Donna McCance's newly published book

"Knowing Me From A to Z, A Child's Mindset"

To learn about Harry Petsanis, go to his website

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