Do Cliques Really Click With Men?
Are cliques just limited for women? Simply put, absolutely not! Friendships can and are usually formed when there is mutual affection between people, a stronger sense of interpersonal bond, intimacy and trust.
When such friends interact with one another in a group and the people who have similar interests communicate, they form a clique. Healthy, judgement-free, constructive conversations can only prevail in such an environment where one knows they are really cared for. Cliques are not restricted to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or popularity. Such conversations/friendships are not stereotypically correlated with CisHet men but this does not mean they do not exist.
Non-existent or deliberately hushed?
Asking for help, being vulnerable, talking about one’s feelings, being sensitive, showing emotions, not being physically aggressive, appreciating the finer things in life are all qualities not appreciated by chauvinistic, patriarchal CisHet men. Such topics are not considered “manly” enough, whatever that means and important healthy conversations about mental health, physical health, relationships, partners, and sex seem completely far-fetched.
The safety net of a clique allows men to be vulnerable and trust their peers and ask them questions they might have been hesitant in asking people in general. There is always a sub-group inside a larger group with people leaning more towards members with similar tastes, values, and/or opinions. This does not mean the balance of trust is unequal, it just means a person may feel that the other person will understand them better and can help them get to a conclusion faster and more efficiently.
This swaying of people towards a person can also be determined by that person’s experience with regards to the problem presented by another member of the clique. Despite the swaying, a person may take up the role of solving a problem or suggesting ways to tackle it because they may have been in a similar situation before and have the necessary methods to deal with it in mind.
Opening up soon just becomes healthy communication!
One may also find themselves more open to communicating their problem exactly as it is whether it is something they may find trivial or something serious without having to face any prejudice from the members of the clique. There is absolutely no hesitation or anxiety revolving around the person’s ability to express their concern as they are assured that they will not be looked down upon. They have a secure feeling of being heard and coherently understood which makes them open up even more and the clique becomes their go-to for everything big or small.
There is absolutely no filter anymore and everything is transparent amongst all the members of the clique. Equal importance is given to each member. Everyone feels relevant and all their strengths and weaknesses are talked about in the open. How to level up and use their qualities in a particular situation. How to apply newfound knowledge from all the discussions that take place within the clique.
After the clique is formed and the members have tackled a few problems together certain confidence is formed that whatever is happening within the clique shall stay within. The fear of gossip/secrets being spilled out/insecurities/weaknesses/vulnerabilities are completely eliminated. The clique only keeps getting stronger with time and the problems they solve together.
With time, such an understanding is formed that each member knows how the other member will react to particular stimuli and they become codependent.
Written by: Abhilasha Muttoo
Illustration by: Abhilasha Muttoo