I have teenage siblings. Super accidents, but everyone likes them.
A classic example of learning to live with your mistakes.
But they don’t really talk to me. In fact, most of my siblings do not talk to me very much at all.
Middle child syndrome is actually something that seems to take place in my life more than I would have originally admitted when I was first told about it.
But there have been a couple of times where I was going to give advice or something to them and they weren’t very interested.
The reason behind this, is that I am not very “cool” and this is what makes a source credible to teenagers.
Like out of all my siblings, I am just the most neutral when it comes to that area.
I have an older brother, who when he walks in the room, you can just immediately
Normally this does not matter, because I have been successful despite the fact that no one liked me in high school.
But now I am actually living in a small, college town and the last few weeks when I have been at church, it was like being in a high school again.
In fact, a lot of the time when I am at these activities, I feel like an alien (and not in a good way). Probably because I am surrounded by that teenage mentality.
There is a feeling that you get when you are around a bunch of people trying to impress the each other. There have been a few times that I was talking to someone and they were looking around at other people rather than focusing on me.
Or you may be having a serious discussion, which happens a lot at church, and then a few of them have to very loudly make jokes out of the conversation to try get everyone laughing in the middle of the serious conversation.
It derails it.
And even me complaining about that makes me un-cool.
Anyways, I don’t feel that it is being insecure or down on myself when I say that I don’t really have a lot to offer in this instance.
The best way I can describe it is similar to when someone recently talked to me about applying for a management position at a gym.
Though I have management experience, I have never worked in a gym and don’t much about them, so I do not have a lot to offer an employer looking for that position, because though I have good qualities, I do not have those good qualities.
The same can be said in these situations with teenagers (or those with a teenage mentality). Teenagers and college kids are looking for someone who is cool to be their friend/date/be in the same room as them. They want someone who can impress the other teenagers when they walk in the room with them.
I know what someone with “cool” qualities looks like and though I am fun and smart and have a lot to offer as a friend, I am not cool.
Because this has been on my mind a lot, I decided to ask one of my closest friends if I am cool.
Keep in mind that she is a woman in her 50s, which again shows how much teenagers and I understand each other.
But this was her response:
“The word that comes to mind more for you is “hip”. You are comfortable in your own skin most of the time.”
Like these young kinds.
(You can’t see my huge smile at this.)
But even though I loved that response, I decided to take it a step further and ask my mother if I am cool.
Now, most people make jokes about how “My Mom thinks I am cool” or “My Mom thinks I am handsome” because most mothers will always say that about their kids.
My mother is one that you can always tell when she is trying to not hurt your feelings, but also doesn’t want to lie.
So, when I asked my mother if I am cool, her response was:
“I don’t know….Uh, I thought you didn’t care about that?”
I still laugh just thinking about it.
I asked my mom if I am cool and she said I don’t know.
And I am her best friend even!
If there was ever a bigger testament that even though I am happy with who I am, I will never be popular in a high school, it’s that even my mother does not think of me as cool.
(Trying to be Cool by Phoenix. You can listen to it here.)