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”Please like me!”

Do you still feel a sting when you’re left o a guest list? It’s natural, says Olivia Gordon, but as she discovers, real popularity is about something else altogether

When I walked into the school playground for the first time, my heart was thudding. It was my five-year-old son’s first day with a new class of children and naturally I hoped the others would accept him, and not leave him out. But, privately, I was also concerned for myself. Would the other parents like me? I was going to be coming and going from this playground for the next six years – would I fit in?

My pumping heart, of course, had catapulted me straight back to my own childhood. For most of my schooldays, I was averagely popular; not one of the ‘cool’ clique of pretty, sophisticated girls, but I had friends. Then at 16, I moved to a new school, where a few kind people took pity on me, but despite my best e. orts, I was generally shunned as uncool. It was a miserable experience.

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About Psychologies

It’s all about love this month. In our 18-page Dossier we look at the reality of making your relationships work once the rush of lust wears off. We encourage you to choose to love each other, imperfections and all. For those who are struggling, we’re giving away our 30-day ‘How to save your relationship’ online course with relationship expert Sarah Abell– worth £47. We are also looking at how to navigate bringing up teenage children with our coaching columnist Kim Morgan, plus discover a new way to deal with grief - over dinner! Gratitude is the theme of our special gift guide for Christmas and beyond. We’ve partnered with Etsy, our favourite online portal for unique gifts made with love. Who and what are you grateful for this month?