It sucks to be unpopular. Feeling like you’re always on the fringes of a group; like no one would notice if you weren’t even there. Like no one really enjoys hanging out with you, because there’s something about you that’s fundamentally unlikeable. It’s a feeling that will quickly blossom into full-fledged self-loathing and misery.
But hey, at least it won’t actually kill you!
Unless you’re a male killer whale, in which case — according to a new joint study from the Center for Whale Research and the British universities of Exeter and York — it absolutely will. More isolated male orcas, in fact, were found to be three times more likely to die in any given year than males in the “most central social positions.”
To put this in high-school terms, that guy Gary who sometimes sits at the end of your lunch table by himself, but who you don’t actually talk to, is 300 percent more likely to be dead by summer break than literally every single guy on the football team.
The reason for this, say the researchers, is that killer whales are a highly cooperative bunch when it comes to hunting. Males on the outskirts of the group are less likely to get their share of the grub come supper time, and so, they slowly starve to death. Again, like that guy Gary, only if his unpopularity were so great that even the lunch ladies refused to serve him.
Females killer whales, meanwhile, seem largely immune to this problem, most likely because they’re smaller and eat less food (and therefore require less help from the group).
So what’s an unpopular male killer whale to do?
In the interest of helping these orca losers, we’ve turned to the internet for help. Surely there must be lots of good, worthwhile advice out there for men looking to increase their popularity.
Article #1: WikiHow, ‘How to Be a Popular Guy’
“The things you don’t like about yourself, change them. If you don’t like that you are fat, then lose some weight.”
Good advice! Admittedly, this is tricky for an animal who relies on a 4-inch thick layer of insulating blubber to survive in freezing Arctic waters. But you can try!
Work out — if you look physically strong, girls will be attracted to you and you’ll look a bit intimidating.
Honestly, if people don’t find you a bit intimidating already when you’re a giant marine carnivore who generally weighs in excess of 5 tons, you may have bigger issues. That said, it’s certainly true that if I ever encountered a killer whale with completely shredded, rock-hard abs, I’d fucking shit myself.
Become part of a group.
I don’t think you understand the whole point of this “struggling to be popular” thing.
Make money. While money can’t buy you popularity, it can be useful. Want to buy an iPod? Buy it with your own money to make it look good.
“This advice isn’t pertinent to your situation. But let’s talk about how good your new iPod looks.”
Article #2: AskMen, ‘How To: Be Popular’
If you were to describe the most popular man you know, you would say that “women want to be with him, and men want to be him.”
I’m glad that of all the experts in interpersonal relations that the author interviewed for this piece, the one he went with was Mrs. Kensington from Austin Powers.
You too can learn to be funny. Just stay up-to-date with pop culture, watch sitcoms or comedians regularly, and learn how to master the art of being tactful.
Or, y’know, don’t do any of that. Please.
Article #3: The Modern Man, ‘How to Become Popular’
If someone has it, they usually worry about losing it. If someone doesn’t have it, they usually want to know how to get it. What am I talking about?
Er… money? Hair? A sandwich?
I’m talking about being popular.
According to the dictionary, popular is defined as: Popular (adjective): Liked, admired or enjoyed by many people, a particular person or a group. Being regarded with favor, approval or affection by people.
Aaand this is literally someone’s book report. Moving on.
Article #4: Menprovement, ‘20 Ways to Be a Cool Guy (and 17 Ways Not To!)’
Things That Make You a Cool Guy: Not Being Negative and a Downer
Stop killin’ the vibe bro! If you don’t have anything to say that’s worth listening to or it’s not going to build someone up and help them, just be a Silent Bob and hang out.
Please bear this in mind next time you’re dying of malnutrition somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
Sorry, unpopular male killer whales. I guess you’re just going to have to starve after all.