This zone is much like the dreaded friend zone. In both zones, there is the controller of the relationship. He/she doles out affection in small doses adequate to keeping the victim under his/her control, often withholding this for a long time, so the victim, who is often isolated and lonely will come crawling back The controller has no qualms about manipulating the victim's feelings either consciously or unconsciously, because of course, the controller isn't lacking for friends/lackeys. This is not always a one on one thing. A controller can have multiple victims and a victim can have multiple controllers

The cornerstone of both zones is the "Fun without you' conversation. For the platonic friend, it's the discussion of the various jerk boyfriends. Not being a guy, I don't know how this goes, but I have a similar story. Back in senior year, I was sitting in home room with this guy I had spent years liking. He was in a down mood and was going on and on about how girls just don't see him as human and how no girls like him. I'm just sitting here, being like but I like you, I already told you like a zillion times. At least this guy had the decency to try to act sorry about it and at least make up an excuse. For the zoner, it is the requisite weekend talk. "Man, I had so much fun at/got so stoned at/talked to so many girls at the club/the big party/hanging out with the group" The loser zoner is on the outside laughing at the cute anecdotes and trying to come up with some of their own. However, on the inside, our zoner is thinking "Why was I excluded? It's not like including me would have been a problem."

Of course, don't worry shiny happy people! Our loser zoner won't fret, and be filled with that genuine pain you hate to see. She/he will dust her/himself off again and march right up to their dubious friend and maybe ask "Why don't we do something this weekend?" Another approach to this is to while the controller is talking about how great the party this weekend that you're not invited to will be, is to say "Hey, I'd be game for that!" Of course, most of the time, the loser zoner will be met with defeat. My personal loser zone rule is that three times is the charm. The first time may be a legitimate concern or something might have popped up. The second time is like, OK, the controller is a busy person and has better things to do, but the third time is usually saying fuck off.

The next corner stone of the loser zone is the unreturned favors. For weeks, the victim will barely hear anything from the controller. Then, all the sudden, the phone rings! "Hey, could you type up my report for me?" Usually the poor schmuck ends up doing it. Some people say just don't do it, but this may be like quitting smoking. Sounds simple, just stop smoking cigarettes but in reality, oooh boy. It all depends on ones' willingness to accept rejection, and if you've been starved your whole life, a bone seems like a feast.

Think you might be in the loser zone? Here are a few clues that may help. If you suggest going some place with someone, do their eyes wander off as they think of a bullshit excuse? When yearbooks come back from being passed around the room, do you have a few scattered autographs mostly saying "stay sweet" or "have a great summer"? Were you the one who was never saved a seat, so you had to scramble around, trying to remember who sat next to whom til you ended up straight on the other side of the room from anyone? When you talk, do people's eyes glaze over, and you can sense their silent expectancy for you to stop talking so they can start talking about how they had to shave their cat again? When sitting at the lunch table, are the people around you busily talking about plans you are not included in? Are you always out of the loop? Are you always the one sitting at home on Saturday night?

Now that you've identified yourself, what are you going to do? A shiny happy person would say change your attitude, get a new wardrobe and voila! inclusion! or maybe just form your own gang and fuck the popular people! The first comment is probably a result of watching too many "take your glasses off, take out that pony tail out, and now you're prom queen!" movies. For some reason, I didn't see too much of that going on, the same people who were popular in the sandbox were the class presidents in senior year. The latter seems more viable, but the people who can create new groups are basically like the popular people, but they have different interests such as books instead of clubbing. Getting into one of the outcast groups is dependent on fitting in, so you may end up in the loser zone even there. Many ungroupables will have to settle for escapism. This is a common phenomena as people seek solace in science fiction(smart people conquer new frontiers and get alien babes), video games(I'm a hero who saved the world, not the kid who was slammed at the lunch table today),comics (Spiderman was a geek, and now he's saving the everyone's ass!) and anime (If Keitaro can get chicks this hot, maybe I can someday) I am not sure if the loser zone exists beyond high school, but it's possible. Some loser zoners climb out of the muck becoming artists and computer programmers, but many don't make it. Someday, I hope to find some way to make those little ones feel less alone. The most painful part about this is that you feel completely alone. It seems that everyone else has real friends, why can't you? However, I'm sure millions of people are in the loser zone right now, groping for a way out

Non loser zoners can help too. Got a person kind of on the fringe of your social group? Talk to that person. Befriend that person. I know some of you are asking why would you ever befriend a dork like that? However, the loser zone is like the friend zone. Most people are decent people who took a wrong turn somewhere. Maybe he didn't play on the football team, maybe she decided to wear ugly shoes one day There are benefits for you. Most people are stuck here for being their authentic selves, so you won;t have to deal with some big phony A person who is not climbing up the social ladder will be less likely to backstab you. Sure you're not obligated to help out, but neither are you to do anything but to "stay black and die". This applies to non-blacks too, you get the gist.


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