The Problem with Us Girls

I've been wanting to write about this topic a lot lately, but I wasn't sure exactly how to go about it without sounding like a huge hypocrite. So I'll just preface by admitting that I am guilty of every single thing I mention in here. And I am writing in the hopes that by admitting that, I will somehow be a better person, which will maybe help somebody else, which will eventually change the whole world. You know, no big deal, just changing the course of history on a Thursday.
I don't even know how to start this other than with my sad sob story. See, I was the girl in High School who hung out with a lot of boys, and eventually only hung out with boys, because I learned early on that girls are just mean. I grew up with three older brothers, so I told myself I just relate better to boys. And honestly, we had more fun. I had better friendships, and a sense of security with those friends that I never had in a group of girls. And if you are a girl, you understand why: Because have you ever spent a night with a group of your best friends, and then been the first one to leave? Have you ever had that sickening feeling that they were talking about you the minute you left? I did. I used to get full blown anxiety if I left a room full of my best friends because I knew they would all start saying negative things about me.
And how did I know this? Because if someone else left first, I did it too.
Why do we do this? There is something weird that happens when we get together with girls. It's no secret that we like to talk. (Caleb is always amazed when I come home from a night with my friends and say all we did was talk. He can't fathom how we just talked for four hours.) That alone isn't a bad thing. The problem comes from our inherent need to bring negativity into the equation. And try as I might, I can't figure out why that is.
I eventually started hanging out with girls again, and found a lot of fun things in those friendships that just don't happen with boys. For instance, when I hang out with girls, there is never anyone complaining that "we need to hang out with more girls, our weekends are always such a dude fest." (Which was followed by everyone's heads turning slowly, awkwardly towards me and the speaker muttering, "Oh yeah. And Anndee." True story.) And there is obviously a bond between girls when you make those close friendships. But even as I spend time with these girls, the girls who I consider some of my closest friends in the world, somehow the conversation almost always seems to come down to something negative. And it's never about something personal in our own lives, it's always about someone else.
Now I'm afraid by saying this all my friends are going to start watching everything they say around me, and I don't want anyone to think I'm just a victim here. Although I know terrible things have been said about me many times, I do it too. And I don't know why I feel the need to do it.
The more I thought about it, the more I started to notice it in all my relationships with women. Whether it's with my family, friends, or even at work, there is some aspect of gossiping about someone else that I think (and this is just my opinion) we've given ourselves the illusion that it creates a bond to the person we're gossiping with. Maybe we think if I talk to person A about person B, then person A won't ever talk bad about me to person B!
But our thinking is completely backwards, because in reality, the opposite happens. Person A tells person B everything you said, conveniently leaving out the things they said, and now person B thinks you're mean and has plenty to say about you to person C. And no matter how many times we go through this viscious cycle, we never seem to learn.
I know there have been countless movies, books, and articles about girl-on-girl bullying that show how mean girls can really be to eachother. I even saw one that really hit home about how girls will use Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat to try to make their lives look amazing and perfect. Although it may be unintentional, other girls see the pictures we/they post and start feeling inferior about things in their own life. So why do we do this to eachother? Shouldn't we be supporting our sisters? Wouldn't our time be better spent lifting each other up, rather than knocking everyone else down?
I've seen it happen in women of all ages. I've seen little girls in Elementary school be mean to other girls and leave them out on purpose, just to make them feel bad. I've seen 50 year old women say astonishing and unkind things about a person behind their back. And worst of all, if it means I feel included, I participate.
I know that one blog post doesn't change all that, so I'll stick with the ever-Facebook-present quote, Be the change you want to see in the world. If I stop, maybe someone will see my actions and try to stop too. If I say something kind about someone, maybe those kind words will get back to them instead of harsh words I may have said before. Maybe, ultimately, I need to change how I look at the women around me, try to see them the way God sees them, and treat them accordingly.
I hate to call myself out on my own blog (this is where I'm supposed to be bragging about how awesome I am, but we'll get back to that...) but if I don't change, I can't ever expect anyone else to.

4 comments:

  1. It all starts with the desire to change and it takes practice. I'm still working on this, but I'm so much better than I was ten years ago (but it's only because I've made great efforts to improve). I've noticed that I'm much happier without the negativity that comes along with gossip, and it brings peace of mind knowing that there isn't anything that I've said that could get back to anyone that could hurt them. It's worth working towards. Great thoughts, Anndee!

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    1. Awesome thoughts...I pledge to do better!

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    2. Kim, I was talking to Caleb about this post and I said, "It happens with literally every woman I know.... except your mom." I can't see you ever being mean, and he agrees. :)

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