Trust Me?

A few months ago my daughter started a gymnastics class, and I have quickly become friends with a number of the other moms. At first we just chatted during class, but recently we’ve begun seeing each other outside of gymnastics. It started with having coffee every few weeks or so and most recently, we have joined an exercise class while the girls are in school. I like these women very much, and we seem to have a lot in common. Here’s the issue: In my 20’s, I got burned really bad by a group of friends, and I’m afraid to let myself get close to another group of women. It’s been 10 years, but it still hurts. Should I let my guard down?

Hi honey, I completely understand that kind of hurt and have experienced it myself more times than I care to remember. I can’t tell you whether or not to let your guard down, but I’d encourage you to trust your gut. Always.

Many years ago, I had a group of very close friends. We vacationed and spent weekends and holidays together for several years.

I started to get a weird vibe from one woman … that she didn’t like me. I confronted her about it, but she assured me it was all in my head. Shortly after our tight-knit group fell apart, one by one our other friends confessed to me that she’d told them things in an effort to skew their view of me. Although, the outcome would have remained the same, trusting my gut and removing myself from the situation sooner, could have spared me a lot of hurt.

Here’s the thing, sweetheart. You are 10 years older and probably a million years wiser than you were in the past. You can let people into your life without giving them the tools and permission to break your heart. Perhaps your old friendship didn’t have the right –or any– kind of boundaries? Many women aren’t bad/catty/gossipy/fake/jealous/malicious or whatever adjective applies to your former friends. And if you are putting  good vibes out into the world, you’re probably attracting kind, good, positive people into your own world.

So let your guard down? Mmmmmm, maybe a little. Trust yourself and your own instincts. Also, I’d love to hear more about that exercise class 😉

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K I N D N E S S

My 14-year-old is getting mean-girled. Some friends recently decided they don’t want to hang out with her anymore and so have been leaving her out of activities and basically shunning her. Additionally, she’s subjected to the constant barrage of social media exclusion–We’re all hanging out and having so much fun without you. She didn’t do anything to provoke this behavior–that we know of. I feel so bad and want to help her. Any suggestions?

Hi honey, I’m so sorry. Mean girl shit is the absolute worst. I feel like I write more about this than any other subject. And I wish all of my thinking and reading and writing and ruminating had elicited some illuminating insight, but the fact is: It sucks. We can’t fix it for our kids. We can learn to accept things and people at face value and seek to bring positive energy to each interaction, but being mean-girl’ed hurts.

I see this meme all the time, and I agree wholeheartedly, but I think it’s even more important to be kind and raise kind people. I encourage my kids–and myself–to remember that others’ actions are never about us. Our perception is that it’s personal, but it never is. When someone’s behavior seems to be meanness directed at us, it’s coming from a different place. A place that has nothing to do with us.

Try empathy. Imagine that you’ve been in a position where you didn’t act as the best version of yourself. I’m certain most of us would admit having been in situations where we could have been kinder.  

I try to remind my girls to remove the personal aspect of things in dealing with mean girl bullshit. People might leave you out. “Friends” might gossip about you. That hurts, and it sucks, and it’s awful, but it’s temporary. Your actions define YOU, and other people’s actions define them. Don’t leave others out. When people do and say mean things, it’s because they’re suffering with something internally that we may not know or understand. Shake it off and move on. It’s not yours to carry.

I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. I’m sorry your daughter is dealing with this. It’s shitty. I encourage you, sweet friend, to hold your precious girl close and remind her that this won’t last. We have all been there. She is NOT alone. Don’t take these unkind actions personally no matter how personal it seems.

Be kind. To yourself. To others. You’ll never regret that.

 
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