Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mean Girls

I am a mean girl.

No, not the pretty, entitled, popular, mean-just-because-I-can-be kind.  Not the beat-the-holy-living-crap-out-of-you-because-I’m-a-badass kind.

In facing a recent situation, having to take a step back and really examine behaviors, I’ve realized there are mean girls of all kinds.  I wasn’t a “popular” girl in school.  I was never part of “that” crowd.  I was never really part of any “clique.”  I’m still not one of *those* women.  I’m not the rich, spoiled, better –than-anyone, clique-y type.  (Boy, do they scare the hell out of me because I’m surrounded by them.) But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t people I wasn’t nice to.  That there weren't times I stupidly acted like that type of mean girl.  That there haven't been times even now I haven't jumped right on that bad-mouthing, bitch bandwagon and let the cruel freely fly.  

I’ve never deliberately set out to hurt someone, never been blatantly mean or cruel, but I’ve realized it’s my indirect actions that can and have caused just as much pain and hurt.  

I am a kind, nice, fiercely loyal friend who will do anything for those I care about and who has absolutely NO spine whatsoever.  Somewhere along the way (oh senior year of high school without being specific! J ), I was somehow taught that it was not only acceptable, but GOOD! to not treat everyone with equal levels of kindness and respect; if you don’t like someone, by God! don’t treat them like you do! Discriminate for goodness sake.  Treat people how you feel about them; being nice to everyone is fake and weak.  I get the fake.  I have a hard time being fake and an even harder time with people who are fake with me.  It however, has nothing to do with weakness.  The person who can bite her tongue and be the better person is a hell of a lot stronger than the one with diarrhea of the mouth.  There is a fine line between honesty and cruelty and some people need to learn to walk that line a little bit better.  I can often be one of those people.

No, I will probably not change my behavior all that much.  If I don’t like you, I’m not going to kiss your ass or bend over backwards for you.  I do, however, feel quite a bit of guilt for the times in the past when I have made poor judgment calls and hurt people I never meant to; people who thought they were my friends.  Even now, knowing there are people I have hurt (probably even just today!) with my cruel and sometimes unjust words makes me feel like a horrible person.  That’s not who I want to be.

More importantly, I have an example to set.  I have people looking to me to learn how to treat others.  I will not in any way stand for my children thinking it’s okay to pick on others, disrespect anyone or be mean just because they can.  I will also not stand for them thinking it’s okay for anyone to do it to them.  So I will alter my behavior in how I talk about people and how I approach intense, hostile or delicate situations and I will pay much closer attention when I am doing that in front of my children.

While I may be a mean girl, I do not want to raise them.  But damn straight, I will raise strong, independent, think-for-themselves, fierce little chicas.  Now just to find that fine line between the two.