Ok, Maybe I'm a Mean Girl Too
My life has been blessed with a substantial amount of friends. I have never had a problem making friends, but I haven’t always been a great friend. I have had multiple women confront me in my adulthood with the fact that our friendship ended because of me. I befriended them and ditched them for someone else, another girl. I am saddened to admit that some of these women have said they felt bullied by me and my new friend soon afterward. I never saw myself as a bully or a mean girl especially considering it had been done to me before, but just because I don’t want to see myself that way, doesn’t mean I am not that way. I too have been a mean girl, far too many times.
A woman recently confronted me this year informing me that I had ditched her and our friendship for another girl and was cruel to her afterward. My selective memory prohibits me from recalling this. I apologized to my former friend. I felt horrible that she was convinced I had abandoned her and our friendship. I felt worse that she felt bullied by me. I convinced myself this wasn’t true. There was no way I was that person, but when I asked my friend if there was any truth to what she said she replied to me, “yes, girl. We were so mean to her.”
I could see my friend being the mean girl, but me? My mind was blown. I have always been highly skilled when it comes to the denial department, but now as I mature, I am less attached to denial. Denial will keep me from holding myself accountable. If we truly want to grow, we have to hold ourselves accountable and purposely work on changing our behaviors. Denial prohibits this from happening. Ok, I will accept it. I have been a mean girl and not just to this one woman, but to so many women...so many women I called friends and I am sorry. I am sorry that I have hurt other women the way I have been hurt by other women.
But why do we do this?
Because sometimes walking away from the friendship is easier than holding the other person accountable for their faults. Sometimes the other friend has become unbearable and when someone else comes along, we can breathe a sigh of relief that we have found someone without those annoying traits and attributes. We can easily transition ourselves into a new friendship leaving the former behind to figure out her character flaws herself. Maybe the new friend sees the old friend’s flaws and comments on them. Finally! Someone has come along who we can share our frustrations with! What a relief!
I believe that has been the case for me. Sure, I can have a mean girl streak in me. I think we all can and if you hear this and think, “oh, not me”, you’re probably like me and you’re the worst. You’re so used to walking away or being so passive aggressive that you can’t even see what it is that you are doing. You need someone to hold you accountable, but instead your friends talk about you behind your back. Luckily for you, you’ve got us. We’ll call you out for you.
It’s time to start holding people accountable and being honest with them when they grate on our nerves. It’s ok to treat our friendships like we treat our lovers. No one likes to be completely ghosted or left for another friend. We all deserve a conversation.
I look back on the woman who confronted me about being mean to her and I will accept that I didn’t handle the demise of the friendship well, but I will be transparent, we were secretly smoking crystal meth together. I didn’t want to be on meth. I had been on it before and I wasn’t happy that our friendship had become centered around drugs. It didn’t start that way. I had no idea she was selling meth when I befriended her. What started as a fun friendship had spiraled into a gross addiction. I didn’t want to be on meth. I wanted to sleep. When my new friend entered my life, I felt relieved that my schedule was beginning to fill up with her presence and my heart no longer felt like it was going to explode. I believe I had some resentment toward my previous friend. I am responsible for my own actions. I know that, but when your friend uses and sells crystal meth, she ceases to be a friend and becomes more of a burden. I guess I could have said, “hey, meth sucks and I hate it. We need to get off this crap and get our lives together. We’re too pretty for meth”, but I didn’t. I just traded her in instead.
With that being said, maybe you’re the meth friend. Ok maybe you’re not on meth, but you’re not innocent here when it comes to the demise of your friendships. Let’s break the victim mentality right now. There’s a common denominator here and it’s you. Let’s get real. If your friends keep ditching you either you don’t know how to pick friends or your friends are tiring of you. Does the world revolve around you? Are you completely consumed with your life that you don’t take the time out to call your friends and ask them how they are doing? Are you the one always doing the talking? Are your friends constantly having to pick up the pieces of your shattered life? Are you whining and complaining all the time? Do you have a negative outlook? Are you always challenging your friends and arguing with them? Be honest with yourself. Either you are keeping bad company or you are the bad company.
I befriended a girl in high school whom I always thought we would be life long friends. She wasn’t on drugs. As my high school boyfriend put it to me once, “her mouth is her drug”. She had a very negative outlook on everything. She always had something bad to say about someone behind their back. She loved to gossip and rip people apart when they weren’t in the room. I thought she was funny and she was real. I always like friends who keep it real. But her keeping it real wasn’t necessarily reality. Her realness was hateful. Often times in my life I have let someone’s humor prohibit me from seeing them for who they really are. Just because a clown makes us laugh doesn’t make that clown a good friend or a good lover.
I don’t know why I thought she would be loyal to me or how I believe she ever loved me as a friend. She had never shown to me in our conversations that she truly was capable of loving anyone or being a good friend. She talked about everyone and I mean everyone. I blindly believed I was the exception. I, her friend who at 13 couldn’t handle rejection and became obsessed with my breakup that I had become pretty unbearable to be around...I, the friend who shortly thereafter began to spiral into drugs and alcohol. I believed she wouldn’t talk about me when frankly, I gave her more to talk about than any of our Christian school peers could have given her. Some days she wouldn’t answer my calls. I would show up at her house. Why not? We were friends after all. It didn’t dawn on me that maybe she was avoiding me.
After one of our arguments, her mother tried to hit me with her car, but I still believed we were the best of friends...We made plans to go to college together and rent an apartment, but she decided to back out at the last minute leaving me to live with three strangers. Yet, I still wanted to be her best friend forever even when she made little to no effort on her end. When we were in our twenties, I was honest with her and told her I didn’t think she should marry her boyfriend. She didn’t talk to me for two years. Eventually she came back around when he was gone and I welcomed her back with open arms. After all, I loved her. We had been through so much together.
But when I was in my thirties, I moved to Chicago and would come home and visit her, her mother and her new baby. We made plans to spend some time together one year when I came home for Christmas, but she blew me off. She was giving me the run around...not answering my calls again. Finally, she sent a text to me apologizing that she didn’t feel like going out. She was too heartbroken at the time. The next morning, I woke up to pictures of her and her other friend online hanging out, partying and having a great time without me. I felt like I was in high school. I didn’t have time for this kind of a friendship anymore. I sent her a text explaining how hurt I was by her actions. I got no response. It was time for me to move on. She had shown me for years she didn’t want to really be my friend, but I couldn’t let go. I could not read the writing on the wall. This friend didn’t want to be friends with me at all. I was a nuisance that wouldn’t go away or take the hint, but now I got the hint. Pain seems to burn a little hotter when it’s on the internet.
Sometimes we hang onto relationships too long but sometimes we hang onto friendships too long too. Sometimes we are too wrapped up in ourselves and our dramas to see that the other person is over us. It seems easier to let go of a toxic relationship than a toxic friendship. I’ve been on both ends. I’ve been dumped by the friend and I’ve been the dumper. Neither one feels great.
Bad company can be enticing. The endless drama and gossip lures us in like a drug and sometimes its the drugs that lure us into the wrong friendships. We can easily waste years in toxic friendships just like we can waste years in toxic relationships. If you’re noticing a trend-that you can’t keep friends or if you feel as if you’re constantly competing for someone’s friendship, it’s time to start evaluating yourself and the people you have let in your life. Speak up and let your friends know you don’t feel respected in the friendship. If they love you, they’ll put forth the effort of being better to you. If they don’t respond to you, then walk away. If their morals and values aren’t the same as yours, it’s okay to distance yourself. I don’t see anything wrong with a fizzle. Sometimes it’s just the natural progression of a friendship.
On the flip side, if everyone seems to be avoiding you lately and you have a long string of former friends, it’s time to get real with yourself. Maybe you’re a negative Nancy or a self-absorbed Susan. If you desire meaningful friendships, start making the time to build people up and spending less time patting yourself on the back or complaining. Positivity is just as contagious as negativity.
Find the right friends in your life who will build you up and edify you. Don’t be afraid to hold your friends accountable for their shortcomings. It’s okay to walk away from people. It’s not okay to bully them afterwards. Look at it this way: friends may be a treasure in life but losing one or won’t make you go broke.