Back in high school someone told me something that I will never forget. I think I must have asked them something to the gist of, “Why do you like me?” or “What made you want to be friends with me?” At that age I was probably my most vulnerable. I wasn’t any of those particular things (popular, sports super star, student body president, etc.) that would automatically inspire confidence. I was the girl next door. I was the girl that all the guys felt comfortable around because they could act like themselves, fools. I was also the girl that other girls felt comfortable not acknowledging because they didn’t have much to say to me. So when I got into this conversation I didn’t know that I would remember it for as long as I have.
After I asked them that question (Why do you like me/What made you want to be friends with me) I was particularly surprised at their response. They said something like they liked my laugh and that I could find humor in almost anything; and then they said, “oh, and you can never stay mad at anyone.” That part I remember most clearly.I was puzzled. I thought the laugh/humor thing made me a bit charming, but never staying mad at someone? What? That’s a bit ambiguous, don’t you think? Does that mean I am a push-over?
After years of thinking about that phrase and mulling over all the possible meanings behind it, it took me until after college to figure out how I wanted to interpret it. I had to go through losing several people who I thought were very close friends of mine and a major life change with my significant other before I could figure it out. I can’t stay mad at people because God gave me the ability to forgive. I am one of the few people in the world who can forgive people no matter how horrible the relationship or how challenging the situation. Don’t get me wrong, I still get mad or sad/heartbroken, and I will likely cry about it. But, at the end of it all, I still choose to forgive.
In my ventures through school, employment and motherhood I have come across what you would classify as the “mean girls”. Now, I hate the phrase “mean girls” because it really applies to men too. It’s not just women who are catty, guys have a similar way about themselves, they just handle it a little differently. But, that tends to be the general name for the group of people who are just mean. They are mean just to be mean and that’s the way it is. It is deliberate and almost strategical. It makes my heart hurt just thinking about them. These people find whatever person they can pick on just to see them cry, feel bad about themselves, and/or remove them from whatever social group they are apart of. These “mean girls” found me.
They found me and my family even after we relocated from California. They are in Texas too! I am not completely naive, I knew they existed outside of California, I just didn’t think they would find me this quickly. None the less, now that I know who these “mean girls” are (which, I guess it wasn’t that hard… I have only been here for about two months) it makes me distancing myself from them that much easier. I am the kind of person who “can never stay mad” at someone, but if you burn me I do stay away. If you believe I wronged you (even though in reality, that may not be the case) I will be the first person to apologize or to try and talk to you about it.
Some people see apologizing as relinquishing power or control, being weak, or just being pathetic. I feel like it can be the exact opposite. You are acknowledging that what ever you did or said may have hurt someone. You are taking the initiative to resolve it and open the door of communication. That shows immense self control and power, it shows strength to say that you were wrong or that you didn’t mean to hurt or cause someone pain (that quite frankly is not seen very often), and it shows respect… you are saying despite our situation I still value our relationship and want to make this better. As much as I am not extremely confrontational, I certainly do not mind having an adult conversation about whatever might be bothering you or me. I am even open to maintaining the relationship and making it better for the future.
What I will never understand about these “mean girls” is the need to pull others to your “cause” and gang up on one person. The desire to publicly humiliate or verbally maim someone doesn’t serve much of a purpose outside of causing pain to the person on the receiving end. This is not a friendly trait. It doesn’t make me want to have you around. No matter how well we resolve our “mean girl” issues, you will be always be the “mean girl” to me and I will never trust you. I will forever keep away from those people. They are on a repetitive cycle and I am not interested in joining the “mean girl” mob. It’s not my thing.
Even after all these years of growth and change, I suppose that some things never change. I still love to laugh and I find humor in life. And I don’t like to stay mad at people. I find that I stress about it and the energy it takes to be angry is more than I am willing to put into it. So when I decided to apologize to and forgive my “mean girls” I do it for me. I do it so I don’t have it weigh on my mind forever. I do it so I can make my peace and move on.
Now, moving on to more delicious things. I am enjoying my Whole30 cooking. Today was my egg breakfast left overs on a bead of spinach with guac for breakfast. Lunch was a repeat of dinner last night because it was so stinking yummy. Dinner was stuffed baked potatoes and asparagus. YUMMY! I can’t even begin to say how much I am enjoying this. I had a good day of eating and I am ready for day three tomorrow. It will be a new ball game with my husband home for his weekend. I just hope he doesn’t have some random craving for crap. I have been doing so well and I want to make it to day 30. I have officially moved on to day two and tomorrow brings day three.
Well, I am off to hang out with my hubby. I hope you all have a great day. What special trait do you have that someone brought to your attention? Did you ever see it in yourself? Do you still carry that trait?