Gilby’s Guidance #5

Fickle Females

Image: Kevin Shorter.
Image: Kevin Shorter.

‘Boys are just as bitchy as girls’, they say. They being the deluded girls who you need to be particularly weary of. From a young age, I would argue, girls slip into a slightly more passive-aggressive state of combat than boys, because, unlike boys, they do not have physical fighting as a method of conflict resolution. Avoiding conflict altogether makes for a much more neat and tidy looking group of ‘friends’, but just because the conflict has been avoided, does not mean that we should have to let it go…

Ok, I am completely aware of how childish this all sounds but I think this juvenile mentality of being nice to someone’s face and letting all the aggravation they cause bubble up inside is something that is hard to shake as an adult.

I’d like to think that my group of friends haven’t completely skewed my view on what is normal teenage girl behavior; although thinking about it, I have rarely heard horror stories like the ones we unleashed on our enemies. We were best friends. All twelve of us sat on a lunch table (that no other group in the school would dare to look at) and laughed until we cried at anyone unfortunate enough to take our fancy. To the exterior student body we were a tight-knit group. However, from the inside it could not have been further from a Disney portrayal of friendship.

When it came to an outing we all had strong opinions on who definitely was not invited. We all had an arch nemesis within the group, usually the one who we seemed the closest with and shared the most private jokes. But the thing that seems the most obscene with a retrospective eye is how we all thought we were the only one who escaped the firing line. I was talking about everyone else all the time, but no one would ever do that to me!

The beauty of getting older to me was in the independence of escaping any situational friendships. There was no longer the looming necessity to be nice to people who drove you insane for the sake of a group: no need to pretend to be interested for the sake of what they could say about you behind your back. The maturing part of me clung on to the notion that it was because people didn’t entertain themselves with petty putdowns anymore, but the realist in me knew that it was happening with more malice than ever, I just cared a lot less.

It’s tricky at university because you find yourself reverting to your 14 year old self; worrying about what people are thinking and hoping everyone is going to like you. Just bare in mind that it is kinder and much more beneficial to keep a distance from people who you know you are never going to get on with.

Wasting time with superficial enthusiasm is not something you can afford to do at university, the effort it takes could be much better spent elsewhere. Being a bitch has no correlation with self esteem or confidence, all it reflects is your level of maturity. There are a lot of positive traits we can cling on to from our careless youth, don’t let school girl errors be one of them.

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