I think we’ve all gone through periods where people don’t accept us. In my experience, those people that don’t accept me tend to be a particular type of person; usually, girls that have a common personality trait of what I consider to be shallow and judgmental.
I remember one time in middle school when there was practically a riot when one girl decided to go sit at the popular girls’ table. It was totally unheard of and everyone was shocked. Just like the movie Mean Girls, there is generally always a group of girls in schools that think being have more expensive clothes or something makes them better than other people. When you grow up and move on from high school, somehow there are still those girls who refuse to accept others.
I’ve been paying attention, and I’ve decided that it all stems from being judgmental. Let’s admit, we all probably acted in ways we wish we wouldn’t have in high school–but is there any excuse to continue being mean after graduation? Regardless of their social standing as an adolescent, some young adult women develop this sense of superiority because they do certain things and reject those who don’t behave the way they perceive to be correct.
I think it’s usually the girls that, upon asking, can’t exactly tell you why they treat you poorly. They might say, “I don’t know, you just annoy me,” or “sometimes you just say things…” as if that is indicative of any sort of enlightening response.
I already think that regardless of how you feel about someone, you should never treat anyone poorly. I also feel like that is a pretty accepted way to behave. Why, then, do people continue to be rude or mean? I guess I just don’t understand it, but I have to conclude it comes from an inability to empathize and a penchant for rejecting those who don’t fit inside a self-perceived mold.
I have a friend named Kayla. Kayla is beautiful, smart, funny and the kind of person everyone would want to keep around. I remember one time in high school, a kid came up to her and said something. I can’t remember what it was, but I do remember that this kid was someone people didn’t take seriously and rejected him as a peer. If this kid had come up to me, I would have brushed him off, or said the minimal to get him to go away. I didn’t see anything wrong with it at the time and I expected Kayla to do the same–but she didn’t. She gave a genuine laugh and responded enthusiastically, treating him the same way she would anyone.
That might seem like a silly example, but I remember being completely taken aback and kind of had an epiphany of the kind of person I was and the kind of person she was and how much improving I had to do.
It took me a few times to really solidify this lesson in the way I act, but I really pride myself on being accepting and non-judgmental of others. Mostly, I just try to be nice. One of my biggest motivating factors for being nice is because I’ve been treated poorly and I know what it feels like to have people mistreat you for no apparent reason other than a superiority complex. I know I don’t like to feel that way and I would never want to make anyone else feel that way.
I think we’ve all heard the phrase “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I propose we take it a step forward and try to change our perceptions so we don’t think negatively of others. Some might say in an unobtainable goal, but I think we’d all be happier if we tried to live that way–even if we never fully perfect it.
I also think it’s important to be yourself no matter how other people treat you. You can never make everyone happy–and why would you want to waste your time trying? For every couple people that don’t like you because you say what you think outright instead of gossiping about it behind the person’s back, there are a few more that admire that about you. For every couple people that don’t like you because they perceive your shyness to be rudeness, there are a few more that understand you and love you for it.
Whatever you do, don’t succumb to their bullying or suppress yourself just to avoid the trouble.
To those “Mean Girls,” whether you be male or female:
If you find that everyone else around you needs to change to be the type of person you want them to be, perhaps you’re the one that needs changing. It’s not possible that you’re the perfect person and everyone else needs to fit into your mold of how they should be, act, or feel.
You can be pretty and smart and funny, but if you’re also judgmental, those other qualities matter a lot less–especially once you’re out of high school. Don’t you want to be the kind of person that, 3 or 5 or 10 or 50 years after high school, has a blog post written about you and how you made a difference by being a good person? If you truly don’t care and still don’t see anything wrong with what you’re doing, at least do us all a favor and keep it to yourself.
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