Ainsley comes home nearly every day with a story about girl drama on the play ground.
It’s a long, drawn-out story about she said, then she said and I didn’t do anything and she’s lying so she can break up our friendship.
You know this story.
I wish I had a winning strategy to deal with this kind of nonsense.
But, I don’t.
My best strategy is to not hang out with mean girls and girls who like drama.
Except, it took me something like 34 years to be able to identify and avoid all the drama games girls can play. Am I a slow learner or does it take all girls and women this long to figure out girls’ very complex, nuanced, social games?
Currently, I have an amazing group of girl friends who don’t feed on drama.
But as late as last year, I was struggling with guilt over abandoning a person who had been toxic to my life for 17 years. I tended toward ridiculous amounts of loyalty. I see the same tendency in my sweet daughter.
I also tended towards ridiculous amounts of generosity in the face of takers masquerading as friends. Then my feelings were hurt when they kept being who they are – takers – and never returned my pattern of giving. I see the same tendency in my generous daughter. Just the other day, she was contemplating letting her best friend in class pass her in reading points so she wouldn’t feel bad. Do not do this, I told her. You always do your best. Your friend can try harder if she wants to be the best reader. You do not quit to let other people win. I want to see your friend do well. But, you don’t do less than your best for friends or boyfriends just so they can feel good.
How many years was I fat so other people wouldn’t feel bad standing next to me? I ask myself.
I attempt to hand-down the benefit of my very hard-won girls lessons to my daughter. Obviously, I’m wishing I could spare her some pain and heartache.
Ainsley will say something like, “_____ said her cousin, _____, doesn’t really like me.”
I’ll say, “Usually when a girl tells you another girl doesn’t like you, then the first girl is trying to hurt your feelings or keep your friendship to herself for some reason. She’s causing drama. Maybe she’s not really your friend.”
Then Ainsley gets upset – with me – for saying something bad about drama-causing girl #1 and making her feel disloyal to her true friend. This is sometimes followed by a lecture from daughter to mother about how her friend is “the nicest girl in the world and one of her best friends.”
What is your strategy for helping your daughter distinguish between the mean girls and the drama-makers and her true friends?