Are the Bad Boy and the Bad Friend Really Different?

If a friend treats your with the same tenderness they'd treat gum on their shoe, they may not be your friend..png

Hello, World.

I was in the fourth grade the first time I was friends with someone who consistently hurt my feelings. This may not seem unusual, I mean fourth graders can be pretty rude little creatures. The thought of my precious niece having to deal with “mean girls” in elementary and middle school makes me physically sick. I dealt with mean girls from a pretty young age. I used to think something was wrong with me. I used to think it was always my fault that something was going wrong with friends. Then I realized that kids change their opinions on literally everything so frequently, it’s hard to know if changing their mind about friendship is personal or not. However, when you’re a fourth grade girl who hangs out with her best friend one night after school, getting stomach cramps from laughing so hard, only to walk into class the next day and have her glare at you and ignore every attempt to talk to her, it’s hard to see that behavior as anything but personal.

Fourth grade and my twenties aren’t that different when it comes to friendships in all honesty. People say romantic relationships are riskier than friendships… I disagree. I personally invest far more of myself into a friendship than I do a relationship. Maybe this will change, but when I make friends, I want to be friends with the person for a long time. Also, I think it’s easier to feel less afraid of a friend hurting you than a potential suitor. How many of us go into friendships with the same guards up as we do when we’re dating someone new? We aren’t as guarded because we haven’t necessarily been scorned the same way by our friends. Sure, friends have falling outs as the years go by, but friends drifting apart is natural. It’s something that people typically don’t bat an eye at in life. Oh, you grew apart from so and so? Ms. Whatshername stopped calling after moving to a new place? That’s just part of life! I once wrote an open letter to the friends I’d fallen out of touch with, and I think falling out of touch is healthy sometimes and it really is normal. As frustrating as it can be, sometimes life just takes people different places and you’re no longer speaking the same language.

However, sometimes we don’t drift apart from people, even when we should. Some friendships seem great on the surface but are actually terrible for us. Why is it that we can recognize a bad boy a mile away, and know immediately the boy is bad for us, but when a bad friend is staring us down, we pretend like the boy and the friend are not made of the same cloth? We’ve grown up hearing about the exception to the rule in men. The Mr. Darcy versus the Mr. Mayer. There is a nice guy out there, just waiting to be found. Yet we don’t have the same scrutiny when it comes to friends. We accept friends like free samples handed out in the mall. We meet new people, find a common interest and bam! We’re friends. There’s so much less fear, no endless moments of thinking, “am I doing this right?” I’ve had a lot of unhealthy friendships in my life. In fact, those mornings in fourth grade made me scared that I was going to walk up to my friends one day and have them not like me, partly because the pattern that started in fourth grade was repeated in eighth grade and sophomore year of high school, until one day I decided to just stop trying to be friends with people who couldn’t decide if I was worthy of their friendship. If they couldn’t decide, they didn’t deserve my friendship. However, when I got to college, I encountered a group of people who were constantly rude to me for no apparent reason. My fourth-grade insecurities came to a head, and I ended up ugly crying in my towel to a friend. That’s when I made the decision final: if someone was going to treat me with the same amount of concern they would treat gum stuck to the bottom of their shoe, they didn’t need to be my friend.

Toxic friendships are hard to spot. They come in all different forms, some friends are passive aggressive, some are aggressive, some are so hot and cold the constant fluctuations give you whiplash. The first time I saw a toxic friendship play out in a big way was in the movie Something Borrowed (book and movie). Ironically, my oldest friend and I joke that we are similar to Darcy and Rachel, but not because of the toxicity of their friendship. We’re just opposites who happen to be best friends [the similarities stop there, though. Trust me.]. Anyway, Darcy and Rachel seem to be best friends on the surface, but the deeper you dig, the more you realize the friendship is incredibly draining and Darcy is consistently acting in such a way as to belittle Rachel. Though they seem like such great friends, the friendship is killing Rachel. No friend should belittle you. I had a law school friend who I talked to a ton first semester but took a step back from the second semester. The perception of myself as a law student, without their influence, was a stark contrast. I no longer felt like I was doing something wrong for not getting something immediately. I don’t want to go too far into it, but let’s just say I realized, with some distance between us, that their small comments were actually contributing heavily to my self-doubt and feelings of incompetence.

I’d like to conclude with this: you may not recognize a bad friend with the immediacy you would recognize a bad boy, but you should develop enough confidence in yourself to know that if someone is making you feel less than or inadequate or like they’re doing you a favor by being your friend, you’re most likely better without them.

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Have you ever had a toxic friend? How did you know? What did you do to change the situation?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Banning Bossy

Hello, World.

This week I wrote an article for my school newspaper about the #BANBOSSY movement, and I had fun writing it so I wanted to share!
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There are many terms used to label young girls and grown women, but some of less popular terms include, aggressive, intense, ambitious, competitive, and bossy. Any woman who is driven and knows exactly what she wants has probably been called any of these terms, and though they aren’t necessarily negative qualities, too many people attach a negative connotation to them. When young girls are playing and usually take the leadership role or come up with new ideas, they are labeled “bossy,” as if their actions are incorrect. Women in the workforce know that if they need something done, and begin delegating tasks, suddenly the word “bossy” begins to circulate in the office when speaking about them.

I’ve had many nicknames in my lifetime, and one of the most popular from my childhood was “Miss Bossy Pants.” I never intended to push people around or tell them what to do, but I have the tendency to be particular, and pay attention to detail. The fact that being driven is equated to being “pushy” is rather frustrating as a young woman who’s life plan currently involves finishing my bachelor’s degree, continuing to law school, and eventually holding a partner position at a law firm. Why should women feel like if they go after what they want they are being too aggressive? If we consider the other side of this coin, we see men who are told everyday to be aggressive and succeed through whatever means necessary. Ironically, it is typically men who label women as ‘bossy,’ but I think that’s just a degrading mechanism to avoid admitting the men are just intimidated by women’s power and abilities.

A movement to ban bossy is making waves, and many female celebrities are on board including Beyoncé, Jennifer Garner, and Sheryl Sandberg. Last year, Sandberg, who works as the COO of Facebook, published the book Lean In: Women, Work, and Will to Lead, addressing some of the hardships about being a successful woman. The interesting thing about a ban bossy movement is that some people think it’s silly, while others think it is empowering. Why is such a small word so important you may be asking yourself? Because like all words in any language, it is the connotations words carry that cause difficulty for the people the words are attached to. Therefore, since bossy seems to imply an unlikable quality, it shouldn’t be used to label women who are, in the words of Beyoncé, not bossy, but simply the boss.

We are well into the 21st century, and I think it’s time to accept that women are becoming more and more successful, they are CEOs, and they are world-altering leaders. While some women do feel that being called bossy is not degrading, and are virtually unbothered by the label, others find it harsh and untrue. I know that I am passionate, I am aggressive, and I am competitive, but I don’t think any of those things hinder my success so long as I remain respectful. Bossy wouldn’t be such a problem if it didn’t carry such a negative connotation. In the past, words have been banned because they were deemed offensive, so why not ban bossy? Start using descriptors like passionate, successful, or driven to describe women, and not bossy or aggressive to describe women. Women are leaders, they are bosses, and they are hardworking, but they are not ‘bossy.’ Just remember that if you’re going to call a woman bossy, she may take that to mean she intimidates you, which says more about your character than her leadership style. Join the movement, #banbossy.

Thoughts?

Truly,
Callie Leigh

Save the Drama

Hello, World.
The other day, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, The College Prepster, and came across this post. While I was reading it, I couldn’t help but relate to everything Carly was saying. I’ve sat in coffee shops, and witnessed the brutality involved in being an eleven-year-old girl, but I’ve also been on a college campus, and watched the same pettiness occur between girls. I’m no angel, and I fully admit to playing into this idea of trying to people please, trying to remain strong even when others are rude, and even saying things that aren’t the nicest. I think if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’ve all been in one of these positions, if not both. I could do a post regarding misconceptions about college, but I figured one of the misconceptions I see ties in nicely to this post, and that is the idea that as soon as you get to college, everyone is suddenly mature, and sit around singing Kumbaya together. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Girls are just as bad, they’re just as petty, and they can be just as crazy. Let’s be realistic about this… if you’ve seen the Real Housewives of (fill in the blank here), then you know just how untrue it is that all girls get less dramatic as they mature.
don't care what you thinkWhat I do know is this: once you stop letting the small things get to you, and once you figure out who you want to be, drama doesn’t affect you nearly as much. I think it’s the caring aspect that allows drama to form, grow, and cause issues. Carly made some really great points in her post, and I liked that she said she’s been feeling down on herself lately because I can completely relate. We still have the same insecurities and uncertainties we had when we were eleven, the problems have just matured a teeny bit.
I’m one of those people who really hates when people don’t like me. Yes, I am a total people pleaser when it comes to this. There are times when the feeling is mutual, and there are other times when it only becomes mutual because mutual dislike is the only option left. College is interesting because it challenges people in so many ways, and personally, my biggest challenge is accepting not everyone is going to like me, sometimes for reasons out of my control. But I think it’s important to focus on yourself, and if you like who you are, and like where you’re going, then the other people just aren’t important. Some people thrive on drama, and they create it from nothing because it’s something to do. My challenge for you is to just let it roll off your back, let it go, and don’t let it dim your shine!
be proudYour own worst critic is yourself, so don’t let the negative voices inside your head, or you’ll just end up being even harder on yourself when you really don’t need to be! Remember the importance of self-love, remember the importance of happiness, and remember that we can’t please everyone! One of my favorite quotes of all-time goes something like, “The people who matter won’t care, and the people who care don’t matter,” and I seriously can’t tell you how much I agree with this. If people are going to watch your every move, judge you for things that are so minuscule in the grand scheme of things that it couldn’t even be located with a microscope, or keep a non-existent feud going, just ignore them. They only matter right now because you give them the power to matter, and they won’t matter the minute you say, “I don’t care,” and mean it. You can be whatever you’d like to be in this world, but if you listen to the voices that tell you that you can’t, then you may never reach your potential. So, again, don’t let it get you down. At the end of the day, the people putting energy into hating you will care way more about what you do than you care about them!
Truly,
Callie leigh