Dealing With Adult Cliques
Sadly, mean girls don't grow up - they exist way beyond adolescence. Adult cliques are more common than you'd think... and can happen to anyone, anywhere.
This letter really tugged at our heartstrings. Why? It transported us way back to the angst of adolescence, acne and insecurity. Remember those painful days? And who wants to go back there, anyway?
I play in a weekly indoor pickleball game, which I’ve been enjoying - until recently.
A few months ago, I canceled a game by email because of bad weather. One of the other team members and the captain, Ashley, tried to make me look bad by hitting ‘reply all’ and writing that she was shocked and annoyed at me for canceling.
I was so angry and perturbed that I followed that up with an email to the group explaining that the mayor of our town had asked people to stay off the roads. Even the local schools and some businesses were closed.
After that, things seemed to sour between me and the other group members. I later found out that Ashley had de-friended me on Facebook and then talked to the other members about me, telling them I was not a team player and couldn’t be counted on any longer.
As team captain, Ashley always confirmed the day before that week’s game; I was taken off the list and no longer included in the group. I know this because there’s one other member, Sandy, whom I still speak with. Sandy told me that Ashley had been spreading rumors about me and was adamant about finding a new player.
This is childish and hurtful, and seems so unnecessary. Ashley and I never really got along, but still, we were part of a cohesive team, and this just seems so wrong. I have not been through something like this since I was a teenager! Even though I know I’m better off without toxic people like this, it still hurts to be the one to be excluded.
In a Pickle
Unfortunately, some mean girls never grow up, continuing the same childlike behaviors as adults. As a result, woman-on-woman bullying happens way too often.
Granted, it’s a horrible feeling to be excluded by an adult clique - so if you’re feeling sad or upset, recognize that is understandable (and normal!) to feel that way. Getting along with a group is always more complicated than one-on-one relationships because there are more people with different personality quirks.
What can you do about being excluded from a group?
· If you’ve been left out, ask yourself whether you really want to be part of this group. Do they seem like catty “mean girls?”
· If you really like the group and think that they’re decent people, try speaking to the person you feel closest to and ask her if you did or said something wrong. There may be room for an apology.
· If you can’t repair your standing with the group, remove yourself and give yourself time to get over the hurt. Find other people who are more supportive of you.
How can you prevent being a victim of an adult clique?
· It’s easy to say or do something wrong and have a whole group turn on you. One way to avoid this is to ease yourself into the group slowly before you share confidences with anyone. This will help you observe the dynamics of the group and determine whom among them you can trust.
· Never talk behind the back of one person in the group; your comments are likely to be repeated to one or more other members of the group.
· If you get offended by one person, try to overlook the affront and take the high road. If you need to express your hurt or disappointment, express it directly to that person. It may be that you just need to stay clear of that one mean girl, both physically and emotionally.
We truly hope this helps ease the hurt and helps prevent something else like this from happening in the future.
Irene & Sheryl
Unfortunately, bullying isn’t limited to the schoolyard; it can happen to adults as well.
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