It happened again last night. It was our weekly get-together where we are supposed to be able to share our weeks.. brag, complain, explain. Where the others should listen, sympathize and care. I’ve said it before. Several of the women there want (and get) attention when they are telling their tales; when I try to share my life (which is as different from theirs as their lives are from mine), they turn to small private conversations and dismiss anything I have to say.

I sat quietly last night through a rant about stupid (and illegal) things a co-worker was saying; and through a (too long) discussion of the problem one woman had at work last week that made her angry enough to cry. I GET it, I GOT it, but she went on. I tried to move the discussion along:

“I’m sorry you had a bad week, because mine was so good…” Gee, in any setting I’ve been in, this would be where a caring person, a friend, would says: Oh, I’d love to hear about it.

Nope. “It wasn’t a bad week, it was just this bad day.” and probably more about it with a strong signal that she didn’t give a fuck about what my week entailed. Later in the evening, when another gal showed up and asked me about my conference, the others again turned their backs and started up a private conversation.

And they wonder why I’m reluctant to participate in weekend retreats and things. Survey most of the women there, I’ll bet they can’t tell you one thing about the conference I attended. Nor my excitement at just contemplating video blogging…

Hmm. I’m going to trying to cut down on the negative energy around me (not gossiping, not feeling sorry for myself, not doing the negative). These evenings might be a real challenge…

I need to make some new friends who actually care and are willing to listen.

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.


4 responses to “Dealing

  1. I’d like grant money to explore women as ‘pack animals’!

    There have been studies about how young girls, particularly as they hit puberty, turn into these cliques that are incredibly vicious and exert huge amounts of pressure on other young girls to conform and to ‘dumb down’.

    Sounds like your ‘friends’ are exerting group pressure for you to stay the same – be like them, with the same interests they have.
    Don’t let that stop your growth! Your friends will come around (or they aren’t true friends). And you’ll develop new friends that share your new interests.

  2. Yeah, I’d put friends in quotes, too. Nobody needs that sort of ‘retreat.’ In my book, weekends are precious and are only to be spent with family or close friends…you know, people who are as interested in you as you are in them.

  3. Lin and anon.,

    The problem is these ARE my close friends. And at the moment, I get about 3 hours/week of “face time” with people in real life including the time I spend with them. Cutting them out of my life means reducing my time spent with real live human beings to almost nothing. And that’s one of the major things I’ve been trying to change this year.

    It’s more like trying to educate them that some of their behaviors are rude and exclusionary even if they don’t believe it. Or maybe getting louder and more assertive on my own.

    I hope that over time I can find more real life friends who understand what I do and what I care about. But at the moment, I’m walking a fine line between total isolation and social abuse.

  4. Deb, I know what you mean about not wanting to surround yourself with negative, or non-nourishing relationships. Life is too short. I also hear you from perspective of not having enough interaction in general and not wanting to give up what you’ve got.

    I wish we lived closer because I would LOVE to hear about your conference (that I wish I could have gone to, also), and about your video-blogging dreams. And I’d love to do that face to face over coffee or some other wonderful tasty treat.

    Sounds like we really need to get together to do the Eat, Pray, Love thing like we discussed earlier. Problem is weekends are starting to stack up. I’m going to check and see what I can do.

    Surround yourself with people who FEED you (not literally). You deserve it.

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