TAking off the mask...

I was talking to my kids tonight about making friends.
My oldest gives a rat's rear what people think...
My youngest cares too much.
So we were talking about finding  a middle ground.
I will admit that I have no good advice to give.
I don't understand why people have such a problem simply being kind.
IT isn't that hard.
I have never understand this compulsion some people have to make sure that the people they associate with mirror their image, so to speak.
For instance...in my oldest daughter's freshmen year of high school, she inadvertantly stumbled into the popular crowd...she was invited to sit with them..
By the end of week one..they had given her a list of things she needed to change to be accepted.
Hair, speech, clothing...
My daughter read it and ripped it up.
They didn't sit with her anymore.
She made new friends.
What she noticed was, all those people who tried to change her, they were unhappy with themselves.
Quite frankly, I wonder how many people are unhappy with themselves.
Seeing the level of backbiting, anger and mistreatment there is in the world makes one wonder.
The happier I am with myself, the more other's unhappiness seems to stand in glaring contrast.
It's bizarre.
I want people to treat my kids well.
other kids etc.
But that may be asking too much when they can't seem to treat themselves well.
My oldest daughter said "I don't bother with a mask...I just call people on their bs now'.
It sounds like a good plan to me.
Be as honest, and straightforward as  you can.
The soul suckers will scatter.
Have a great night guys.
Chris out.


Deb Willbefree said...

Yur daughter's ability to not be sucked into people pleasing is amazing for her age. You did good. :)

The account made me think of somehting else, tho. (No indirect swipe at your daughter intended whatsoever with this.)

What it reminded me of was the blogger that we know who followed that theory. Just being himself and calling people on their BS. He felt quite virtuous about it, as I recall. Helpful even.

His victims...err, those he helped...saw it a different way. Several quit blogging and others began to censor their own writing because of it. Made Blogland a dangerouis place...all that help.

While I sincerely doubt that your daughter behaves cruelly, my point is that all of those people who we think are so unkind probably don't see themselves that way at all. That's why they can allow themselves to do what they do.

Navigating this whole social thing is tough, sometimes. I should know since I am one of the socially retarded among us.

Acting with kindness does sound like an excellent first step.


Christine said...

@ Deb, I know what you mean..or who. My daughter was talking about an incident in which a girl who doesn't like her, turned around in class and asked her and her friends to 'keep it down'...the whole class was loud, it was free time. And Kate and her friends were no louder than anyone else. This girl just singled her out because she didn't like kate. Kate said "Why is your friend reading a book in Art Class?" To wit, the girl did not reply...then kate said "We aren't any louder than anyone else..." And the girl said So! Keep it down anyways. Kate said "No'. lol. I think in this instance, the bullying was done to control someone. That isn't calling someone on their bs, that is inflicting yourself on others. My girls don't do that. By nature, we are not inflicters. We are a live and let live kind of people. I think what Kate was referring to was not allowing the bully to act as if....as if they are right, as if they are pure in their intentions...as if they are NOT screwed up and taking it out on others. I think it makes sense. Treat others with dignity and kindness, and when someone wants to step on you say no.

Deb Willbefree said...

Chris, really, I wasn't implying any fault in your daughter at all. None.

Because of the Blogger the wording of the post brought to mind, it just made me realize how easy it is for us to deceive ourselves about what we're doing/being.

i should have just let my little realization rest silently with me. Sorry.


Christine said...

OH DEb, I wasn't offended at all! NO, I completely get what you are saying there is a difference in defending ourselves and attempting to force our truth on others! I totally get that. I get you too. I didn't think you had implied anything at all hon. I know you, you are a good soul.

F. McButter Pants said...

Ya done Kid! If your oldest can avoid the pull of peer pressure, I think you did something right. Of course she is her own person, but you didn't ruin her independence. You should be proud of that.

And yes, most people do not like themselves. It's totally obvious, and not just for the reasons you said. There are many other, lack of a Higher Power in their lives is the biggest one, at least that's what I think.

Keep up the good work!

F. McButter Pants said...

Ya done GOOD, Kid.....that makes me sense.

Rettakat said...

I smiled when I read in the comments where you said: "Treat others with dignity and kindness, and when someone wants to step on you say no."

Because I was going to say that I would add just one tiny thing to your sentence in your post, so it would read: "Be as honest, and straightforward and as kind as you can."

The rest... yep. I thought of that BEFORE I read Deb's comment. See... I was one of the targets of That Blogger Who Shall Not Be Named. Several times. And yes, it hurt. But I survived, grew, learned... and now value kindness towards others VERY highly.

Make me your doormat? Not on my watch. But I'll still be kind whenever possible. You never know what people are going through.

Your daughter seems mature for her age. She must have a pretty good Mama. ;-)

Hanlie said...

I decided this year that I would only take advice from, or try to emulate, happy people. Prior to that I gave my parents, who aren't happy people, far to much power in my life and it made me very unhappy and insecure - I was never going to satisfy them...

It's all about boundaries and I'm glad your daughter is learning at an early age to erect and enforce them. The world is becoming more and more brutal by the day - I am often amazed at how many people get away with being absolute bullies in the working environment. I have come to the point where I simply don't allow it anymore. I try to handle these individuals in a firm, yet kind and measured, way.