Ladies, why do we do this to each other? Why do we allow people to treat us this way and yet still call them a friend? From as far back as I can remember, I have had these kind of girls in my life. I remember in high school hanging out with a group of girls that I didn't even like but worshiped at the same time. Does that make sense? No, not really to me either. The fact is, I just wanted their acceptance and I was as sweet as pie to them yet they always made me feel like I wasn't good enough. I just wanted to be liked and popular and I was willing to be walked all over to get that acceptance. Now, I'm not saying that ALL of my girlfriends in high school were like this. In fact, some of them I'm still very close with today and I consider them more like family than friends....BUT, the sad fact is that 95% of the girls I spent my time trying to impress are people that I would likely avoid at all costs if I saw them out today. Of course, we all attended each others birthday parties, group outings, ate lunch together..but when it came down to it...there was no real substance there. I couldn't be myself and honestly had no idea who I was at that point because I was trying to be so many things to fit others expectations of me. I thought these girls were my friends but really they were frenemies. They never encouraged me or made me feel good about myself. Your true friends should never make you feel that way. One instance that I will NEVER forget happened my senior year. At my high school, our class pageants were a BIG deal. I mean, EVERYONE entered them. A lot of time and money went into getting the best casual and formal wear for these events. I would never in a million years think of entering something like this on my own but all my "friends" were doing it and my mom wasn't going to let me off the hook. So, when I went to public school my sophomore year, I entered. I didn't take it too seriously and made it to the finals but didn't place. Same thing happened my junior year. I didn't take it personally and wasn't shocked that I never won. I thought all my friends were way prettier than me and that one of them would surely win...and they did both years. I will say that there were a lot of pretty girls in my class each year and the competition was always pretty fierce. I was actually so self conscious that I was embarrassed about entering because I thought everyone would wonder why I thought I had a chance. I was always really happy for the girls that won and told them congratulations. I didn't worry too much about it, I just knew that my mom enjoyed having me participate and it was something fun to do with my friends.
Something happened my senior year though. I started to realize that I had only a few more months left in high school and then I'd be embarking on my own journey. Yes, some of my "friends" were going to the same college as me, but I'd be meeting a lot of other people. For some reason though, I decided that this year I was going to go out with a bang. I really wanted to win the class pageant and be Miss Senior. This year, I was going to actually go shopping for an amazing gown and pick out a classy casual wear outfit. I didn't have to hold myself back because I thought that the other girls were "more deserving" than I was. I even had people help me with my walk and my stage presentation. I didn't care who had a problem with it..I was in it to win it! Of course, the insecure part of me was scared to death that it would be a repeat of the past two years but I was confident in my preparation and my clothes. Well, guess what? I did end up winning and it was pretty awesome. However, it was short lived. The girls who were my "friends"...who had won or done better than me in previous years..the ones who I praised and congratulated in previous years...were AWFUL to me. Not a SINGLE one of them congratulated me and you could see it across their faces that they were just as shocked as I was. At that point, I realized that I never had to talk to any of them ever again after I walked across the stage and got my diploma. It was actually pretty freeing. I look back and regret all the wasted time and energy I spent trying to make these girls my friends. It just wasn't worth it.
When I went to college, I found a few self confidence that I had never had. I loved it. I met so many people who liked me for who I was and not who I was or wasn't in high school. I made friendships that were real and lasting. I felt secure and happy with myself.
However, when I went to Nashville, I went back to my old people pleasing ways. After all, I was all alone in a city and in an industry that I knew nothing about. Therefore, I became "friends" with a few girls who really were the true definition of a frenemy...but I put up with it because I wanted to fit in with a certain crowd. In fact, I was willing to put my self esteem and my value in the hands of these girls who truly were terrible people. I'd like to say that I figured it out fast and got the heck out of there, but I didn't. One relationship in particular was so toxic that I still get upset when I think about all the horrible things this person who claimed to be one of my "best friends" has said and done to me. Honestly, I put up with a lot of it because some of these people are truly crazy and I was afraid of what they would do if I were to stand up to them. Don't ever let anyone make you feel less than what you are...don't let people intimidate you. HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE.
My point in all of this is...you're an adult now and you don't have to be around people who don't lift you up. You don't need these hateful people filling your head with negative ideas....you don't have to put up with the frenemy anymore!!! There are plenty of people out there who will try to poison your mind with their unkind remarks and opinions of you...you don't need people who are supposed to be on your side, stabbing you in the back. You're better than that. Be kind to yourself. Be smart enough to recognize these people and get them out of your life. They are toxic. There are people out there who will love you for you and celebrate your successes with you. I'm blessed to have found that in my best friends Danelle, Ann Marie, Sara, Lauren & Amanda. There are girls out there who will encourage you to be the best version of yourself and will be there to help you get there. So, find those people and be the friend to them that you'd want them to be to you.
Sisters...we gotta unite and encourage each other....tell the mean girls in your life to take a hike and surround yourself with friends who you want to be like....remember...birds of a feather flock together. If you don't believe that...you better look around and guess again.
Until next time,