Paranoia is a Full Time Job
I’ve been really looking into the relationships in my life and what makes me choose certain kinds of people and what behaviors trigger my insecurities and my defense mechanisms start come out in full force. At my age, I shouldn’t be so concerned with what others think and focus on doing what I do, the best I can do it — but it’s easier said than done. I often wonder why when a group of women get together and start to be close — inevitably bullying, favorites, gossiping develops. Who the ‘victim’ is changes depending on the situation. There are always a few in the group that never feel the brunt and then some that wear their hearts on their sleeves and get more than their share.
I want to break the cycle and just be at peace and one with just being. Not worry about being popular or what others think about me –and not to continually hear that voice in my head that asks “why are they treating you like that?” “what’s wrong with them?” “what are they saying about me?” It’s a full time job being paranoid and I have enough on my plate!
Why can’t women be the most empowering source of support and love for each other. We need to help each other to get anywhere in life — Let’s decide to NOT do what we have always done. Let’s support, empower and love one another without conditions, without gossip, with only the best of intentions. Easier said than done, but who ever said change was easy?
Some days you are the bug and some days you are the windshield….
A look at the fastest growing social disease both online and in person
Unfortunately, while most women believe they would never be the cause of loading such emotional stress on a friend or acquaintance, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, many of us never really outgrow being a bully, says Cheryl Dellasega, a women’s studies professor at Pennsylvania State University and author of the book Mean Girls Grown Up. “The [aggressive] behaviour just gets a little more polished and subtle [as we get older].” You know the transformation: The cool girl in chemistry class who didn’t invite you to her post-graduation party becomes the office diva who “forgets” to forward you an important email at work. The fair-weather friend who flirted with your first crush turns into the frenemy who won’t keep her manicured mitts off your fiancé.
“Bullying isn’t uniquely female,” says Irene Levine, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving A Breakup With Your Best Friend and professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. “But there are always women who need to build themselves up by knocking others down. They may exclude, gossip, or do other things to demean one individual—particularly someone who seems vulnerable. Making someone feel alone, rejected and treating her as an outcast can be as vicious as a physical assault.”
What makes these encounters with a female bully so confusing and wounding is the very nature of women’s relationships. While men tend to bond by activities—grabbing a beer after a game of hockey, for example—women look for emotional intimacy from their female friends. We talk, we share, we open our hearts. And so the quickest way to hurt each other is by what experts call “relational aggression.” The female bully doesn’t use her fists; instead, she denies other women a social connection by mocking or shunning them. “For women and girls, relationships are a source of solace and power,” says Rachel Simmons, an expert on female aggression and the author of The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence. “Female friendships are one of the greatest comforts and the greatest weapons. The heart of female psychological violence is to destroy other people’s relationships.”