Grown ass women can be just as mean as teenage girls. We may think that bullying is restricted to school age kids, but let me tell you bullying is alive and well in the grown up world.
This will come as no surprise to many women.
Clique as defined by Wikipedia:
In the social sciences, a clique (CanE, UK /ˈkliːk/ or US /ˈklɪk/) is a group of “persons who interact with each other more regularly and intensely than others in the same setting.” Interacting with cliques is part of normative social development regardless of gender, ethnicity, or popularity. Although cliques are most commonly studied during adolescence and middle childhood, they exist in all age groups
So dealing with cliques is a normal part of being a human being is society.
I experienced this in the martial arts. There was the “School Owner Clique”, “High Ranking Black Belt Clique” and the “I Am A Black Belt And You Are Not Clique”. But for the most part, my Taekwondo friends were polite and inclusive. Of course, we did a lot of talk about respect and self control, and ugly behavior for the most part was not tolerated. And there was something to be said for knowing that if you mouthed off at someone the next time you sparred you could get your ass kicked. You knew you would be seeing this same group of people at tournaments and camps. So I think we all tried very hard to at least be polite and courteous, even if we couldn’t stand the person.
Women that are involved in martial arts are a little different. We have to learn that it is ok to hit and be hit. It is not acceptable to get your nose out of joint because another woman whacked you in the head with her foot. If you do get pissy about it and you are one of my students, I’m going to tell you to “suck it up and you should have blocked it”. If you are one of the relatively few women that make it to black belt, you have learned how to fit into a male dominated culture. Some of my best friends in the whole world are fellow black belt women. We admire each other not for how we look, but how tough we are. How many boards we can break, how fierce we are when we spar, how fast and strong we are when we hit the mitts. I respect women that come back from injuries still swinging.
I saw some of the “I Am A Black Belt And You Are Not” exclusion routine at tournaments, and even in my own school. As a school owner it drove me nuts. I had several women come to me and tell me how they were talked about behind their backs, openly not included in social activities, made fun of.
Really? Adult, professional women treating each other this way? Sounds like middle school doesn’t it?
The point is, I know that bullying, exclusion, or just being mean exists in the adult world. At least in my school I could attempt to control it.
Then I moved to Penrose, Colorado. And I got involved in the horse culture here.
For the most part, the people here have been awesome. Welcoming, inclusive and helpful to this newbie.
But there are cliques. The clique I am choosing to be a part of is fun, accepting and welcoming. They laugh with me, help me, and reach out to me. What a great group of people, and I feel so fortunate be part of their group.
I’ve recently made the choice to unfriend (GASP!) someone on Facebook because I simply can’t stand to watch her behavior anymore. I talk to my 11 year old daughter about choosing friends that encourage her and make her feel better about herself. I tell her not to be around people that are mean, or talk about her behind her back. So I decided to take my own advice and remove someone that simply isn’t the kind of person I want to be around.
I’m not going to bash this person. I’m not going to tell my friends that I won’t be friends with them if they are friends with her. I don’t think she is a bad person, I don’t want to hurt her. I know that she has had some difficulties and I really have no idea of what she is going through that causes her to act the way she does. She has her own journey and history, and I know she has a lot of good things going for her. I think she can be a lot of fun, and can be a good friend. It’s just that we were not going to be friends and I don’t want to read her stuff. And I can’t fix her.
She has burned some bridges with my group of friends. At first, I was going to try to stay friends with her, believing that there are always to sides to a story. After hearing some of the stuff she has said about me and my friends, I’ve had to rethink that decision. After seeing her blast a friend on Facebook for disagreeing with her I know I made the right decision.
When you own a business, sometimes you have to do business with people that you might prefer to not be around. I can’t tell you the times I’ve had to grit my teeth during the forty years or so that I was a business owner, first in surety bonds, and then in martial arts.
Now, I get to choose who I spend time with. And I get to choose who I walk away from. There is no reason to associate with people that are hurtful and uncaring. Hopefully I can help Keely learn this a lot earlier than I did.