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Stirrup Queens wrote a post last week about the grief her daughter had experienced at the hands of her fellow students. In response, Melissa set up “The Exclusion Project”, where many adults posted their own harrowing, heart-breaking and yet somehow universal tales of how “friends” had shunned them when they were kids. Melissa’s daughter (and other young girls) can read the stories and take comfort from the fact that so many have gone through similar experiences.
My own daughter last week relayed a tearful account of how one of her friends at pre-school (!) told her they would no longer play together. Luckily the next day the incident seemed forgotten.
Does this crap ever go away? I have to admit that the pick-up and drop-offs at pre-school remind me of walking through my junior high locker room. (My junior high made “The Lord of the Flies” look like a tea party.) There are packs of moms who are friends and loudly talk about their mutual plans for a girls’ night out, a trip to the mountains or dinner parties right in front of me without inviting me. It hurts.
The advice I offered Melissa’s daughter (after telling my own tale of being shunned while in middle school) was about how to choose your friends:
The mean ones may sparkle a lot and attract the most attention, but look on the edges of the crowd for the diamonds in the rough, who are nice and kind and not cruel. Those are the people who will be true friends.
Maybe this is easier said than done, but I generally tend to befriend and hang with those on the outside of the scrum. They seem to be the nicest and least likely to stab me in the back. Is this foolproof? No. But it’s a strategy at least?