It’s October 3rd. We all know what that means – a million Mean Girls references.
While I 100% watched this movie like everybody else growing up, and also watched the spiral of Lindsay Lohan, I find that the common phrases and concepts thrown around from the movie cause more damage than good. It isn’t that uncommon for people to exclaim lines like “You can’t sit with us” or “Get in bitch, we are going shopping.” While sometimes said in jest, these can be really detrimental.
Growing up, I was extremely nerdy ( and still am). The difference is, back then I didn’t embrace who I was and that led to a lot of insecurities. I sat with a group of girl’s at lunch who would have “Under the table talks” to ensure my best friend and I knew our place and social ranking within our group of friends. Looking back, I wish I stood up for myself and called them on their childish behavior. That being said, sometimes it is easier said than done.
Society frequently talks about bullying, but something often overlooked is bullying from your own friends. We all know the story of the football player stuffing the nerd in his locker, but we often forget about the snippy comments made between friends.
Even in college this trend does not cease. Some sororities ( I’m not claiming all sororities are bad!) make their pledges sit on washers and circle everything that jiggles. I know that even as a size 0/2 that I would have parts of jiggle and definitely end up with circles all over my body. In less extreme examples, it’s not that hard to think about a time your friends have made you feel excluded, inadequate, or just overall leaving a sinking feeling in your gut.
While absolutely love my friends now, I definitely went through periods when my friends were less than great. I often felt overwhelmed when around them, and also always questioned my interests and likes since I felt constantly judged. I easily can recall numerous harsh “compliments” from “friends” that still haunt me today.
The most important takeaway is recognizing your own value. This can be really daunting at first, especially if it means not having plans one day or weekend. I promise though that down the road you will be more happy with a day of Me Time and an activity you love on your own, then hanging out with people who make you question your value.
YOU are worthy of AMAZING friends. You deserve to be treated with respect. You shouldn’t have to be stressed about your friends not accepting you. Friends are people that know you’re a slightly cracked egg, but love you anyways. Friendship is about being there for the good, the bad, and the ugly. It doesn’t matter if you have differences. What matters is that you accept each other and embrace each other for who you are.
Your mental health means more than that group insta. Stop settling for people that fill a void of the notion of “your friend group.” Be your own best friend until someone comes along that deserves all the love and attention a best friend receives. Twenty years from now when you are working, have kids, and are married ( if that’s what you want) or you are jetting across the world, you won’t have time for a thirty person group chat or for people that leave you feeling worse off. When deciding who to spend time with today, consider who will be worth your time in the future. Don’t accept mediocre friendship as a space filler.
Be your own best friend, and learn to love yourself.
In an age where hating yourself in the norm, loving yourself is an act of rebellion.