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View Full Version : She said Ė she said : need perspective from both sides of this issue



janeybwild
11-01-2016, 12:45 PM
Backstory: small group of girls including my DD have been friends through elementary school. Started middle school this year (6-8th) and group has expanded to 12-16 girls. Things have been tricky lately, but have come to a head over Trick or treating last night which has caused drama. My DD is on one of these 2 sides to the story. Iíd appreciate some advice on how to navigate both sides of this. If your child was in she-said #2 side, how would you advise her to treat this girl given that she would rather hang out with the other girls. Similarly, if your child was the girl in she-said #1, what advice would you offer her? Iíd like to think about both sides, not just my DDs.


She said #1:
Why didnít you include me in the plans? Why didnít you answer my texts? I thought I was meeting up with you all. I see on Instagram that 12 of you went trick or treating in identical costumes. Weíve been friends for so long. Why are you treating me this way? I asked you if we could trick or treat together. You said there would be a big group and we could meet up. You must have been planning this for weeks. I am really confused.

She said #2:
We canít include everyone in everything, the group is too big; my mom only lets me invite some friends. You asked me to trick or treat with you and I told you we could maybe meet up. I didnít tell you we had planned costumes and to go as a group because the group was already too big. Iím trying hard not to be mean to you. I didnít answer your texts because what would I have said? Iím trying to let you down gently but you wonít take the hint.

icunurse
11-01-2016, 02:28 PM
Ok, so if I'm reading this correctly, 12 out of 16 girls met up in matching outfits to trick or treat and one girl is feeling hurt and left out? If so, overall it's a jerk move by the girls who coordinated it, very Mean Girl. Seriously, 12 is ok but 13, 14, 15, or even 16 is just too much to walk the streets for candy? Sure. If you said 4 or 5, I'd believe it. But that big of a group and that much planning is a lot of going behind the back.

So, if my DD was #1 - we'd probably be having our first big talk about how friendships change, people change, sometimes people suck, and they way she feels right now she should never make another person feel. I'd be encouraging her to try new things and feel out new friends because clearly she isn't in the top 12.

If my Dd was #2 - I'd be asking her what the heck she was thinking by excluding a part of her core group like that? And we would be talking about how you treat people and even if you don't want to be someone's BFF or hang with them, common decency still rules and sometimes that means being honest and taking the consequences. That is growing up. Really, would one more person, even if you're not crazy about them, have ruined a walking group of 12? I don't think so. It's more than just group size going on here IMO.

123LuckyMom
11-01-2016, 02:40 PM
She said #2 is wholly and entirely in the wrong and must apologize to She said #1. Of course everyone can't be included all of the time. Of course friendships don't last forever. This is a painful reality. However, stringing someone along, failing to be wholly honest with that person, and ruining that person's plans to avoid conflict or being the bad guy is never okay. And perceiving that behavior as trying to let someone down easily and shifting blame to the rejected party who is unable to "take the hint" is just cruel.

She said #2 should have said to She said #1 BEFORE Halloween, at the very first question She said #1 raised about truck-or-treating, "I'm so sorry, She said #1, but I can't trick-or-treat with you this year. I have other plans." If She said # 1 asked about those plans, She said #2 could decline to provide more information, or, if there was an organizer of the group, She said #2 could have suggested She said #1 ask that leader about joining in. Including She said #1 wasn't necessary. Telling She said #1 she was not going to be trick-or-treating with her rather than pretending she might and then avoiding communication was necessary.

She said #2 needs to say, "She said #1, I'm sorry about Halloween. I wanted to hang out with my new friends, and I didn't want to hurt your feelings or be mean, but I should have said that to you. I'm sorry I wasn't honest with you. I'm sorry I didn't answer your texts and didn't say anything. I realize now that was probably a lot more hurtful than just saying I wanted to trick-or-treat with different people this year."


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calebsmama03
11-02-2016, 12:12 AM
Ok, so if I'm reading this correctly, 12 out of 16 girls met up in matching outfits to trick or treat and one girl is feeling hurt and left out? If so, overall it's a jerk move by the girls who coordinated it, very Mean Girl. Seriously, 12 is ok but 13, 14, 15, or even 16 is just too much to walk the streets for candy? Sure. If you said 4 or 5, I'd believe it. But that big of a group and that much planning is a lot of going behind the back.

So, if my DD was #1 - we'd probably be having our first big talk about how friendships change, people change, sometimes people suck, and they way she feels right now she should never make another person feel. I'd be encouraging her to try new things and feel out new friends because clearly she isn't in the top 12.

If my Dd was #2 - I'd be asking her what the heck she was thinking by excluding a part of her core group like that? And we would be talking about how you treat people and even if you don't want to be someone's BFF or hang with them, common decency still rules and sometimes that means being honest and taking the consequences. That is growing up. Really, would one more person, even if you're not crazy about them, have ruined a walking group of 12? I don't think so. It's more than just group size going on here IMO.
Agree. That seems really mean. I could see if it was just a few girls matching but when it is that many there is no reason to exclude the others, or at least tell them in advance.

cuca_
11-02-2016, 10:48 AM
Ok, so if I'm reading this correctly, 12 out of 16 girls met up in matching outfits to trick or treat and one girl is feeling hurt and left out? If so, overall it's a jerk move by the girls who coordinated it, very Mean Girl. Seriously, 12 is ok but 13, 14, 15, or even 16 is just too much to walk the streets for candy? Sure. If you said 4 or 5, I'd believe it. But that big of a group and that much planning is a lot of going behind the back.

So, if my DD was #1 - we'd probably be having our first big talk about how friendships change, people change, sometimes people suck, and they way she feels right now she should never make another person feel. I'd be encouraging her to try new things and feel out new friends because clearly she isn't in the top 12.

If my Dd was #2 - I'd be asking her what the heck she was thinking by excluding a part of her core group like that? And we would be talking about how you treat people and even if you don't want to be someone's BFF or hang with them, common decency still rules and sometimes that means being honest and taking the consequences. That is growing up. Really, would one more person, even if you're not crazy about them, have ruined a walking group of 12? I don't think so. It's more than just group size going on here IMO.

I totally agree with this! I can see excluding someone from a group of 5 if you really don't like them -- but from a group of 12, that's mean and unnecessary. I have a question. Is #2, #1s closest friend in that group? Did #2 communicate with anyone else in the group?

I agree with 123LuckyMom that #2 should apologize and explain her reasoning to #1, but I would not expect #2 to be understanding. In fact, I would expect her to be very upset, and if #2 were my daughter, I would explain that to her, and ask her to be sympathetic to #1.

janeybwild
11-04-2016, 07:01 PM
Thank you all for your comments. I really needed to hear both sides of this, and you have given it to me. It was a dick move as one very eloquent pp said. It's been a few days and the emotions here have calmed down, but it still sucks. My DD is the girl in #1 and is still confused and hoping it was all a big mistake. On the bright side, it had made for some good conversations about what friendship means. There is definitely more to this than this one night but this brought everything into crisp focus. Thanks again.

California
11-05-2016, 09:36 PM
This is an age group that I work with, and some kids just shut down in communication. Girl #2 avoiding texting back is a pretty common response. I'm not saying that it's okay- just that it's not uncommon at all for the kids to avoid communication when they don't want to deal with something uncomfortable. It's a classic move for G#2 to want your DD to "get it," even though she's not explaining herself.

Relationships at this age are in flux. 12 girls is a pretty large group. If DD has a few good friends within that group, she may do better to hang out with them individually for a while and cool off in her communication with G#2 (while still being pleasant and polite.) In your shoes, I would be encouraging DD to also pursue a couple of special activities where she can develop friendships outside of school- could be a sport, a club, or volunteer activity. That will help balance out the changes going on in the classroom. I'd also be listening very closely to DD to see if this starts to escalate into more exclusionary behavior where your DD is a targeted "out" girl. If it does, that gets really tricky. Are you friends with any of the parents of the other girls, to make it easy to arrange casual opportunities for the girls to hang out? (Though I wouldn't go into the issue with the other parents at this point.)

Have more time to write: Unfortunately, it's really hard to predict how this will play out. Sometimes things like this resolve on their own. It's best to encourage your DD to talk through her own solutions with you. Sometimes at this age they need to say things aloud to focus their thoughts. See how she wants to handle it. Support her, listen to her, validate her feelings, and be willing to role play with her (if she wants too.)

petesgirl
11-05-2016, 11:27 PM
This is an age group that I work with, and some kids just shut down in communication. Girl #2 avoiding texting back is a pretty common response. I'm not saying that it's okay- just that it's not uncommon at all for the kids to avoid communication when they don't want to deal with something uncomfortable.

Uh.. Should I be embarrassed that I do this as an adult??

TwinFoxes
11-06-2016, 12:37 AM
Uh.. Should I be embarrassed that I do this as an adult??

Well, you see now how hurtful it is.

I'm not trying to be rude, but I just don't get the concept of hurting someone so you can avoid feeling uncomfortable.

KpbS
11-07-2016, 12:57 PM
This is a post I read several days ago and found very helpful. I shared it and 3 other friends said they needed to read that today and shared it. One commented that she found it really resonated in her friend situation as an adult.

http://foreverymom.com/family-parenting/what-middle-school-girls-need-to-know-about-friendship-kari-kampakis/

umsh
11-07-2016, 01:18 PM
This is a post I read several days ago and found very helpful. I shared it and 3 other friends said they needed to read that today and shared it. One commented that she found it really resonated in her friend situation as an adult.

http://foreverymom.com/family-parenting/what-middle-school-girls-need-to-know-about-friendship-kari-kampakis/

This was a great post, thank you for sharing! My kids are still young, but we're already encountering some friendship issues...this was really helpful for perspective.


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Meatball Mommie
11-10-2016, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the linked article. It's very well written and I plan on sharing it with a few other moms. I don't have girls, so I don't have these issues, but I remember them well from my days in middle school.