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Mean Girls

Do you think I’m mean?  Me either!  Sarcastic, dry wit?  Yeah, all of that.  But mean?  Nah. 

However.

It has recently occurred to me that a lot of people think I’m mean.  More people have said “oooh, I thought you were mean when I first met you” than I’d like to admit.  Now usually once people get to know me, they like me (I guess), but apparently my first impression isn’t the best.  Maybe my nickname in my previous job was “Tall Dreaded Thunder.”  Maybe.

I get it from my Mama.  (Sorry Mom.)   I was thinking about family dynamics – none of my brothers’ girlfriends/wives have thought my mother liked them initially.  None of them.  They’d tell me “oh Nerd Girl, your mom is just mean, she doesn’t like me and I don’t know why.”  And I’d be all “what are you talking about, my Mama doesn’t dislike you.”  On this last trip to CA, I could kind of see where they were coming from.  My Mama can be a little…snappy.  But she doesn’t realize it.  The whole “it’s not what you say, but how you say it” thing coming into play.

This bothers me.  A lot.  Mostly because of Lovegirl.  I don’t want her to suffer what seems to be a generational…tendency.  I remember the boss that fired me telling me that she’d be more comfortable if I looked happier.  She suggested that I smile more and wear pink.  So that totally didn’t happen.  I refused to alter my appearance to make that crazy heffa more comfortable with me.  I didn’t give a good damn…oh wait, this isn’t helping my case.  What I’m saying is maybe we do give off a “damn u” vibe.  I don’t want to pass that on to Lovegirl.  Am I making sense?  I don’t want Lovegirl to be a total pushover/people pleaser that everyone “likes” but I also don’t want her to be perceived as mean and deemed unlikeable/unhirable/unwhateverable before people get a chance to know her and judge her on her merits. I do not want my child to go through drama – in her personal or professional life – because people think she’s mean. 

Would you care?  Would you try to make an adjustment?  Or would you say eff it and let the chips fall where they may?  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not up nights worrying about this, but if more than one person has mentioned this on more than one occasion, I can’t help but wonder if I need to look within and consider working on self.

Thoughts? 

And yeah, I know this was kinda rambly and all over the place, but I hope what I was trying to express came through and that you’ll help a sister out.

Thanks in advance!

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14 thoughts on “Mean Girls

  1. It makes TOTAL sense to me. My father’s side of the fam(especially my father)are the same way. Me being “just like my Daddy” in every way am perceived this way too. I’m always told “I thought you were such a bish until I got to know you”.

    I have made a conscious effort to appear more approachable. I guess it’s working so far. Now mind you, part of this effort has been a lot of biting my tongue and pinching myself saying “be nice” but yea..I’m trying. LOL

  2. I hear mean all the time. I’ve made a conscious decision to fix that in some situations, particularly when I first meet people. In others, I go with my natural expression because I just don’t care if you think I’m mean. Depends on the situation. I’m actually more shocked when someone says I’m nice! Hilarious! LOL. Being introspective wouldn’t hurt.

  3. I/We care. I am deemed a people person. Listening to others concerns and trying to help. Giving much and sometime getting little, but I continue where my heart leads. I’m just not always smiley-smiley and mushy cuddly. I don’t care if others can determine on our first meeting whether I give a damn about their . . . oh wait, this isn’t helping my case or Nerd Girl’s.

    *Throwing my hands up* Hell, I care.

  4. People look at me and assume I’m super nice and sweet. My mom has the same look. People did not believe we got whoopings because she looks so easy going. I often have to work in the opposite direction.

    I’d probably help my kid learn to adapt her body language and speaking tone. That is a god skill to have. We all have to make adjustments to get certain things accomplished.

  5. Unfortunately, this is my fate as well. I get “you look mean, mad” etc. unless I smile to be more welcoming. Sometimes I do it (smile), but most times I don’t. I also have a snarky, condescending tone at times. I have worked on that!

    I think because you are aware of it you will make an effort to do better. Also, be mindful of how you interact with others around LG. She’s watching.

  6. When you get an answer can you pass it on to me? My nickname given to me in law school (which I just finished so this is recent) is Mean Girl. I took it as a joke b/c I see it as telling the truth. And yes, it’s how I say it but it’s so weird to just up and change after being some way for so long. So yes, I got a rhinestone-studded t-shirt that says MG on it for Mean Girl. (and proud of it! Hmph)

    But, like you, I don’t want that to be Buddha. Although I don’t think it will be b/c he’s the nicest, most chill kid out there. And Mister is super Mr. Nice Guy.

    Either way, I digress….when you figure it out, hook a sista up! Lol.

  7. Guess it’s a problem when the guy at drive-thru says to smile cuz I look like somebody pissed me off. Why does it have to be that? Maybe I just don’t walk around cheesing and grinning like the town idiot. Wait, that was mean, huh? Shoot! ::goes back to drawing board::

  8. I WISH I could get Aidan to be mean. Oh, how I wish. But as for me? I could care less. I’ve heard that I look mean, but I also attract the wierdest people — like the guy that just ran up and hugged me at the Walmart and his mom says “He just wanted to hug you!” Or the waffle house lady. Or the……

  9. I don’t think you’re mean. I’ve been told I give off the nice lady vibe because I look nice and sweet – whatever that means. I’m brutally honest when need be, which can sometimes be misconstrued as being mean. Truthfully, I couldn’t care less.

  10. I think I would worry about my child picking up “mean” traits from me. I can honestly say I’m rather pleasant to most people all the time. Or at least I try to be. I guess I just wanna lead by example ya know?

  11. I’ve gotten the “stuckup/quiet/standoffish/upset/etc” all of my life, but I know it’s just me. I didn’t smile a lot as a kid AND it’s definitely generational, lol. I must say that I’m much nicer than my mom (AND grandmother, lol) in certain settings but it’s b/c I’m more easygoing than she is. I make an effort to be more outgoing b/c I’m very, very shy, but generally don’t try to alter my personality (if that makes any sense).

    Just from your posts here and comments other places, you seem very level-headed, sensible, and easy going. I think LG will be great if she emulates those traits and receives a little guidance from you with regard to being more personable when (if) needed. I’m positive she’s going to be perfectly great. 🙂

  12. I would care and I do. I have the same problem, but am working on it daily. I put smiley faces after my e-mails and do things to show people that I’m a warm person because I’m not exactly about to be smiling all day long.

    (On the same note, what exactly is wrong with smiling all day long? I’m blessed beyond measure, I SHOULD be smiling, but it’s not natural to me, so I definitely have to work on it.)

    I think the only way to not pass that to your child is to change it in yourself. I also think it may be too late since kids pick up SO much from 0-5. It’s never to late to appear happy though, so take baby steps and pink’s a great color, I swear. 🙂

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