So, my sweet and innocent daughter (she really is), got caught up in a not so nice group chat for her theater camp last night. One unsavory chick called out a person saying that they stink and don’t have good hygeine- yadda, yadda, yadda. She didn’t say who they were, but she was being incredibly insulting and on a forum. My daughter had a video shoot before camp yesterday and woke up at 5 am and fell asleep at 7 pm after camp and got woken up because she had 144 messages in group chat and a lot of personal messages too. So she responded and said a person’s name, totally not thinking that it would go to everyone. I think she genuinely was thinking it would go to chat instigator.
Background info- I don’t usually let her go to bed with her device. But I too fell asleep at 7 pm with the tv on because I was wiped out. I woke up at almost 9 and took the device out of the bedroom. Well she woke up this morning saying that she realized what she did and she felt awful. And she is the kind of kid that gets ensemble awards for kindness and is known as an encourager, etc. So she sent a group chat saying that she was sorry and didn’t mean to hurt anyone. She also called the little girl and left her a message. Before getting on the camp bus today, she apologized to her as well. She handled it better than most adults would. I was proud of her, but of course I lectured her for 25 minutes going to the camp bus to let her know that when you type something like that, it does not go away. That what is put online or on chat can be captured and can hurt someone long term. With that, I tried to be tender, but also firm. Back to the reason for my title…
I say all of this to say that she made a mistake, but she is only a kid and she fixed it because that is who she is. This kind, compassionate and empathetic person that she is, is probably who she will grow up to be. The innocence will fade away unfortunately. She won’t be as naive as the years go by. But we as humans, rarely change who we are at the core, unless divine intervention is involved, or unless we desperately desire change in ourselves. So the unscrupulous person who typed the chat, got away clean. When my daughter called her for advice today, she said; “I don’t really know what to tell you. I have never been in this situation with Jane Doe”. I was so pissed when she said that. So, she started this whole unkind convo and stepped away when things weren’t nice. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me it is. I am an older version of my daughter. Loving, kind, giving, and I have been taken advantage of so much. Meanwhile, people like “Nasty Nancy” (the group chat starter), get away with things and no one says a thing. Do you ever get tired of being the person that gets screwed over or the short end of the stick??
I do! But the thing is, I have tried to change. I mean I will stand up for myself, don’t get me wrong. Especially if someone whom I do not know comes for me, then it is on! But when it comes to people I know, even casually, I have a hard time with confrontation. I become that sweet, accommodating person in middle school who let friends borrow things and never got them back. Or the kind of friend that went out of her way for everyone and did not really feel appreciated. I think that middle school behavior continues until the final curtain call of our life. It sucks, but it is true. Nasty Nancy stays nasty. Delightful Dee keeps trying to delight everyone. We all have to deal with these middle school personas that are honestly more annoying when we are adults. It happens in the workplace, church, with neighbors. These personalities never seem to fade away and are found in every group type environment: The one that can’t say no to a fault (the door mat), the one who takes charge too much, the gossip, the ‘underminer’, the instigator, the one-upper, the superior one, the one who thinks they know it all.
Who are you in the above list? Would you change if you could? I know that in some ways I would be ecstatic to be a person who does not care. One who does not feel awful if she is 3 minutes late to work. I would love to be a person who was not so affected by other people’s main or moods. I would love to be more confident and less insecure in situations. I have improved, but I at my core am a giving, people pleaser who wants everyone to like me. I still have trouble with self-worth and knowing that I am great. I have always had this struggle. I can also tend to feel that I know more than other people do, but the good thing about me, I hide my disdain for the dummies, haha. But I am working on changing for the better everyday. Trying with all of my might to slip away from those middle school mantras that became a huge part of the way that I am today. I really and truly want to be the best version of myself. But it is not easy to teach an old cat, new ways to scratch:).