Guy-Guy vs Girl-Girl Relationships
I often argue with my fiancé about guy-guy friendships versus girl-girl friendships. He thinks guys are simpler and more straightforward. Have a beer, play some ball, and everything’s fine again. Girls on the other hand, cat-fight, get jealous, and are generally prone to a lot more back-handed competition. That’s his point of view. Being generally protective of my own gender and to tone down his swelling ego as being part of the ‘cooler’ male sex, I rebutted. Not true. It’s not a sex thing, it’s a personality thing. People can get along fine, be good friends, as long as their personalities mesh.
My point may have been made for the sake of argument. Truth is, I can’t help but feel that girl-girl friendships are indeed more complicated than the guy-guy friendships I know. We generally share more, are able to identify what’s bothering us, and generally know what to do to support one another in times of sorrow or crisis – especially if we’re good friends. Yet we also are easily jealous, insecure, gossipers or targets of gossip. Guys deal with the same issues but these are more prominent in female friendships. Thus the rise of soaps/flicks like SATC, Gossip Girl, Girls, Ugly Betty and Mean Girls – all in one way or another dealing with the complicated dynamics of female friendships.
Yes, it’s complicated. But maybe we’re just more interesting.
Personal Girl-Girl Drama
Lately I had my own girl drama. Good girl-friend, Angela, was mad at me for not showing up to an event she had put a lot of effort into organising. She couldn’t understand how I could have missed it and I heard, from third party (girl) sources, that she was stone-walling me, making side comments about my lack of commitment and generally being a bit mean. I was hurt. This is so high-school. We’re adults now and cat-fighting is no longer in vogue. But it doesn’t seem to get better with age.
In truth I had felt the stone-walling myself. Text messages to hang out independently (apart from going to the event) were met with luke-warm responses. Having tried to get together over the summer for weeks, I finally gave up on her after the third attempt. I attributed Angela’s attitude to my own protective behaviour against her – I had kept a piece of information which I found easier to tell other close girl-friends from Angela. Angela is great at many things, but us close to her also know her to be terrible at keeping secrets. She’s also known to hold a grudge, thus the phase “Beware of the Wrath of Angela” and we generally try to get on her good side. Because of this upcoming big event (which I was not going to), I didn’t want Angela to accidentally blurt out my news, resulting in my becoming a topic of discussion where I wouldn’t be present to defend my case. It’s a personal thing – being shy and introverted, I’ve kept to myself and find shelter in people (apart from close friends) not knowing too much about my life. Perhaps it was this keeping of secrets that distanced us during this period.
After a few days of hearing third party gossip about how the wrath of Angela was upon me, I decided it was enough. If I was going to suffer this theoretical wrath in my head, I might as well go to the source and find out a) if it was true and b) fix it if it were true.
Conversation went like this:
“Angela? Hey how are you? I heard you were mad at me.”
“Mad? Why would I be mad at you?”
“Because I didn’t go to the event.”
“Don’t be silly. I’m not mad. Why would I be mad if you didn’t go? It’s your choice.”
“Because people said you were mad, and because it meant a lot to you”.
“I’m not mad. I may have said things here and there, but you know me, you have to discount what I say sometimes.”
“Ok, good. Sure you’re not mad? We good?”
“Yes! I’m sure. Who said those things anyway? Who are you with now?”
“I’m alone, on the way home. Just saw Vicky and Sam for dinner.”
“I’m not mad! And don’t believe what they say anyway. It’s all exaggerated!”
“Ok good. We haven’t caught up in a while, how are things going post the big event?”
…..convo continued briefly…..
Go to the Source of Conflict
It was good to pick up the phone and go to the source. I’m still not 100% sure whether Angela meant it when she said she wasn’t mad. I have my doubts. But for the record, she isn’t. For now I’ll live with what information I’m given, and end those angry images of Angela in my head. If I’m letting other people interpret my relationship with a friend, it’s my problem. If fear, laziness or awkwardness is keeping me from having an honest conversation with a friend, that’s my issue. If I’ve reached out and asked what’s wrong, and the friend won’t tell me the truth, that’s her problem. Bottom line – pick up the phone, go see your girl-friend, clear up the gossip. Don’t let words and your own imagination quietly erode an otherwise great friendship.
Images in this post from all-free-download.com