Sunday, 10 August 2014

The art of generally being a nice person. (Or: can we all just get along? PLEASE?!)

To be one hundred percent honest, I am a little bit biased towards the gender of my friends. And here's why: I generally think girls are mean. Well, I used to, until a few months ago.

Anyone who has known me for some time can tell you how I feel about girls. I am picky. I have wonderful girlfriends, but I also manage to avoid a lot of ladies too. And there's a good reason, I also don't get girls.

It starts like this: my best friend since kinder was a boy. Which is fine. My best friend in high school was a boy. My seemingly endless streams of favourite people are almost all guys, with a few exceptional exceptions. Why? It's not just because I have been described as boy crazy. It's just that men in general make sense.

When girls don't like you, they don't tend to tell you. They wait months or years for you to finally get the hint. When a guy doesn't like you, they tell you in no uncertain terms.

When girls get upset with you, they are really mean. They tell their friends stories or ignore you or start being catty and plain rude. When a guy is upset with you he tells you and gets over it.

When girls see you succeed in something, they try to cut you down or one-up you. When a guy sees you succeed in something they congratulate you or don't really care less and say nothing.

For the only person who knows all about this.

I am a girl, and not all girls have the traits of bitchy girls. I can, and have sometimes, but mostly I try really really really hard to be nice to the majority of people all of the time. Why? I don't like being nasty, it makes me nervous and anxious. I hate being the one receiving the big rejection or being left out or being excluded because I'm different.

Because I'm different.
As if.
I love it when I'm compared to someone. It's always the haves and the have nots, and I'm always the have nots.

Am I really different?
Well, yes, because we all are. But what makes me different? The fact that I can skate and refuse to play tennis? That I like making things instead of sitting around having endless coffees? (I hate coffee.) That I don't wear the same freaking thing as every other person in this tiny little corner of the world? No. None of that makes me different. But, when looking for reasons as to why I don't fit in, it's always about being different somehow. Being different isn't an excuse for girls to be nasty.

I digress.
All in all, and with a few exceptions, I probably have THE BEST friends in the world. And I won't lie, we get annoyed at each other and fight sometimes and invariably Jon will try to keep the peace by saying things like "Lisa, you did that. That wasn't nice. You need to say sorry."

Does that make my circle of friends un-nice? Probably not. Honesty hurts but it isn't always cruel. What's cruel is people pretending that you're friends when you're actually not. (High school, welcome back.)

The last few months though my theory about not liking girls because they're girls has been completely disproved. It turns out that some people are just really nasty, regardless of gender, and most girls I want to be friends with are like me. Down-to-earth and a little bit kooky with a wicked sense of humour. This, of course, has been the case my entire life, but I've never really given my own gender enough credit to prove themselves. Girls of the world, I apologise.

Tonight I read through a long series of nasty comments on a Facebook post by people who are my future colleagues. (In a world as big and as small as teaching, we are all colleagues.) It was mostly just one guy ranting and raving about how unfair an extension was for job applications for Round 2. In short, the server had crashed and the deadline today meant that everyone was logging on at the same time, and then the server went into meltdown mode. This guy was saying it wasn't fair that there was an extension and everyone else was lazy for leaving it so late (well, more or less). I know that men can often be described as arrogant (while women are often just plain bitches), but this guy really took the cake. And, I think, I finally got it. Sometimes people do and say things that aren't nice. But, well, at least they're honest, which is much better than your so-called best friend pretending to like you when actually she doesn't invite you to her birthday party ever again.

I said the last few months had changed everything. It has. I have the privilege of serving in an organisation for the girls and by the girls. And I love my girls, from my own little Girl Guides right up to my incredibly wonderful District Leader who can use more Word functions than most university graduates. Girls, who like me, have always been a bit out there or bossy or interested in something outside the box. Or not. I don't know what makes this Guiding Sisterhood thing work. But it has certainly restored my faith in my own gender, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

I called this entry 'The art of generally being a nice person', and here is the art: just be kind to one another, and not because you should; but because you can.