As I have moved into my late twenties I have found I am more accepting of constructive criticism and being turned down because I have learned how to grow and improve from it. I'm working nights as a comedienne in Providence and Boston and looking for full time work during the day; every audition and interview is a chance for rejection. What I have more trouble with now is not my own failings but rather the successes of some others in my line of vision.
In this I am not referring to my friends. Many of my girlfriends have seen success in the past year. Among my three best friends one was accepted into a PhD program at Harvard, one got an impressive job as an Occupational Therapist in a great hospital and the third got a huge promotion in her office. Each of them inspires me to do more and I can say in all honesty that I have never once had even a twinge of jealousy.
There are also acquaintances in my life who have a lot happening for them right now who I find myself rooting for and feeling motivated by. All I am trying to say is that a majority of the time, when good things happen to others, I have positive feelings. This stops being true for the people that I "girl hate".
Girl hate is my self appointed term for the people who incite rage inside me and never know or hear about it. Their way of going about life makes me feel as though my organs are melting and oozing from my pores in the form of magical fury. Let me be clear: I KNOW THIS IS IRRATIONAL (this knowledge does nothing to help).
I should make some clarifications here:
- A person I know well who has wronged me: dislike or just plain hate.
- A person I know as an acquaintance who has never wronged me: girl hate.
There are rules for girl hate though, as a way of keeping order in the world. These rules are necessary for appropriate girl hate etiquette and are in place because of the irrationality of the situation.
- The person I girl hate does not officially know I hate them. They may suspect if they also girl hate me or if they are particularly good at reading someone. They will not know because I am never mean to them. I will be extra winkly magical nice to them to try and offset my own internal struggle while standing in their proximity.
- They can not have officially wronged me. Once a negative interaction occurs I now have a real issue with them that must be talked through to resolve or I transfer into actual hate and simply move on. Actual hatred from a real conflict is something I can be an adult about and say "This person no longer fits into my life, nor I into theirs so I will minimize contact and personal thoughts of them."
- The entire feeling is immature so naturally I have to share it with other girls I am close with and see if they also girl hate this person. When you and your friends can vent and connect through girl hate real bonding happens.
- When going into a conversation about someone I girl hate with a new person I must tread lightly at first to gauge where the other stands. If I sense any amount of admiration or friendship in their words I must immediately say something complementary and swallow my girl hate.
- Never act on girl hate; things get ugly if I do because now I am the terrible person and I have to self reflect.
- The victim of my girl hate has to be a bad person in some way; girl hate cannot occur because someone is wonderful in every way and you are simply jealous.
- jealousy + neutrality = move on and don't waste your energy on them, it's unproductive and toxic.
- jealousy + admiration = work to be friends and overcome said jealousy.
- jealousy + distaste of character = girl hate.
I was inspired on this topic recently because my girl hate has flared up for the first time in a while. She is a beautiful, skinny 21 year old, still in school with a job lined up for when she graduates and her own magazine column... is anyone else feeling the tingling of girl hate a little bit? I'll go on. Every time I have been around her she goes on and on about all her networking and who she knows, she talks about her workplace and how fun it is and how much initiative she has been taking to get ahead. She never asks me about me or inquires about my time at THE SAME COMPANY SHE IS NOW AT. She knows I used to be in her position and yet makes no effort to connect through this but rather just show me how awesome she is at it. Her outfits are always tight, tiny and wonderful and she has a permanent smile across her face that says, "I'm amazing and I can barely get over it today!"
At two recent events when I saw her she pushed my girl hate over the edge. The first was at a fashion show we were both attending with our tickets from the magazine and she had been there a few days earlier in the front row. I know for a fact she had been told that another girl from the publication would be in the front row that evening and she would be in the second with her friend. When we arrived on the runway she sat down right next to us front row so that when the editor showed up fashionably late moments before the show started she was shuffled behind us. This wretched joy monster made no move to get up from the seat she knew was not hers and even remained seated after the first show was over until she was asked by a woman in a headset to switch seats. I'm sorry, this woman sitting behind you is your boss and editor, you don't have to love that she is sitting front row but the seat is hers so don't be sneaky about it. White people drama, am I right?
The second night was only four days later so I can admit I was already fired up in my fresh girl hate. I show up to a presentation event and where is she sitting but right behind the projector in the seat reserved for our other boss who was actually running the evening. She sat there the whole night as though getting up from the seat would result in her losing it, so she was glued. This meant my friend and former boss stood for the whole event because he is nicer than me and wasn't willing to ask her to move. It was a high top bar chair so I was at least able to visualize my walking up to her and gently bumping her shoulder resulting in her toppling backwards for a long drop to the hard floor.
Visualization is key in handling feelings, but remember rule number 5, no action.
The silver lining to this whole night was that she was one of the presenters for the night, which initially when they called her up I almost barfed about. Then a miracle; I got to sit there for 6 minutes and 40 seconds of her bombing and making a total fool of herself. She tripped, stopped, asked the audience what she should say and nervously laughed her way through what I can only compare to a 5-year-old asked to present on Organic Chemistry. I was also redeemed when the unknown man next to me said out of the blue, "Why on earth is this girl up there?" followed by my girlfriend seeing my reaction and backing me up. Turns out she girl hates this girl too; WHOOPIE!
Note: I checked with a mutual friend to see if there was a chance this girl read my blog and I was told she does not (why would she? It's not about how amazing she is in every way.) I also didn't use names, thus no wrongdoing and I can carry on with my girl hate.