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Why are women so mean to each other?

August 13, 2010 | By Continue Reading

If you’ve wondered why women are so mean to each other, read Female Bullying, an article by Rachel Giese in the September 2010 issue of Flare Magazine. The piece covers the perennial, but disturbing, topic of adult women who have honed the art of what therapists have termed relational aggression. These mean girls may not fight with their fists but they can inflict terrible emotional pain on their targets.

Some of us have experienced firsthand the devastating hurt of being excluded from the lunch table at middle school. Others admit with some embarrassment that they’ve been at the other end of the stick—as one of the “cool kids” in middle or high school who has excluded some other poor soul because she looks, acts, or speaks differently. The scars of being bullied as a kid can be long-lasting and slow to heal.

Unfortunately, some mean girls never grow up, continuing similar behaviors as adults. So the insidious practice of woman-on-woman bullying—often used to dominate and control subordinates or colleagues—is common in the workplace. Similarly, stay-at-home moms are still victimized by frenemies and neighbors. They and their kids become the subject of gossip, and are systematically excluded from play dates, playgroups and birthday parties. This is a particularly pernicious form of bullying because it attacks not only a grown woman but also her child.

Rachel’s article (for which she interviewed me and others) tries to explain the dynamics behind female bullying. You can read a long  excerpt online. If you’re interested in reading more about this topic, you may be interested in these previous posts on The Friendship Blog:


Have you had any experiences with adult bullies? How did you handle them? 

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Category: Mean girls

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  1. Calling all Girls | sarahbaby03 | October 17, 2014
  1. Jennifer says:

    women are embarassing. Makes me puke! These vultures follow negatvity and pin point it on a person that they know will be damaged by gossip, hateful direct remarks and hide behind so called work friends. It is a phenomenom I will NEVER understand as a woman, female or lady. Disgusting actions and bad words that hinder true companionship and kindness so WE CAN ALL have some success in our lives. How sad for us that do “get it”.

    • Eliza says:

      The bottom line is that women are “competitve” with each other. Men are nothing like that. They bond together…not against each other. They have common goals in mind, but are more teamplayers. Women are pitted against each other. And it ALL stems from Jealousy – which STEMS from insecurity. Whether the female is in first grade–or on the board of the school PTA. Same old school yard antics with women. Yes, it is embarassing. Very negative–but that’s how women are. And forget about when men come into the equation. Women will get all catty and territorial. When women fight/argue, it’s brutal. So sad. I am lucky to have a strong circle of female friends who are not jealous, competitive and combative like this. Not easy to find that.

      • Jennifer says:

        NOT EVERY WOMAN IS COMPETITIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JUST BECAUSE I’M PRETTY AND DESERVE JUST AS MUCH AS ONE OF THESE BACKSTABBERS DOES NOT MEAN I HAVE TO RESORT TO HER LEVEL. [edited by moderator for violation of forum guidelines] AND MAYBE YOU YES YOU SHOULD CHANGE YOUR COMBATIVENESS AND REALIZE THAT THE PEOPLE YOU HURT YOUR ONLY HURTING YOURSELF BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY MANY WOMEN LIKE ME WHOM JUST WANT TO BE KIND AND POLITE AND NON TERRITORIAL WITH PEOPLE AND WE ALL DESERVE THE RIGHT TO BE LOVED AND NOT EMOTIONALLY HARASSED! THERE I SAID IT!

      • Jennifer says:

        and I never ask..ed for your rebuttel… so your gonna grow up or me?

      • Jennifer says:

        There is no such thing as “luck” Eliza you must be very very young or an air head. Not everyone likes to be mistreated and NOT EVERYONE likes to be abused at work just because I’m quiet and never bought into queen bee cliques or a spongey person. You seem like one because you give awful advice about HUMAN NATURE. THE END! yOUR turn to make the world a better place because I did my job in telling the truth that does not hurt me.

        • Eliza says:

          Case in point – about nasty-irritable women. No rebuttal required, nor do I need to waste my valuable time – going back and forth with an ignoramic such as yourself. MOST negative-insecure women ARE competitive. Those that are not, are very self-secured with strong self-esteems, and do not measure themselves against other women. They are content with where they are in life and who they are as individuals. By luck–I meant, that I am “fortunate” to have bonded with women who are positive-minded, and who are happy for their friends, rather than compete with each other. You need to learn to read and decipher information more effectively.

  2. Jennifer says:

    childish never stops. Let it be. To all the ones with smarts just let it be i’m done with these arguments. waste of air to breathe and my own time to think. So nobody gives a crap good be on my way. buh buy!

  3. Daria says:

    People make up all sorts of stuff to suit themselves. I had a problem with this too and have tried to minimize the degree to which it affects me by a) making up some juicy stories about THEM and spreading them around, b) not associating with these people more than I can help, c) letting people know I take no sh*t, d) not GIVING a sh*t – if they don’t invite me anywhere, I think, hell, I wouldn’t want to be stuck talking to their boring a$$ anyway! I amuse myself with my own projects. Better than people any day!!

  4. Daria says:

    Women can be absolutely pathetic. They grow up and at 60 or 70 are no better than little children. My mother and aunt are still re-enacting their feuds from the school playground. I am about to hit 40 and seeing that some sort of backward regression appears to be in place (was improvement ever there to start with really LOL???) I tend not to associate with people to any great depth point blank. Since men I have found can be just as stupid and I don’t have time to reason what is the matter with them all.

  5. Tom says:

    I found an interesting blog about this topic, I found it quite fun
    http://www.thexygeneration.com/xy-relations/are-women-kind-or-cruel/

    • Eliza says:

      Tom–it’s usually the fat/ugly women that are the “Meanest” of them all! When someone feels inadequate–that’s when they lash out to someone that comes across as being meek/submissive. That’s why it’s important to put these nasty B-tches in their place at the very onset of such nonsense. :)

      And put things in writing…can’t stress that enough. You can’t deny what is in writing.

      • Jennifer says:

        Fat ugly women??????? No honey maybe your ignorance is.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow, Eliza, your comment is a classic example of bullying – singling someone out because of their appearance. It’s usually the fat/ugly women that are the meanest of them all? No, you’re making a generalization. Anyone of any size, gender, race, religion, etc. can be mean. Just because you had a negative experience with a particular individual who you label as fat or ugly, you shouldn’t make an assumption that usually, fat or ugly women are mean. Your inference is an illogical one and I can’t imagine how labelling someone fat or ugly in the first place will make you unbiased. You’re entitled to your own opinion but I was taken aback by your comment on a post that’s ABOUT bullying.

  6. Elle says:

    As always, leave it to women to act like inhumane morons – probably out of jealousy. I find that women are always envious of some other women.
    Some women are just nasty by nature, unhappy with their lives, feel unfulfilled and take out their bitterness on other women who seem to have it all and have joy. AGAIN – ladies – it’s all about JEALOUSY!
    Stop being such haters!! Otherwise, karma is a real bitch–and there will be a special place in hell–where you and your nasty little troll kids will burn for all the negativity you create. By the way–a nasty kid is definitely a resemblance of what is taught at home. The apple never falls far from the tree. Look at the parent…and you will clearly understand the child. Respect and honor are taught IN THE HOME!

  7. Margaret says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_engineering

    I am so stupid I had to look up what a “financial engineer” is. Thank God for google and wikipedia.

    “In broadest definition, anyone who uses technical tools in finance could be called a financial engineer, for example any computer programmer in a bank or any statistician in a government economic bureau.”

    Apparently, anyone can be labeled a financial engineer. Stop trying to sound as if you are better than those other ladies. Show some respect. Parisians, are for the most part, very understanding if you are trying to speak French. Stop playing victim and trying to make the rest of the women feel bad for you. Yes, some of them are dumb [EDITED TO REMOVE EXPLETIVE] but you don’t need to step down to their level.

  8. Mom in Michigan says:

    I can unfortunately relate to a lot of what has already been shared in this article and in the posted comments. I live in a cul-de-sac where some of the neighbor women and children seem to be completely caught up in destructive bullying behaviors. Gossip, Envy, Jealousy, and Selfish Ambition rule in this “churched” neighborhood. I myself am a Christian and it has been really difficult to see this and also has been a real eye opener to reflect on how I act and influence my children and those around me. If we could afford to move, i would in a heartbeat. This adult induced bullying is alive and well and makes me want to vomit quite honestly when I have a five year old neighbor boy threatening my children and his mother copy catting everything I do in the name of “ambition”. What is worse is the close proximity of our houses. Any time I step foot outside we feel as if we are bring watched and these neighbors are not shy to let us know it. They can recite to me when we left the house,what I was wearing, and the fact that when I talk I look as if “I am using sign language”. That is just the tip of the iceberg and at this point, I would give anything to be able to walk outside my house without my children or myself being scrutinized. I was unwise enough to confront one mom about a child’s unacceptable behavior and the situation of stalking and copy catting and bullying only increased. Shortly after I was told by her 7 year old daughter that “My mom wishes you would move.” Isn’t it wonderful to know that the next generation is already filled with such mean spirited and hurtful thoughts and actions?! My prayer and hope is that my family can survive in this cul-de-sac mentally intact until our savings jar is filled enough to move and find some real friends and neighbors!!!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Good to see you post, Thanks for listening to the inspiration. Thank you.

  10. Bullied in Allen Texas says:

    My wife and I moved to Texas 6 years ago from California. When I first arrived in the neighborhood I was the happiest guy alive, the neighbors were all successful intelligent and happy and the golf course community is beautiful.

    My wife bonded with a woman in the neighborhood. This woman was a breast cancer survivor and seemed to be a really good person.
    A few months into the friendship, this woman’s son started getting aggressive toward my daughter. My daughter was 3 at the time. After multiple incidents including hitting my daughter in the head with a plastic baseball bat and throwing a building block at my wife when she was nursing my new son, I told my wife to inform her that while we want to be friends still, we needed to keep the kids apart since her sons violence was escalating.
    This made the neighbor angry and she said that if we didn’t want their “family” as a package deal then we don’t get them either. My wife tried to explain that we didn’t dislike them, we’re just not letting our kid get beat up every time your kid is around.
    The friendship gradually dissolved, which broke my heart and we really valued their friendship. People gossiped as to why we weren’t friends, but things were manageable.

    The woman I’m speaking of has twin boys. There is a neighbor across the street with twin boys. The woman across the street made it a full time job trying to destroy my wife.. The situation got worse as this woman’s friend jumped in on the “hate my wife” bandwagon. This woman eventually started spreading rumors around the neighborhood and pretty much 70% of the women stopped speaking to my wife. My wife tried to do the right thing and still invited these women to her parties and be somewhat social.

    Today these two women attempt to run everything in the neighborhood socially. My wife has been ostracized. She has headaches and anxiety.

    I cannot begin to explain how hard it is for me to watch. My kids are now 4 and 7 and I’m afraid it’s going to trickle over to my children.

    What really scares me is that if the bullying spreads over to my children, I’m going to hurt someone so they feel the pain they have caused my family. I too understand how bullying can cause someone to snap and do bad things. I don’t condone people losing it and taking part in violent sprees, but I see how the frustration of treating everyone nicely and still getting treated like an outcast can cause you to want to inflict pain. I am now having dreams of hurting this woman and have no idea how I can be the better person. I’m tired of the pain my wife is feeling and don’t know what to do with these feelings. I’m living in my 5200 sq. foot dream home and don’t want to move and more so don’t want to go to jail for choking someone’s family members.
    I don’t understand how someone can think that this is a game and there are no consequences to their actions. I pray to God you guys don’t end up reading about me on the news one day. I’m not sure how to stop kids from bullying. I was bullied when I was a kid and had a few incidents where if I had access to weapons I would have done violent things. Now my wife is going through it and my whole family is feeling the pressure.

    REALLY? We’re getting this much grief over what?

    Regardless what anyone thinks, my feelings are real and I fear the worst.

    • misha says:

      Oh, this is so terrible. When I read these things it makes me lose hope. If we can not start wth being kind to one another in our own neighborhoods how will be ever stop wars. These people doing these horrible things to your wife and family are really nothing more than low class, uncivilized, brutal and sad people. You will not be their victims, and you must know that you ARE better than them, for you can not, and will not, participate in their negative, childish and absolute ridiculous behavior. Your children will thank you later. What comes around goes around. People who treat others so badly really are NOT happy people, and you are better off not being friends with them. I know it’s hard (believe me, I know).You stay strong, take the high road, show respect and civility and you and your family will win in the end, and you will be the perfect role model for your children. Take care!

    • Nena says:

      I am so sorry you and your family are going through this. =( They sound like evil people. Their nasty kids seem like omens of how evil the parents are. I sure hope you and your wife and family find something that makes you happy.

  11. anonymous says:

    My concern is with my manager, she got promoted internally for the position she’s in. She’s very intelligent and knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. However as normally in the case with bullies they are jealous and quite a few women in work have intimidated, undermined and bullied her. She’s not the confrontational type, she’s slow to raise issues with other department managers when their team screw up but if we mess up not only is that team’s manager shouting at her about it but the rest of that team too. There’s a few women in the office a few years younger than her but are psychically bigger than her and whom she’s afraid of. She is the line manager of one of these who has shouted her down in meetings, leaving my manager in some very uncomfortable situations. I’ve seen one woman ask other girls that go on lunch with my manager what they were doing for lunch and totally ignore my manager. She would also change her lunch break time if my manager was the only one going on the same lunch as her. In fact someone told me that when a few of them are having lunch together she won’t make conversation with my manager. I’ve seen another manager younger than her but bigger belittle her by calling her a good girl,this i thought was totally condescending. My manager didn’t say anything at the time again she was intimidated. A few months back she was asked to give an individual as a project resource, she couldn’t give the resource and had to spend 5 minutes explaining why. Next thing that lady and her manager was over with my bosses department head trying to persuade him to force my manager give the resource. Thankfully he didn’t. She then advised us she was invited to a project discussion meeting. She was then forced to go over to the manager of the project team and explain for another 10mins we didn’t have a resource. She came back to her desk looking totally stressed and worried, no doubt that she’d be manipulated and bullied into giving what they wanted, as well as that she’d been undermined. She did go into the meeting but came back to say a contingency plan was in place and a resource wasn’t needed. They showed little regard for her as they could have told her that before the meeting. I have seen situations where she’s needed help but people weren’t bothered helping her leaving her going from billy to jack, looking weaker each time. I think she’s an astute businesswoman, however I fear people see her as been easy to bully and if any promotions come up in the future, people might try and bully her out of contention.

    • jacqueline says:

      It is very difficult, stressful, and depressing to work in an office where there is so much jealousy, back-stabbing, and bullying. Why doesn’t your friend complain to a supervisor about the way these people are treating her? She is not manager material, as she does not know how to speak up and take control of a situation. Was a salary increase the reason she took the position? Why doesn’t she look for another job? I am also wondering why YOU are the one speaking for her, and why she is not the one with all these concerns.

      • anonymous says:

        I hope she does have these concerns and my thoughts is that she isn’t on this as she has a manager over her who is willing to make decisions for her, taking the pressure of her. Some of us in the team that respect her authority has noticed and discussed it but say nothing as we’ve come to accept she’s got some serious weeknesses, though I can find it frustrating at times. I guess i have a dilemma I maybe changing department soon and part of me is saying if she has an exit discussion with me to say it to her as others won’t as it suits them to be able to manipulate or and a lesser part is telling me to say nothing and let her find out the hard way. The company gave her an automatic promotion so it could be out of jealousy she gets a hard time or that she wasn’t educated into making the role up to management level.

        • jacqueline says:

          Why would a company give someone an automatic promotion who isn`t educated for it?

          • annonymous says:

            They failed to give her proper support training in making the leap from employee to manager. There are others who got a similar promotion around the same time and they seem to be more self assured now and got the same training as her. She Just hasn’t managed to get the respect she deserves and i think until she decides to be brave and stand up for herself she’ll continue to struggle.

            • jacqueline says:

              My question to you, is why are you so concerned about this woman? Do you know her well enough to tell her how you feel? You say she has a manager above her who is taking some of the pressure off? So, why should YOU be so frustrated? You and others are talking about her behind her back. So, either tell her what you are all feeling, or stop talking about her and mind your own business. Be more concerned about yourself and changing departments.

              • marie says:

                I hope this woman is documenting the bullying and hope she sues the company for working in a hostile work environment. Unfortunately without the proper documentation it will be her word against theirs and if she can’t speak up and defend herself now, she may not have the backbone to take it to that level.

                • Eliza says:

                  That’s what email is for! I hope she sues too! Not fair to have to work under such hostility from these nasty B-ches.

      • Eliza says:

        I agree–but about bullying in the workplace…but unfortunately, that IS how PEOPLE are in general–anywhere you go. And it starts in the home. And actually mostly with WOMEN! Women tend to be extremely jealous – of other women. Whether it be – if that woman is more beautiful, thinner, seems to have more, dresses well, or has this or that. Women are very nasty by nature…and I am a woman! I am so lucky to have a small, but solid group of women friends for a long time that are truly happy for my success. At work, I notice the same thing–the women there are catty, they are not friendly, and “back stabbing all the way”. Bullies in general have low-self esteem, and look for scape goats to lash out on. They are usually very pathetic and lack social grace. With kids–the bully will rally “sheep” – because as a kid – one doesn’t want to speak out–so many are “followers”. I do what one of the post above mentioned–I let any nasty biotch know that I don’t take any
        S$^%T from ANYONE. Respect for me is mandatory.

  12. Trixhie says:

    I never posted on the internet before but I guess I just need to get the story of my chest after another horrible day. I’m in my late twenties and work for an international company which offered me a great job opportunity in Paris. After some meetings with my future bosses (which all seemed very nice persons) I decided to take the plunge and to go for this exciting experience for a couple of years. I couldn’t wait to live in this new, beautiful city. When I arrived here, everything went just perfectly, I found a nice appartment and thanks to the ‘friends of friends in paris’ adresses I collected before my departure, I quickly knew some nice people to hang out here.
    However, when I started this new job, I noticed a very cold welcome of most of my new female team members. I thought it would pass by after while but it turned into weird remarks from them like “we know that you don’t eat at night in order to stay slim (???)” and “nice handbag too bad you can see that it’s fake” (it wasn’t fake at all).
    I ignored it and tried ever so hard to make friends with them.

    After 9 months of being single, I met a nice guy, who is the most sweet and intelligent man I ever met, but who also happened to be unfortunately the ‘eligible bachelor of the company’.
    As from then the intensity of the remarks increased. I got jokingly remarks that “being worse then stupid would be having my nationality and be stupid”.
    Or whispering that my boyfriend “probably doesn’t look at the brains…” and telling in front of me to each other that “speaking three languages is not a sign of intelligence”.
    I gave them a huge laugh when I switched by accident in a conversation the capitals of Slovakia and Slovenia. They said that somebody who doesn’t know that is an idiot.

    Intelligence seems to be ‘the point of attack’ they have finally found, since I did struggle with the language (French is my third language), I couldn’t always keep up with their cultural and intellectual knowledge and I faced a new and totally different job content (I went from marketeer to being a financial engineer). So from time to time I felt (and I must have looked) like a was dropped on another planet. And I guess that being a blond girl doesn’t help here. I ignored it at the time and kept on fighting but their remarks and my hard exclusion from the female group brought me very often to tears at night.

    Now after 1,5 years, I got a job offer from another team which is in fact a huge promotion (so far my revenche for the ‘intelligence’ remarks).
    However, the behaviour of my female colleagues went throught the roof. It went so far that one of them told me that for my best interest I should better not take the job offer (“it was an uninterestig job for me”). She also told me that “she was going to have a good talk with the person who offered me this new job”.
    Another female colleague proceeded to telling my current boss that I talked bad about him behind his back (which I never did). A male colleague took fortunately up for me and said her remark was a case of jealousy. But ever since then, my boss behaves very distant from me.

    I just count the days until I will be going to my new team, hoping things will be different. I sat this one out, biting my teeth, but if I would have know in what type of aggressive behaviour of women I would end up, I would never ever have come to Paris.

    • Krista says:

      I am really shocked by your story and am so sorry you’ve been going through this abuse. I am on this site right now because I took a recent trip out of town through university and although I am very social and went out of my way to smile, say nice things, and ask questions about people’s lives, the women were incredibly nasty. I won’t go into all the details but I spent several nights crying, too, and on the plane ride back I could not hold back tears and had to wear my sunglasses. When I saw my husband at the airport I basically collapsed in his arms in tears.

      These women even went so far as to leave me alone, at 11:30 at night, downtown in a city I had never been to before and didn’t say a word about it the next day. We were assigned to vans that went back and forth from the place we were staying to other locations and I was assigned to their’s. Thankfully, there were some nice classmates who had driven cross country so they had their car and took me home. The remarks the women made were so rude and unexpected that I spent the whole time just kept trying to “be positive” and tell myself I wouldn’t let others ruin the fun time I had planned on having. But it’s really hard to keep doing that.

      I can’t imagine being in your situation where you had to endure it for months on end. I only had to do that for a week and it was miserable. I hope your life goes in a direction where you can be around kindness and respect again as you deserve to be. Keep us updated if you can!

    • misha says:

      Parsians can be the worst. I lived there for 4 years and found it very had to make friends. If your french isn’t PERFECT! with a Parisian accent no less, then you were basically shit! HOw are you doing now?

    • Eliza says:

      Yep–as I have stated above–and have asserted–Jealousy – from WOMEN strikes again. And mostly, based on beauty, thin frame, the attention from men…that these very nasty women probably do NOT get. Hence, they lash out at somebody–why? Because they feel inferior and envious. Women leave a lot to be desired – which is why some men have even stated – it’s truly hard to date many women today. They are so obsessed with what others seemingly have and what they themselves do not have. When a woman sneers or makes similar comments to me–I give her a huge smile…as if to say:
      ‘Deal with it B’tch”! It’s nobody’s fault – if these women feel inadequate or are ugly, fat, out of shape, etc. The best approach is “confidence” and smiling from ear to ear!

  13. Maisie says:

    I have never been bullied as a child, but coming to a new apartment block, as a new immigrant from Europe, I discovered I had taken over the role of scapegoat, when the last lady went back to her own country. The stuck up bitch, as she was called by the rental office manager when we signed the lease, or Lady Di, had left. So I was puzzled a few months later, when another new mother asked me why she hadn’t seen me at any of the book clubs etc., in the apartments and what was I going to do about my DRINK PROBLEM? I was flabbergasted! What drink problem? I don’t really drink anything. I heard I was also the new stuck up bitch, who didn’t want socialize with anyone. So,I was lonely and sought friends outside the apartments. It worked and I enjoyed life. Until, it started affecting my kids in school, with kids from the apartments, verbally abusing my daughter on the way home or throwing balls etc at my young kids. Anyway, we bought a new house in the suburbs. The new house rep. heard about my ‘unfriendly behavior and drinking problem’ from the apartments office?? My new neighbor in the new house area invited me and asked me how long had I problems with drink? I asked who had told her these lies and she said it was from the rep in the apartments to the rep here. I contacted the new homes company and made a complaint, as well as the apartments company, (the manager was fired after a short while). So I found out the malicious lies had followed us. The new homes rep’s. friend is a neighbor and is really unpleasant, I confronted her over her dogs ruining my lawn. I feel isolated and their dogs trash my lawn. I don’t get invited to parties or estate events, and I am determined not to be the victim. One neighbor quietly told me she is upset at the way a couple of neighbors are ruining my lawn. I have friends in the near by town who tell me to move. I confronted this neighbor whilst her dog was defecating on my lawn. She was afraid, she didn’t have all her buddies sneering or making nasty comments with her, as she had done before in the one party I was invited to. I was calm but threatened legal action. So we either, put up a fence or leave. I think leaving is good and no one will know where we are going. I am tired of trying to live in peace. My husband is also tired of it all. I have never experienced this before and have lived in three countries. These women are really mean and where they get their nasty ideas from I don’t know. I have two very smart, friendly, kids and they have great friends. Both are going to good colleges and I have enjoyed living here but not on this housing development. I think all bullies have some form of envy or jealousy, as well as, an inferiority complex. I am an ex-teacher and I now understand how kids can be suicidal. There are some twisted people around. I am very nervous about neighbors from now on and cliques.

    • Daria says:

      People make up all sorts of stuff to suit themselves. I had a problem with this too and have tried to minimize the degree to which it affects me by a) making up some juicy stories about THEM and spreading them around, b) not associating with these people more than I can help, c) letting people know I take no sh*t, d) not GIVING a sh*t – if they don’t invite me anywhere, I think, hell, I wouldn’t want to be stuck talking to their boring a$$ anyway! I amuse myself with my own projects. Better than people any day!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    You are my hero. I have rarely seen anyone step up to the plate as you have done, and stay the course. Especially when no one else has the guts to join you openly. (What is the point of giving “behind the scenes suport,” anyway?) In the end, you will always be able to look yourself in the mirror and lay your head on the pillow each night and rest the rest of the just, because you have done the right there here. I know the reality, in the cold daylight, having to live with these people, that is lonely as hell. And I can’t promise you that you will be vindicated by the others in the end, or that they will get their just desserts, and all that. No one knows that and can predict that. But you can have hope that someday in your life the loneliness will be abated by another couragous person such as you, or that you find yourself in a new environment or meeting new and better people. And you can always know in your heart and soul that you have done the decent thing in taking up for this person. You have gone against the idiotic group-think of these cowards who have picked on someone. I mean it: You are my hero. And I’m sure I’m not alone. I hope others here will write in and tell you you’re their hero, too. But if they don’t, don’t despair. People don’t always speak up (as you know), but that doesn’t mean you did not do the kind, decent thing. I wish I had a friend like you. Take care, and try to not let the bastards get you down.

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