I was 12 years old the first time I experienced girl drama in it’s purest form. Before then, I had been bullied, and I had had two little girls fight over me, but this was the stuff they write books about. I’d just gotten a solo, which in the dance world is a big deal, and I was very excited. Two of my friends at school thought I was being stuck up about it, and decided not to talk to me. Further to that, they told everyone else to ignore me too. At lunch time that day, I sat by myself where I thought they wouldn’t find me, but they did. So I went into the bathroom, where two other girls were hanging out. They knew what was going on, but were staying out of it, and they told me I was welcome to hang out with them, so I did. About 10 minutes later, my group of friends, all of whom were now ignoring me, came in, kind of apologised and told me that I could come and hang out with them now. As an adult looking back, I realise two things: 1) They only apologised for fear of my parents, the most involved of all our parents, calling their parents to tell them what happened, and 2) I should have stayed in the bathroom with the other two girls.
There had been a significant amount of girl drama going on with those girls that year, and my mum was really good at helping me through it. One piece of advice she gave me that really stuck with me was this:
“Don’t trust anyone who talks about people behind their backs, because you never know what they’re saying behind your back.”
As I went through school, there were many more instances of girl drama. When school finished, I thought that was the end of it. Months later, there it was again, in the form of a girl telling another girl I’d said something I hadn’t. And unbelievably, at 23 years old, there are still days where I need to recall that advice my mum gave me all those years ago. It feels yucky in my heart to hear what my friends are dealing with in their workplaces or at church.
I have learnt a lot over the years about dealing with girl drama, both in the child form and the adult form. I’m not going to pretend to have learnt everything, but here’s what I have learnt:
“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”
This is my life verse at the moment. I have a situation in which somebody is attempting to discredit me professionally. I have gotten angry about this situation. I have felt it is unjust. I have felt it is unfair and unethical. One day, I prayed “Lord, what do I do about this?” and the answer I got was “What does the Lord require of you?” I already knew the bones of this verse, so I searched for it, and when I found it, I felt I had the answer as to what to do.
I must act justly. Unjust behaviour does not excuse unjust behaviour. I will not give false witness. I will not gossip. I will not attempt to bring the other person down. I will remember that I serve a just God, and that at the end of time, His justice will prevail.
I must love mercy. I will be merciful to those who have not been merciful to me. I will pray for them. I will be compassionate. When someone is cruel to me, I will respond with kindness.
I must walk humbly with my God. I am not to be prideful. Even though I may feel I am above them as I have not sunk to their level, I will remember that I am a sinner saved by grace, and I will rely on God to guide me.
I have a friend whose strength, humility and mercy in a situation such as this inspired me and encouraged me like nothing else. She did not allow the cruelty of others to determine how she lived her life. Her maturity and her faith in God through all she has been through with this situation astounds me. God has shown her what is good, and she has done what He has required of her. I hope that, when I face girl drama in the adult world, I will respond with half the dignity that she has shown.