Don't get me started on cliques!
If you are the cliquey type, look away now.
I thought I was a pretty sorted, confident individual who, in my 43 years on this planet, had risen above enough of the Negative Nellies and Debbie Downers who contribute to this hideous animal that is 'The Female Clique.'
Frustratingly, this turns out not to be the case as the curse of the clique has today well and truly bitten me on the bum.
Something occurred this morning in work that smacked hard of the old pals act, the closed circle and the judgemental and it bloody got to me, much as I hate to admit it.
Usually confident in my own abilities, the actions of others caused me to doubt myself, to feel insecure and be reduced to the quivering wreck of a teenager about to embark on their first snog.
For all of about half an hour. Then once I'd processed my initial shock and disbelief, I thought 'Fuck this shit", literally, that's as eloquently as I could put it because I was so fired up. I knew I needed to turn it into a positive and that I have.
I've channelled it into the fire I needed to put into action some positive steps I'd been procrastinating about for ages. They say success is the sweetest revenge and whilst I'm not big on the whole revenge thing, success sure will heal my weeping wounds quicker.
For me, my creative outlet is obviously here on my blog, and nothing is more cathartic than writing away my stress, which is exactly what has happened here. But it got me to thinking, how many of you guys are struggling to deal with the Cliquettes who are around so many corners, waiting to pounce? Sadly, they exist everywhere...
So how I dealt with it was to leave the network this happened in, write a poignant blog post that has been published on Huffington Post and move on to my next exciting challenge.
It has made me far more aware of my choices, taught me to be much more resilient, and a hell of a lot more picky about who I spend my precious time on!
The school run
One of the biggest breeding grounds for this type of woman - the sister from the hellish Mister who delights in nurturing her own little clan, peppering it with negativity and bitchiness to the point where I have seen grown woman flee said playground in tears, lamenting their perceived failures in motherhood. Unfortunately this is hard to avoid until your offspring are old enough to skip into school on their own - when the day comes that a kiss at the gate will suffice, bye bye to the naysayers! Until then, dress yourself in self-confidence, faux or the real deal and run the gauntlet in your snazziest shoes.
The supporting co-workers purportedly there to have your back and work as a team who in actual fact, are silently smug if you mess up, take credit for your ideas and close ranks at the lunch table sharing work opportunities with the chosen ones and overlooking your creative talent because your face doesn't fit.
Keep your head down, your free time your own, and work your way up that ladder on your own merit. You are strong enough to make it on your own,
Sometimes there are occasions when you can find yourself in a toxic friendship situation, usually when there's a larger group of women I find - sorry to be sexist ladies but the blokes just don't seem to sweat this stuff - that you can find one poison ivy, where you are the only one of so many not invited to the Facebook friendly barbeque, not in with the in crowd nor on the night out invite list. Walk away. Yes, even if you think it may cost you the friendship of the lovelies in the background, if they are truly your friends they won't let you down.
I see it all the time. Tear stained cheeks, Mac mascara running. I've lost count of the friends crying on my shoulder after bearing the brunt of a clique crisis. Such a drain on the emotions, the key of course, other than choosing your friends, confidantes and acquaintances more carefully, is to shed the dead wood, hold your head to the sky, strut in your highest heels and know your worth.
Have you had trouble with toxic troublemakers? How do you handle it?