What Your Friends Say About Who You Are

Jumping Silhouettes [Explored #420 02-21-2012]

Article by Wendy McCance

One of my daughters had an incredibly rough year at school.  I am relieved that the school year is about over because she really needs a break.  Out of all of her years in school, this year has been the year that has opened my daughters eyes the most to how she feels about herself.

Last summer, my daughter was struggling to have a relationship with her father.  Lets just say that last summer was very emotional for her and the outcome was not good.

My daughter started the school year in a really low state of mind.  She held on to one or two friends from her childhood, but got involved with a very different group of girls than what she was usually drawn to.

Past school years, my daughter did well in her classes, had supportive friends and felt good about herself.  She was active in a variety of activities and was fairly happy.

This year, her grades were abominable, the friends she made were with kids who had a poor home life, lied often and could care less about their schoolwork.  These kids were known for pushiness and put downs.  When any of these kids were at odds with each other, the bullying that went on was heartbreaking.

Through counseling, some dramatic adjustments in friendships and a new outlook on her relationship with her father, my daughter is starting to come around.  It’s been a long painful process, but I am hoping that by the next school year, my daughter will be on a better track.

Through many talks I have had with my daughter, the one question that keeps coming up is how my daughter ended up in such a horrible group of girls.  My daughter has had a hard time understanding how she was drawn to a group of girls so different from the type of girls she would usually enjoy associating with.

We had to dissect her feelings about herself to get to the core of the decisions she was making.  My daughter had a major blow to her self-esteem.  She felt rejected by her father and was left with a feeling of  low self-worth.  She gravitated towards the people who represented how she felt about herself.

As she has begun to fix her own feelings of herself, it’s been like a light switch.  She now sees these girls she hung out with in a whole new way.  She doesn’t like what she sees and has been distancing herself from those she now views as toxic influences in her life.

This summer we are going to get her active in some acting classes.  Acting is one of her passions.  Connecting with an activity that has brought her so much pleasure will be another way for her to work on healing herself.  It also helps that she will be with like-minded girls in these classes.

The point of this story is that sometimes a person loses a sense of themself.  One of the best ways to determine where you are in life and how you might want to improve on who you are is to look at the company you keep.  Are your friends bringing you up, making you feel good about yourself and supporting you?  If so, you are in a good place.  If you notice that you are putting in all of the work to keep a friendship going, feel let down often and looked upon unfavorably, it’s time to reevaluate who you are and what you want to be.

My daughter realizes that she wants to get rid of any toxic people in her life.  She wants to be open, giving and supportive of her friends.  More importantly though, she wants friendships with girls who are open, giving and supportive towards her as well.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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12 thoughts on “What Your Friends Say About Who You Are

  1. It is so hard being a girl in regards to friendships. There are so many toxic girls that don’t want to have healthy friendships and then bring girls like your daughter down. I hope things continue to look up for her, it sounds like you are providing a great support system!

  2. My heart goes out to your daughter! I was in the same space in junior high/high school. It’s a great eye-opener to see how a person really feels about themselves! Hope your daughter has a lot of fun with the acting classes.

  3. Brings back so many memories Wendy when our daughters were teenagers struggling with fitting in and trying to find themselves. Thankfully, at that time we had 4-H and many camps to go to taking them our of their daily routines, peers, and exposing them to a bigger world.

    I can identify with what you’re trying to help your daughter with. It’s not easy and gets down to the nitty-gritty sometimes.

    You’re a great mom, Wendy, with being patient and spending the time with her to help her sort through all these emotions. She’ll find it. She’s has you there to help her.

  4. Your daughter sounds like she started junior high! Your daughter’s experiences sound nearly identical to my junior high years. When a young girl is on the cusp of womanhood, that’s when she needs that father-figure-love-and-approval THE MOST. There are a myriad of psychiatric reasons for this. She’s fortunate to have a mother who’s sensitive to this. Thanks for sharing! May things continue to improve! 🙂

  5. What a great lesson. In the hubbub of our lives we sometimes miss the obvious. That is especially true about our state of mind and our choices at each particular juncture in life. The fact that your daughter is able to recognize that will hold her in good stead as she grows.

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