Are We Gossip Girls?

Asher's gossip drawing

Helloooo, Triblet of Mini-Women. Welcome back to our newly-combined Wednesdays With Nancy/Tween You and Me Blog where we’re talking about Friendship Flubs and boys and bullying and anything else you ask. A special shout-out today to GRACE who has just joined us for the first time. AND to ASHER, who drew this picture (and one below) for today’s topic. Is she awesome or what?!!!

When I asked you last week to tell us where you are in the gossiping world, I had no idea we were going to get such a huge response. Looks like this is the perfect topic! As WENDY said: I’m glad we’re going to be talking about gossiping because, a few days ago my 2 CFF’s and I decided that we were going to stop being around people who gossip, and stop gossiping ourselves.

Love, love, love that, Wendy. I’m just wondering, though: how’s that working out for you so far?

I only ask that because it’s SO hard to stop doing something that, let’s face it, can be so much fun. At least for the people doing it.

   I think we need to start with ASHER’s question: What IS gossip? question marks

First of all, here’s what gossip ISN’T:

     (a) talking over things with your parents that have happened at school, even when it concerns other people. MEDOMFO says that helps her because her parents make her see what to do or not do in those situations. That’s more like “reporting.”

     (b)  trying to figure out with your friends how you’re going to help somebody or solve a problem with another person. If Susie Schmo is cheating in math class and you don’t want her to get in trouble, you’re NOT gossiping if you discuss what you can say to her to get her to stop and how you’re going to offer to tutor her. You ARE gossiping if you ONLY  chat (for hours) about how she’s doing it and what she looks like when she’s doing it and how much trouble she’s going to get in when she gets caught

Here’s what gossip IS: saying things behind someone’s back — whether they’re true or not — that you wouldn’t want that person to hear you say or that would hurt them. If you’re saying Susie Schmo is so super cute and you wish you looked like her, that is NOT gossiping. If you’re going on about how Susie Schmo thinks she’s all that and you’re glad you’re not as conceited as she is, that IS gossiping.

                                        gossip

OBVIOUSLY gossiping is not a good thing at all.  So why do we ever do it? I think we, especially we girls, do it because:

    (a) when we have something juicy to tell about somebody else, we’re the center of attention and everyone listens to us

    (b)  we get really upset with the terrible things people do and we feel like we need to vent about them. KAYLEE and   MEGGGIEBEAR have both found themselves in that situation. As MEGGIEBEAR put it: There are some gross kids in the school and others start talking about them. It is hard to not comment to what they said. Getting it all out there makes us feel better, and that would be okay if we stopped there. But think about what happens when you and your friends really get going about how evil Susie Schmo is. Pretty soon nobody can think of a single good thing to say about her (even her good dental hygiene) AND people start to exaggerate. She might have told somebody to shut up during PE, but did she really cuss at them? Or does that just make a better story?

    (c) It kind of comes naturally. As HALLE BELL said, I’ve discovered that I gossip a lot lately, and I don’t even know it after I’ve done it until much later! Girls are usually worse about it than boys. Hard to believe we’re worse about anything than they are, but it’s true!

     (d) It’s fun! Really, when everybody’s putting in their stuff about how full of herself Susie is, people can say some pretty funny stuff. One great line leads to another until everybody’s howling and holding their sides and who cares how Susie would feel if she heard you, right?

Well, here’s the deal on that, mini-women. We SHOULD care. GRACE pointed that out for us when she said, — I try not to gossip too much, cause I know how it feels to be gossiped about. In case you haven’t been there as the subject of gossip, let me share how that feels:

two young girls laughing behind another girls back
two young girls laughing behind another girls back

    * it stings like a bee

    * it makes you feel so small you can’t even see yourself any more

    * it makes you wonder if maybe what they’re saying is true and you start to hate yourself

    * you don’t want to trust anybody anymore

    * you feel really, really alone

All because a group of girls were “just venting,” or “just having fun.”

If it were easy to decide to stop gossiping and then, well, stop forever, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. This is a hard habit to break, so we have to be aware of it and, as HALLE BELLE put it, take Baby Steps.

Here are some that have worked for me. (yeah, I still have to stop myself sometimes …_)

     (1) Watch yourself for a couple of days (days when you’re with your friends, which is hard for those of you who are homeschooled –don’t forget gossip at church — it happens!) Who do you tend to talk with most about other people? How do you feel when you’re chatting away about somebody’s weird outfit or their snorty laugh or that ridiculous report they gave in class? Who do you gossip the most ABOUT? Knowing that will alert you next time you start to get into a gossipy conversation.

    (2) Make a pact with one or more of your friends like WENDY is doing. Pledge not to gossip together and hold each other to it. Kindly, of course. Turning to each other and saying, “There you go again! Knock it off!” probably isn’t going to work. Try having a signal so you don’t have to say anything at all, like scratching your nose or curling your hair around your finger. aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWING

  (3) Always have other topics at the ready when the gossip starts so you can change the subject. Instead of, “We should talk about something else,” you can say, “My dog did the funniest thing!” or “Can anybody teach me how to French braid hair?” or draw a frog or keep a journal away from nosy little brothers.  We can’t just stop gossiping unless we have something better to put in its place.

    (4)  If something somebody is doing is really troubling you, go to an adult you trust, a person who can actually help you find a solution. As much as your friends want to help, most of the time they have no more idea how to deal with a “terrible person” than you do. If everybody is struggling, go to the counselor or the teacher or the parent or the youth pastor together. Just remember that you’re seeking a solution — you’re not just looking for a place to vent. There is no legal gossiping!

 I sure hope that helps. If it does, let us know in your comment. If you still have questions, ask away! For fun, tell us what change-the-topic you would use for (3). 

Next week we’ll talk about this question from your list: What do you do if YOU are the  subject of gossip? If people are saying mean things about YOU? If you’ve had that experience, please tell us about it. We’ll see if we can help you.

Until then, blessings, mini-women!

Nancy Rue

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When your friends are acting like grown-ups

all grown upHellooo, Tribelet of Mini-Women! Welcome back to the newly combined Wednesdays with Nancy and Tween You and Me blog. To answer the question that comes up a lot — no, Tween You and Me isn’t gone forever. This is the NEW Tween You and Me. Soon the banner will show that so nobody’s confused.

For the next several months we’ll be talking about Friendship Flubs and boys issues (as in, why are they absurd little creeps sometimes?) and the bullying we see and experience. If you want to submit  question for us to discuss, please do in your comment.

Last week we got into what to do if your friends don’t seem to give a hoot about what you say. Since then, OLIVIA told us that one friend she and her sister share just wants to talk about StarWars, and suddenly that’s all her sis can talk about too. ASHLYN ‘fessed up that sometimes SHE can be the friend who talks too much. Now that she knows that, she’s started asking people questions to make sure they get to do their fair share of the talking. ASHER says she tends to avoid talking about things her friends have really strong opinions about — and  aren’t going to change their minds on — so they don’t argue. That’s one of the things I like so much about this group: you all help each other.

Our  question for this week is this one:  what do you do when your friends are acting way older than they are, and you feel totally left out?acting grown-up

ASHER says she has definitely come across people who try to act grown-up, like swearing and telling inappropriate jokes. Anybody else had that experience?

    * Here’s the thing about that: using bad language and telling dirty jokes doesn’t make a person a grown-up. In fact, the more mature a person is, the LESS she cusses and tells stories that make everybody’s face turn red.

   * Can you change them? No. So what DO you do? When that starts happening, don’t make a big deal out of it. Just quietly walk away if you can. Never, ever laugh or join in just to feel like you belong. Seriously, is that where you WANT to belong? In the potty-mouth group?

HALLE BELLE says sometimes the girls in her PE class — girls older and her own CFFs — talk about things she doesn’t usually talk about EVER.  Anybody else been there?

   * Here’s the thing about that: choosing adult topics doesn’t make people adults. The more mature a person is, the better she knows what she knows. Does that make sense? The wisest people stick to what they actually understand. Pretending to be grown-up doesn’t make you that way.  

   * Can you change them? No. So what DO you do? If they aren’t necessarily your friends, just walk away if you can, or if you can’t, think about tacos. If they’re your CFFs, it’s okay to say something like, “Should we even be discussing this? I don’t think we know what we’re talking about.” You’ll probably find that someone else in the group feels the same way and is way grateful that you spoke up. If your friends look at you weird and go back to what they were saying, it might be time to scope out new friends. be authentic

EVE says she’s been struggling since sixth grade with her friends wanting to stand around and talk, while she still wants to run around and play. She wants to be a kid! Does that sound like you?

   *Here’s the thing about that: everybody matures at different rates. You wanting to play like the kid you are doesn’t make you immature.

   * Can you change them? No.  So what DO you do? Be who you are. Still, stick around once in a while to see what they’re talking about. You might find out you’re interested. 

MARYBETH says the hardest thing for her is that all her friends have iPhones and iPads and she doesn’t, so in their eyes she is “uncool.” They’ve stopped hanging out with her as much, which hurts. Have you felt her pain?

   * Here’s the thing about that: what you own SHOULDN’T determine who your friends are, but unfortunately not everybody sees it that way. They’re showing THEIR immaturity by making a cell phone and a tablet a requirement for friendship. 

   * Can you change them? No. So what DO you do? I’m pretty sure not EVERY kid your age has all that stuff. Maybe you can look around for people who DON’T have their faces glued to a tiny screen all the time. Perhaps you could have a no-tech party or sleepover and invite your friends to come without their devices — making sure you have some fun stuff planned to do. It won’t hurt to show them that cool things can happen even without texting and the Internet. keep it real

I hope that helps. I really do remember what it was like to be the last girl to get interested in boys — to still be wearing puffy sleeves when everybody else was dressing like a teenager — to secretly still enjoy my dolls when the other girls were falling in love with the Beatles (they were a rock group …) I didn’t know how to be anybody other than me, and somehow that just worked out.

I think that even though I didn’t know it, that was a God-thing. It can be for you too. In fact, it already is.  

What will we talk about next week? Drum roll, please: WHAT DO WE DO IF WE FIND OURSELVES GOSSIPING? A LOT?    If you ever struggle with that, tell us how. We’ll get WAY into that on Wednesday, January 27. Can’t wait!

Blessings, Nancy Rue

 

 

When friends only talk about themselves

blah blah blah

 Hello Tribelet of Mini-Women! It seems like most of you have found our new combined blog and have figured out how to comment. Thanks for being so patient with the change-over. It’s one of the many reasons you absolutely rock.

Today our topic is what to do if your friends talk, talk, talk — and did I mention talk? — about themselves, but when you feel like it’s your turn to share, they’re barely listening. You know the signs:

* their eyes glaze over glazed eyes

* they kind of go, “Oh, yeah, that’s cool,” and go back to talking about themselves again

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  • you think for a minute they’re interested because they say, “Oh, yeah, I get that!” but then they go on to say, “That happened to me and I was like, blah, blah, blah.”

  •  or they just go on talking as if you hadn’t said a word

    ASHER and SARA both said they’ve had that happen, and I’m sure more of you have too. We start to feel like: (a) we must be the most boring people on the plant or (b) we have the rudest friends ever.

    It really is rude when people blow you off,  especially when those people are supposed to be your friends. What … did they just become your buddies so they’d have an audience? Seriously?

    But just like with every other friendship flub, we can’t change other people. We can only work on ourselves. So what can you do in this situation?

    (1) Be sure YOU are listening to THEM when they talk, and not thinking about what you’re going to say if they ever hush up. SARA says that’s what she’s doing. Good on ya, Mini-Woman. Listening doesn’t mean just blah blah 3being quiet while they go on and on. It means asking questions, making comments … actually BEING interested. If you don’t really care what they have to say, um, why are you friends?

    (2) Think about whether what you want to talk about fits the conversation. Let’s say two of your CFFs are discussing how hard the vocabulary test was and you chime in with, “I think math is SO easy. My dad’s been helping me and blah, blah, blah.” Oops. Now YOU’re doing it …blah blah no

    (3) That doesn’t mean you should never change the subject. Just be sure everybody’s finished talking about that other thing before you take off on a new topic.

    (4) Try starting your “turn” by including your friends in what you’re about to say. “What do you guys think about this?” “I couldn’t wait to tell you this — are you ready for it?” Then it isn’t like you’re “on.” You’re really having a discussion.

    This is the hard part, and it happens a lot at this time in your life when you’re changing and so is everybody else. Sometimes the loss of interest in what each other is saying is that you are attracted to different things. Some girls want to talk about boys right now, and you might still think they’re absurd little creeps most of the time. Some girls are totally into music, and maybe you would rather read Anne of Green Gables than interstedlisten to Taylor Swift. Some girls are all about sports, and perhaps you’re more into art or animals. Being friends doesn’t mean you have to like all the same things, but it helps to have at least SOMETHING in common. If you just don’t anymore, you don’t have to stop being friends, but you can start looking around for other kids who get excited about the same stuff you do. They’ll want to hear what you have to say.

    If you want to comment this week, tell us what you ARE interested in talking about with other people. We will listen to you!!!  

     Also  — next week we’re going to talk (but not blah blah!) about what to do when your friends start acting all grown up and you still want to be the kid you are! If you’ve had any experience with THAT, tell us about it in a comment.

    See you next Wednesday, Mini-Women.

     Blessings,

    Nancy Rue

 

 

 

 

When Your Friend Stops Talking to You … and Welcome Tween You and Me!

girl modelHello Tribelet — and Mini-Women! If you read the post on Tween You and Me yesterday, you know that starting right now, we’re combining the two blogs into one … this one. I think all of you who have been on the Wednesday blog are also on Tween You and Me, so you know each other already. We can jump right in!

The only difference for you Wednesday girls is that we won’t be talking about bullying as much, although the issues with friendships and boys who are absurd little creeps is often mixed in with people being mean to other people.  We’ll still include the Join the Tribelet videos and you can ALL earn points for Skype sessions with me. (I’m scheduling those with Kaylee and with Ana and Adie right now)

To make sure everybody knows where we are, we’re answering the questions BOTH the Wednesday girls AND the Tween and Me girls have asked recently. If you want to submit a question, please do in your comment. If you want to see what questions have already been asked, just click here. Today we’re talking about what to do if your friend just stops talking to you.

Both KAYLEE and HALLE BELLE said they’ve had that happen. We probably all have, right? Feel free to comment if you have. What do we do about it? I have a couple of suggestions:

(1) It’s always good to look at ourselves first. Can you think of anything you did or said that might have upset your CFF (that’s Close Friend Forever)? If it’s clear to you, apologize right away and talk about how you can change that. If she hates it when you tease her about being tiny, maybe she could give you a signal when tugging on earlobeyou do it so you can stop in your tracks. (She could tug on her earlobe, for instance. Hers, not yours!) 

(2) If you can’t think of anything, ask her. The truth is, she SHOULD have already told you, rather than just shutting you out. You’re not a mind reader,  for Pete’s sake! mind readerBut sometimes people hesitate to say, “This bothers me,” because they’re afraid you’ll get mad, or they think deep down that it really isn’t that big a deal and they’re ashamed to admit it bugs them.  So be the brave friend and say ( to her, not someone else), “Have I done something to upset you?”

(3) If you’re fortunate, she’ll tell you.  Maybe she’ll be relieved. Maybe she was hoping you’d ask so she wouldn’t feel stupid. Maybe this is her way of making sure you really give a hoot. She’s wrong in the way she’s doing it, but that can be settled later. Now you just want to find out what’s going on and move forward.

(4) The problem is, she still might not tell you. The worst is if she says, “No, nothing’s wrong,” and then continues to give you the silent silencetreatment. You feel like a crazy person! You’re not. So, you can (a) nudge her a little more, saying, “Seriously. You aren’t talking to me so something IS wrong. Tell me. I won’t be mad.” (b) or say, “Okay, but this isn’t how you and I are with each other. Just sayin’.”

(5) What should you NOT do?

* say, “Fine, then I guess we aren’t friends any more.”

* say, “If that’s the way you want it, come find me when you’re ready to talk. But I might have a new BFF by then.”

*talk to all your other friends about it and get into putting your silent friend down to anybody who will listen

  * throw a fit and say something you’ll be sorry for later, like, “You always do this! It’s so tantrumstupid! Why am I even friends with you?”

(6) If she won’t talk to you, tell her you’ll wait it out until she’s ready. Then go on being your wonderful self, praying for her and loving her in your heart. She may realize how much she misses you and come back — but make sure you get the thing resolved. Don’t just go on as if nothing happened.

(7) If she lets it go on too long, it’s time for new friends. That’s when it might be good to ask someone you trust if you do things that upset other people. That doesn’t mean the whole thing was your fault, but if it did involve something you did, you’ll want to know about it so the same thing doesn’t happen again. Usually, though, when somebody just clams up and shuts you out forever, that person probably isn’t someone you can trust. It’s sad, but it’s true.

If you want to comment this week, you can tell us one or both of these things: (1) Do YOU ever stop talking when you’re mad at somebody? (2) Since we’re going to talk next week about what to do when your friends talk about themselves a lot but don’t seem interested in YOU, share any experiences you’ve had with that.

Yes, it feels good to be together, doesn’t it?

Blessings, Nancy Rue, the Eldest of the Elders           

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