In middle/high school, I adored my volleyball coach, Coach Cooper. She was short, about 5’1″, with short, blonde hair. On the court, she had high expectations & could be scary if she thought you weren’t meeting them. One time in ninth grade, she called a time out after I missed a ball, & she stomped out on the court to get in my face, & I almost peed my pants. And I didn’t have well I just had a baby as a valid excuse back then. But off the court, she was our big sister, our cool aunt, our guide for learning to navigate our teenage years.
Everything she said was gold. So when there was drama in my grade, I assumed it was a good idea when she gathered all of us in her office connected to the locker room so we could air our grievances toward one another. If you’re reading this, Coach Cooper, that was a terrible idea. To set the scene, my grade was a sad size of 27 students, & only 8 of us were girls. That did not always bode well in the formative years of acne, hormones, & first breakups.
When Coach Cooper opened the floor for discussion, a girl sitting across from me spilled about two years worth of hatred in my direction. She said I was spoiled & always showing off with fancy purses. She said other things, too, but I don’t remember– I just remember looking at the white tile floor & being mad & embarrassed.
Let’s call that my hazing experience into girl drama.
It’s always kind of a bummer to me when people see that I have two girls & a boy & say, Thank goodness you ended with a boy– they’re so much easier than girls. Girls are just so much work with their drama. Ironically, most of the time, women are saying these words. It’s the same situation when women say, I’d much rather be around guys than other women because females are just so dramatic.
Now look, I get it. Guys have a supernatural ability to be chill. Even if two guys get mad at each other, they take care of business & move on with their live. Women, not so much. We tend to operate more out of feelings or emotion*– both positive things that have the power to contribute goodness into the world– but feelings & emotions can slow down the process of just getting over it like our male counterparts. (*Don’t read this paragraph & think I’m putting women in an emotional-&- less- stable-than-men box. No, sister. I think our emotions make us stronger, more empathetic humans. Sometimes, we just get sidetracked when we’re not focused on our strengths.)
As a female, myself, & a mother to two females, I’m over this stereotype that women are naturally difficult creatures with a flare for drama. No ma’am. I want us to change that narrative. I want people to approach me & say, Oh you have two daughters. That’s amazing– they’ll be world changers with their strength & kindness. That’s the mindset I want for ourselves & each other.
How do we make the shift? Like with anything else, it starts with me. It starts with you. It looks like shifting the way we see ourselves & the females in our lives. It means not letting society dictate where we set the bar for ourselves but instead setting a new bar by example. It’s daily asking ourselves How would the best version of myself handle this conversation? What would the best version of myself do in this situation? How would the best version of myself respond? We cannot control how others react, but we define our own character by the way we treat others. Even when we find ourselves in the middle of drama, whether it be high school drama or holiday drama or llama drama, we move the bar higher & the stereotype farther away when we ask ourselves what the best version of us would do & act on it.
You were created to be the best version of yourself. What does that person look like? Speak positive words into your heart right now. What is one thing you can do today to remind yourself you were created to impact our world with Joy? You are worth it. Promise.