I grew up with three sisters, and while I didn’t have a lot of exposure to boys, the exposure I’ve had to date leads me to believe wholeheartedly that “play nice” means something completely different for girls than it does for boys. For boys, the admonishment, “play nice” means, don’t give your brother/friend/sister/person a black eye or hurt them (physically) in any way; or rather, stop roughhousing.
For girls, it’s different. “Play nice” means watch your words and don’t emotionally hurt that brother/friend/sister/person (but usually another girl) so much that her spirit/light/ fight is broken in any way; or rather, stop being so mean.
It starts at a very early age, this cattiness or meanness girls possess, and is it a surprise that it continues through college (think any sorority) and then into adulthood? What is it about bullying another girl (usually administered when in a group setting) that brings about any satisfaction?
I think women need to revisit this idea of playing nice, especially in the corporate arena. I’ve had more conflict with insecure women in a working environment. This includes: bosses, employees, peers, directors and underlings (and maybe referring to anyone as an underling is problematic?) Men, however, rarely engage in the silly antics women employ to shut one another down. Have you witnessed it? It’s amazing to see.
Adult women will team up and target a single woman and completely try to annihilate her: they will employ the push and pull tactic (one person befriends her while the other makes fun of some flaw in a very public setting). They “forget” to add her to the group distribution list, make a point of not talking to her, ignore her, ridicule her behind her back— sometimes to her face if given the perfect circumstance, and a lunch invite is completely out of the question. They hold discussions about her: why she’s targeted. They just don’t like her, she’s too (fill in the blank…pretty, confident, different, “high- end”) but usually, though it’s not discussed, the real reason is because she’s just not a clone. She’s secure enough that she doesn’t subscribe to the “rules” set up by these insecure bullies and just that quickly, she becomes ostracized in a swift, and systematic manner.
I’ve seen it, both sides of it and it’s not pretty. Someone needs to shake the ring leaders and tell them to just “Play Nice” For the most part, these silly tactics are reserved for other women. Truth be discussed, I don’t think these idiots would even target men, not that men would even notice or care if a group of women were aiming for them. They reserve these special tactics for other women they feel are weaker than they are, as they are cowards and masking their insecurity. It’s quite sad actually.
No, men continue about the status quo of getting the job done. They outgrow the roughhousing phase and as they get older, transfer that energy toward sports and other (hopefully) productive things. I think women can learn a little something from the boys in this regard. Let it go already Just because you learned this unfortunate behavior doesn’t mean you have to perpetuate it.
My message to all women (especially if this description makes you squirm): play nice Say something positive to every woman you see for a day and see if it doesn’t change your energy for the better. If you can’t manage to get past your terrible tween’s, contact me. I’m a life coach. I can help you get on the right path.