When you are young, you don't have to work too hard to be mean. When you are young and trying to stay in with the crowd, you will do or say most anything to anyone to remain in, to appear strong. By doing so, you make enemies. It is part of the game. Making enemies is part of the collateral damage and carnage of growing up. We tell ourselves it is okay. Eat or be eaten, lash out first or be punked out by all. Making enemies was a part of survival on the concrete jungle. I never stopped to think of the repercussions of behaving meanly toward others. I mean I wasn't even what you would call mean. I was bystander mean. Meaning, I never thwarted others meanness toward others. I stood by and watched it. I stayed quiet to stay in. I saw people's feelings slung around like a rag doll. And I watched in total silence. In all of this, I managed a persona of being called "nice."
In college, I made friends fairly effortlessly. I think because I stayed on the periphery of most relationships I engaged in. I had a few close friends, but I would not say I hung in friendship packs. Early on, freshmen year, I made a particularly good friend from Tennessee. She was much like me, friendly but a bit quiet and slow to get to know. I liked her a lot and became semi-dependent on her to feed my social connections to others. Just as we were building this friendship which I thought was mutual; she suddenly and unexpectedly totally ignored me. I was hurt and bewildered. When we passed one another anywhere on campus and in the dorm, she looked right passed me. If I said anything to her, she totally ignored me. It was obvious that she no longer wanted my friendship and for the first time in my life I was crushed. I was that kid on the playground. Her weapon of choice had been silence. A way of isolating me and ostracizing me from her circle of friends.
I learned later, she had been coerced into this behavior by a more earnest persuasive friend in our circle, my friend's roommate. That jealous friend told her, it is La Detra or me. She chose her roommate.
I carried this hurt with me into my adulthood. And I mean there was hardly a few months that passed that I did not think of that time in my life. It anchored an utter low point in my development. This had happened during a time that adolescent friendships became formative transformations for adulthood. A time that we learn to trust and invest in the chemistry of others.
When I turned 40 this friend found me and she did this. She broke down in tears and she apologized to me. She apologized for her weakness back then. She apologized for her fear. She apologized for her silence. She apologized for standing by. She apologized for being a bystander. What she had done to me and our friendship had never left her either. She had not been mean, she had been weak in order to stay in.
I tell this story now for this reason. It is never too early to find our muscle. It is never too early to pull our spirit up and over. - See more at: http://www.liveyourawesomelife.com/living-your-aweswome-life-one-oops-at-a-time/frenemies#sthash.wXcJM97i.dpuf