“It is only the great hearted who can be true friends. The mean and cowardly can never know what true friendship means.”~ Charles Kingsley
I spent some time with a little girl yesterday who is having a hard time with other girls being mean and bullying her at school.
Madeline (I changed her name here, but she’s seven and the sweetest girl you’ll meet!) is doing her best to be nice to these mean girls, and to be a friend to them. Her mum told Madeline that if she is nice long enough, eventually the girls will see what a lovely person she is and want to be her friends for real.
But the fact is this group of girls aren’t being friends back. They invite Madeline to play and then hurt her. They call her over then ignore her. They tease her and make fun of her. But they do just enough ‘playing nice’ that Madeline keeps going back, hoping that they will finally accept her and treat her with respect and kindness. To them it’s just a big game, but to Madeline it’s a defining force in her life that’s tying her up in knots and eroding her self-confidence and self-esteem.
Madeline asked what I would do.
My answer surprised her.
I said, “Stop being friends with mean people! Make friends with people who are kind and who make you smile. Friends are people you like to spend time with. If you don’t like spending time with them then it’s not a very good friendship.”
I think that’s sound advice whether you’re seven or seventy.
Don’t be friends with people who are mean. It doesn’t matter whether they are classmates, work colleagues, the partners of friends, next-door-neighbours, or family. Mean people don’t respect you, your ideas, your feelings, or your possessions.
Mean people make you feel small. Mean people cause you hurt and worry, and make you feel sick in the stomach with anxiety when you have to spend time with them. Mean people make you believe you’re not good enough, or that there’s something wrong with you.
Mean people don’t know HOW to be friends. So why would you want to waste your half of a friendship on someone who can never be a friend back?
There are lots of terrific people in the world, and lots of people who could use a friend. Mean people don’t make good friends. So stop trying to win people over, or expecting them to change. If they can’t like you for who you are and treat you well, move on.
9 thoughts on “Do Not Be Friends With Mean People!”
Such wonderful advice. I think we all have been there. having mean people in our lives It is no fun and definitely can undermine your self-confidence. I hope little Madeleine is able to move on. So glad you were there for her to point her in the right direction. I suspect she has great things in her future.
Reblogged this on and commented:
I’ve been lonely in my youth and I’ve suffered a lot of that. It is hard to be without anyone who loves you. I think the most important is to love yourself, know God loves you and know there is always help.
This is a fantastic post and well said.
Fabulous post! My sweet five-year-old son is learning this firsthand. I always tell him not to play with mean kids, too–they don’t deserve the gift of his friendship.
I absolutely agree!
So very true. It’s one of the hardest lessons, because if being loving and kind is your nature you feel it’s only fair to give people lots of chances. Poor girl – so young to have to learn this – but maybe it will prepare her and make her stronger for her relationships in the future.
Such a great post, Nicole, and such wonderful advice – especially for this little girl who is at such a formative time of her life. You rock! xxx
Wise words…for anyone to hear! And as for little Madeline…. It gets better! Kids picked on me incessantly, and as you say, focusing on the real friends and not worrying about popularity is key.