Can I work with the mean girls?

A letter writer has been offered an amazing opportunity, but it means working with the girls who were mean to her in high school.

Take a chance, says our elder. They shouldn’t control your happiness.

Dear EWC

I was offered a job working as an after-school leader in a neighboring school. It’s an amazing opportunity for me considering I want to go into teaching. However, I will be working with two girls I went to high school with. One of them, we’ll call her M, I’m okay with. I can tolerate and talk to her just fine. The other one, H, wasn’t very nice to me and often spoke badly about me behind my back. She sometimes goes to the retail store I currently work at and gives me a mean looks and kind of scoffs. I wouldn’t be working with H as much as I work with M, but still, I don’t think I can handle being tagged a loser anymore, especially since I’ve grown a lot since high school and don’t want to go back to being the person I was. Do you think I should take this position? A part of me wants to for my professional career, but another part of me doesn’t want to remember everything I went through when I was in high school, especially at the hands of H. I also have social anxiety and working with new (in this case, old) people make me nervous, I’m just not sure what to do and it’s giving me a lot of anxiety. What do you think I should do?

GrannyJ replies

Your letter brings to mind the old saying, “You can’t succeed if you don’t try”. You said the job as an after-school leader would be an amazing opportunity for you. Think of how you would feel if you gave in to your reluctance and did not take the job. I’m sure you will be disappointed, so don’t allow yourself go there.

It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous when meeting new people and trying new experiences. We all do it. The hardest part of any new experience is at the beginning when you first start out. You will soon settle in and feel more comfortable. Plus this job is a perfect way for you to gain experience and learn to be more comfortable when meeting and working with new people.

H’s treatment of you in high school is typical high school behavior. There is no place for that in the adult world. Hopefully, she has matured some since then, but if not, convince yourself you will not let her ruin this experience for you. You should do yourself a favor and never allow anyone to have that kind of control over your happiness. Something I would like for you to keep in mind is that when someone like H displays ugly behavior towards others, she probably has some insecurity or self-esteem issues and makes herself feel better by putting others down. Think about it: is her opinion of you really that important? I don’t think so.

Experiences like this one prepare you for life in the adult world and help you learn how to deal with all sorts of people. I think you should go for it. More than likely, it will go much better than you expect, and you will be glad you took the chance.

Good luck! I hope it all works for you. Please write again if you need more advice.

Letter #: 431529
Category: Career

One Comment

  1. You should go for it girl and make this H character watch you succeed. If she has a problem with you, she can leave not you. You don’t have the problem she does. sometimes when I know someone has a problem with me at work I make them spend more time with me like making an effort to have small talk with them to show them they are going to have to get use to me and get along with me because I’m not going anywhere. If they say something rude call them out on it and ask “why would you say that” once they learn they can’t hurt you or do anything to you it won’t be something they will be interested in doing.
    Once again congrats on the job and go for it if girl!!!

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