Mean girls… Or boys?

If you’re not getting along with either, our elder suggests that maybe it’s you.

Here’s how to be the kind of friend you’d like to have.

Dear EWC:

Would going to a mixed school be better or worse than going to an all-boys’ school? The reason why I ask this question is that I spent most of my school years in an all-boys’ school. But for a long time, I dreamed about going to a mixed school because the boys who I went to school with often made fun of me and I had a lot of trouble making friends. And I used to think if I went to a mixed school, I’d have a better time there and it would’ve been easier for me to make friends and I thought girls would be a lot nicer than boys. But as I got older, I began to think the opposite. Because I had a few bad experiences with girls.

Like I remember when I was a teenager and I went to this summer camp with two teenage girls, they were very mean to me and bullied me and I found their bullying a lot more hurtful than the guys who bullied me. And I also remember a few years ago, I did a college course with some teenage girls and they were also very mean as well because they never tried to be friends with me or talked to me or anything. Now not to sound sexist or anything in this letter, but after these bad experiences with how bratty and mean young girls can be, I’ve started to realise that maybe going to a mixed school might’ve been even worse than going to an all-boys’ school. And I’ve often heard the old saying ‘guys will wreck your house but girls will wreck your head.’

Now I’m not saying all women are bad. Like I’m very close with my mother and I’m also friends with girls at my church as well. But the bottom line is: is going to a mixed school better or worse than an all-boys’ school?

Hedwig replies:

The reality is that no matter where you go, you take the same person with you – yourself. And yourself is the only one you have any control over. What kind of a person are you? Are you interested in others? Are you generous and kind? Do you go out of your way for friends? What can you do to be more acceptable to others? Are your expectations reasonable? Do you join organizations or extracurricular activities to spend time with people who share your interests?

Not all people are kind. Not all people are cruel. And it is a big generalization to be negative about any group – especially based on their gender. It doesn’t matter which school you choose. It matters what you do when you get there.
Look at what you wrote: “I did a college course with some teenage girls and they were also very mean as well because they never tried to be friends with me or talked to me or anything.”
OK, they never tried to be friends. Did you try? How did you try? Could you have done anything differently? Did you talk to them? What did you talk about? Did you show any interest in them as people? People are almost always willing to talk about themselves, so asking questions often works to break the ice.

So, I suggest you work on your people skills. One great book, and an oldie, is How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. Get it from the library. Also, search the internet for articles on making friends. That is what I strongly suggest you do before making any school decision. It will help you now and be useful later when your school days are over.


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