Remember back in high school when you hated someone just because your friend(s) did? You know, someone who had never done a god damn thing to you, but that didn’t matter because she totally fucked your friend’s boyfriend of two days, so you were required to hate her, too?
You know what the worst thing is about this sort of mob mentality?
It still exists.
I cannot tell you the number of times I have rolled my eyes while looking at the Facebook status or Tweet of someone my friends don’t like. People I’ve had limited interaction with, none of which was negative. Or, the times I feel guilty for laughing at someone’s joke or digging the things they say, because one of my friends doesn’t like them.
I’ve gone through much of my life forming my assumptions of people based solely on how others see them.
In High School, I was never outright mean to anyone. I mean, I don’t think I was, anyway. Those of you that knew me, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
But, I didn’t always go out of my way to be nice to the banished either and, if we’re being honest, that’s exactly the same thing as being outright mean.
The fear of the majority has often prevented me from getting to know the minority.
And, I get it.
I don’t necessarily want my close friends breaking bread or watching the Real Housewives with someone with whom I’ve had a negative experience.
A completely normal feeling, it’s human nature.
It, most definitely, comes from a fear that our friend will switch sides or begin to like them better than us. All of it, rooted in one thing – jealousy. We don’t want that bitch thinking our friends like her. We need her to know that she is the problem, not us, because see even my friends hate you, it’s not just me!
And, while it’s completely natural, it’s also completely immature.
Of course, there are varying degrees as to what atrocity someone’s committed.
There are things that should make it impossible to like or trust someone.
If she tried to fuck her husband, will she tried to fuck mine?
She said something racist or down right awful, and I know I could never be friends with someone who stands in a corner so far from mine.
She stabbed someone’s puppy.
There are absolutely times we must stick up for our friends when they’ve been wronged, because that’s what friends do.
But, when someone is shunned because they are different or not as popular? Those are the times we need to stay the hell out of it, and avoid basing our opinions on those of others.
In other words, we have to think for ourselves.
The hardest part of this is our fear we may hurt or even lose our friends; that we’ll be kicked out of the cool kids club and sent to eat lunch all alone at the loser table.
And, shit, the more I get into this, the more I realize there is no easy answer.
Because, I would be hurt if one of my friends loved someone I loathed, so how could I expect them not to be when the roles are reversed?
Is it ever possible to stay neutral, or does it always make us a bad friend?
If we refuse to give other people a chance, are we missing out on what could become a great friendship?
There is such a fine line between being a good friend, a sheep, and a mean girl.
And, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to navigate it.