I bet you can't read this without singing the My Girl theme song
Shelly DeVoto: You know, Vada, you shouldn’t let those girls upset you.
Vada Margaret Sultenfuss: I’m not upset. I will never play with those girls. I only surround myself with people who I find intellectually stimulating.
Scene from My Girl, 1991
I remember a time in primary school where I kept acing my maths tests. I started getting teased for being a “square” and felt so left out. Not being as bawsss as Vada, I purposely answered a question incorrectly on one of the tests and then bragged about getting 90% on my test to prove to my group of friends I was not, in fact, a “square”.
Did that make me feel more accepted? Yep.
Did it make me feel happier? Nup.
I eventually left that circle of friends (who used to call me Moonface as well…ahh thanks Enid and your Faraway Tree) and found a group of friends that accepted me for who I was. They never put me down for acing my tests.
Fast forward 20ish years, this made me think about who I spend my time with. This not only filters down to the close friends I surround myself with but also the type of events and social gatherings I attend.
I’m much more aware of the back-handed or fake-congrats comments that can get thrown around. It’s weird to think as adults, you can still encounter these situations, hey? You think that everyone has good intentions and a good heart. And they do, it’s just sometimes they are acting out of their own fear or insecurities.
Well, whatever the excuse, this does not mean that you need to let them upset you and as a result dial down your achievements.
Find those that are intellectually stimulating to you. Find those that make you think whoaaa, that’s soooo interesting and damn, I never thought about that!
Find those that go hell yeah!!! when you ace a big deal.
Has this ever happened to you? ...where you felt as though you lowered your personal standards just to fit in? Share your story with me if you want to get it off your chest.
Sheryl Thai, CEO
League of Extraordinary Women