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Excluded by a Mum Clique: Survival guide(291 Posts)
I thought I would write a mini survival guide and would love for people to contribute to help others though this situation as many have sent PM's to me after my incident 6 months ago.
Mean women, queen bees and “wendies” are some of the most insecure, spiteful people on earth.
As “mums” we can sometimes find ourselves being excluded by mature women, whether it is being shunned by a group of mums at the school gate or even socially excluded by former friends. As an adult it is naturally harder to make friends, so when this goes wrong is a shock to the system, especially if you never encountered mean girls at school.
Being excluded by an adult clique normally involves three players: the queen bee or aggressor, the target and the bystander (s). In my case I could not work out who the “queen bee” was, as there appeared to be two.
Adult women are less likely to able to stand by passively so there is sometimes a middle “queen bee” who feeds the information to the main “queen bee.” The main queen has powers to manipulate everyone and will often use the drama to become closer to other members of the group (which happened to me) this has been called being “wendied” on mumsnet.
If you started the group then you are automatically a target as being more popular than “Wendy” herself (this was my problem)
How to heal inside…
1.Be carefree: it does not matter what people think of you.
2.Do not apologise: if you have been in the wrong then one apology is enough, if they do not accept it then they are not a true friend. (note: any type of affair/ stealing partners or money stealing is normally hard to forgive in friendships and will take time)
3.Never change yourself: You should not try to change yourself for someone else it is their loss if they do not want to be your friend or talk to you then it is their loss.
4.Befriend yourself: Treat yourself like you would have treated the nice, friendly school child who tried to make friends and was treated like dirt.
5.Getting things back to normal: Sometimes you feel that you still want to be friends with the mums group/queen bee/clique after being treated terribly. The problem is, you cannot trust them anymore. They hurt you. They are not real friends.
6.Go out and meet people: the world is a big place, there are lots of people ready to be your good friend, go out to groups or social events with your children to meet other people. Be careful who you let become your friend next time. (I have since met three groups of friends and they are much nicer company than the original clique)
7.Take time to grieve: It is easy to get so close to a female friend but remember that they are NOT your family and if they cut you off it hurts so much. Time will make things better.
Coming face to face with the Clique…
It is hard to be blanked and it takes some serious lady balls to ignore them. You have three options to nod, smile or completely ignore whatever you feel more comfortable doing – depending on your own personal situation. I chose to not engage as they do not exist in my life, I found it amusing when I saw the two of them going to pick up their children from school run away down an alley when I drove past.
1.How to ignore: Look straight ahead and do not make eye contact. If they walk past you then look at their forehead. If you are driving in the car and pass them look at the road and do not make eye contact. This way you have faced them off.
2.If they acknowledge you: Smile or nod, then Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. Do not give them any fuel or information that will result in gossip.
3.Don’t let emotion overwhelm you: If you are still speaking to your clique then make sure you do not get involved with bitching about others. Don’t raise your voice or speak loudly.
4.Being excluded: if you are being omitted in anyway then try to find one friend out of the group to ask why this is happening, this will give you some clarity and you must decide if you want to continue with this set of friends or not.
5.Be super confident: My queen bee struck at my weakest point (when I thought I would miscarry) she chose this time to bitch about me and exclude me because I was an emotional wreak and needed support, always try to remain confident and have self respect. If you are not being treated well then walk away. If you are going through major stress in your life then keep it to close family or one very close friend (that you have known for years).
6.Bitchy comments: if you encounter any negative comments in the school playground then simply walk away and do not engage then come onto mumsnet to vent. You are better than them.
7.Do not bitch: Do not speak ill of the clique to anyone else that remotely knows them, you do not want gossip to go back to them or to stoop to their level.
8.Do not engage: Ignore any communication such as texts, facebook, birthday invites, Christmas cards unless it is an apology for their terrible behaviour!
9.School gates: never arrive early for a pick up if the clique are likely to be there. Cross the road if they are walking towards you, or face them off (see 1 above)
10.Children: Do not to include your children in your battles, but if they are involved and the clique are nasty to your children (excluding playdates etc) then the main priority is to protect them. Talk to the school about invitations not being handed out in school time.
11.Children are best friends with the cliques kids: If your children are good friends with the clique’s children then you need to decide if you can tolerate being amicable for the sake of your child. This is a difficult situation and may involve having to approach them to discuss matters to try to clear the air (I would only do this for the childs sake) It is likely that this will result in the clique not being forthcoming – so prepare yourself for rejection.
So that is my top tips. If you have never gone through this situation then you will not know how devastating it is. It really knocked me, if you have been though being excluded by the clique then would love to hear your advice.
Why are "Wendys" so common on the school-run?
Yes OP, avoidance and ignoring are the best things to do...but what happens when your Wendy becomes the leading light of the PTA, and your DC want to go to the events, and you can't bring yourself to go and buy tickets from her or worse still she then gets a job at your DC's school, and becomes "best pal" with their teachers.
Good god, battles?
I try to be nice to people. If they like me, fine. If they don't, they don't.
There are always mums who are not part of the clique (if there really is one - sometimes they may just be old groups of friends and have no time for new). Try to make friends with the outsiders like you.
Children will have to learn the same. Unless invitations are handed out to all, bar your child. Still, it just means that the party child doesn't like your child. It's still fine. They don't all have to get along.
Also, get a life?
You do not have to be part of what you perceive to be a clique.
mummymummy - really good. it's so shocking when it happens and i still have to remind myself that not everyone is like that wendy. mine happened 3 years ago and i still face those mums every day although it's definitely a lot better.
i still can't really believe that there are people like this!
This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. You are getting this worked up over people you hardly know at a school gate?
Er, try to remember that before you became a "mummy" <reaches for bucket> you were a human being with a brain?
And find some friends who share your interests?
Just because a small person came shooting out of your vagina as well doesn't mean I will necessarily have anything more in common with you other than that slight biological event.
Are you writing for take a break or summat ?
No surely not....it's not amusing enough....
Blimey if all this pettiness effects you so much I hope your dc don't see that it does.
My god, all that effort sounds exhausting. To be honest, if you are giving the situation that much thought and energy then you're not really over it.
Dont understand all this school gate drama tbh. Just used to rock up, pick the kids up and go. Say hello to the odd mum. Too much teen drama from grown women for my liking
I really have no idea what you are talking about.
In the school playground I just see groups of friends chatting.
Honestly, does it matter?
If this is how tough it is to have friendships these days I am glad I have next to no time for a social life.
There certainly are cliques and this is an issue for some. To those who lack confidence it'll be a good read.
Me personally, I was never part of that. I made small talk in the playground but didn't have time for close friendships and coffee morning etc so always felt happy chatting to whoever I was stood nearest to. I think much of that was because I didn't gossip and didn't think to find problems.
I must stand in the school playground for all of 2 minutes everyday so I cannot for the life of me understand where all this angst comes from.
Er...my dd1 starts reception in September...if the school is anything g like this I'm home schooling. Fuck that rubbish. Mind you, I have my own friends and a part time job so really why would u be giving it all so much thought??!
Does this really go on?
Are you, like, in your teens op? This started off a potentially good idea but went rather south with the teen style angst.
I get it. Bullying happens at school or work. So I suppose people don't expect it in other avenues of life. Couple of things though op....
You are making it appear that this behaviour is normal. It isn't.
You also make this victim led. Bullying is about power yes but this reads quite "woe is weak little me"
It distinctly sounds like there's unresolved angst from childhood here!
And I find it hard to believe your claim that some never experience it when kids.
It only goes on if you choose to get involved in it mammadiggingdeep
I turn up 30 seconds before DS is due out, collect him, then go, saying hi along the way to anyone I vaguely know. I don't have time to stand around gossiping anyway, and wouldn't want to.
As a result I haven't been aware of anything remotely resembling the OPs description since I was a teenager.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
I don't think most people need a guide on how to ignore people.
But surely they only get this alleged power base if you choose to play along with their games or engage. Why would you even want to be part of this type of behaviour in the first place?
Why are some of you being mean/dismissive? The op has clearly been hurt by people she thought were her friends and that is an awful experience to endure. It can totally rob you of your confidence and has far reaching effects. Why can't you be sympathetic and understand that the op is trying to share with others who might be experiencing the same problem.
I am constantly disappointed on MN with how selfish and uncaring women are to other women.
OP - you seem like a nice person who is trying to be supportive to other women who are being bullied (your guide is applicable at the school gate or in the workplace). Please take your own advice and ignore the negative comments here.
I am ready to be hung out to dry here by some of you now but I will be ignoring it.
Flowery...that's exactly what I thought it would be like...I don't have the energy or time to give it more!! Good to hear your experience is positive!
I think I'd be totally bemused if people I chatted with at school started blanking me...it sounds so playground?! I'm sorry you've had such a hard time op, when it should just be so straight forward. The women you describe need to remember what they're there for...their children!!
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