If you can’t say something nice… (didn’t my mother say this?)

Megan over at Skinny Fitalicious wrote a great post about mean girls.

Women can be so mean to each other.

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I know, Ya’ll are thinking Oh man, she’s going there AGAIN?

I have definitely posted on this before.

It’s a hot topic for me for a few basic reasons.

     The Golden Rule

      Reciprocity

     If we as women can’t support each other,  who is going to do it?  

Oh…one more…

  

But when Megan wrote her post on this she wrote the following:

The oxymoron in this is that women would be much stronger bonding together and building each other up, unifying like men do. When was the last time you saw men getting snippy at each other? Men aren’t mean to each other, don’t pick on one another, don’t create drama. Unlike women, men build each other up and support one another. They have each other’s back. Go to any gym and you’ll see this in action.

Well…I live in the best place to ask these kind of questions, now don’t I.  Seeing as how all these men are here. And with MT’s birthday yesterday, he had a friend over so we had another voice to add.

So I asked each one…knowing how women can be mean, spiteful and backbiting. Clearly not supportive of each other. Do you find that men are unifying and supportive of each other? They build each other up?

Sean works in a corporate sort of position in a computer world. I asked him and he right away said he does not feel supported at work. He said a lot of what they do requires the sharing of information in order for everyone to do their best work. He doesn’t have any problem sharing. It gets the job done. *he’s kind of this awesome laid back fabulous guy that everyone loves and goes to when the job needs to be done right and fast* He doesn’t have an agenda beyond taking care of getting the task done well.  He says there are some guys that are like him and let everyone in on what needs to be done. But some guys, if they don’t like you, just don’t feel like you need to have that info. Even if it holds you back in your tasks for days. Those guys drive him crazy.

Alex had two options to work with. The Marines…Hm. I’m about to surprise you here. The brotherhood, right?  Interestingly enough…not so much.  As a matter of fact when I mentioned the Marines he burst out laughing!

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So…that’s a no then? 

Sean popped up at this point and said his time in the Army was very team oriented.  Even getting yelled at was more fun.  The Air Force, he said, “was very individually oriented”.  He felt much more alone.

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It’s okay Babe..you’ll always have me. Whether you like it or not. LOL  ::creepystalkerlaugh::

Alex said in the Marines they had different shops they all worked in. At the end of the day if one shop doesn’t get their work done…that shop would stay late. Rarely would someone head over and help them get their work done.

If there’s a person that doesn’t go out of their way to help you- you don’t go out of your way to help them. 

Alex’s current job is at a metal art shop here in Denver. He works with a small team of people and there’s the point we’re going to throw in there. It’s a team. He says they are all supportive of each other. When one slacks off they all suffer.

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MT and his friend, Matt, both work in the same place. MT has been there longer but they have the same basic viewpoint. There’s no support.  No one really supports each other. They don’t want to do the work unless threatened with the boss.*

*this is probably more due to age. Teenage job.  MT and Matt are very much the exception to the rule.

Matt also teaches at the school and he says the teachers are hugely supportive of each other, male and female.

So now I’m ending this with the gym experience and what I’ve observed and quizzed the boys about.

I am not an expert of course. I’m not a guy. But here’s what I’ve noticed.

When I go to the gym (which I loathe to do for this very reason) … you are on display. Not just the women. Everyone.

I do not see a super supportive situation across the board.

LET ME EXPLAIN!! Sheesh…. all jumpin’ all over me. 

There are many people, male and female, that are there to help and support their friends and yes, even the people they don’t know but just are running into while they are there. Alex will nod at someone he’s seen maybe twice before.  Someone needs a spotter…they merely have to ask.

I personally feel watched and uncomfortable when I’m in the gym.

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This is totally me.  Not being cool.

And I’ve heard  comments about other people…what they are wearing, how they are lifting (wrong or right), and the weights they are using, etc.  It feels competitive. Sean and I have discussed this at length, the level of comfort we feel and  how willing we are to let it keep us from going.  We aren’t, of course, but it takes a bit of cheerleading to get us out the door. LOL

And lastly I’m going to remind everyone that anonymity of the keyboard allows people to be as non supportive as they want to be. Male or female, family or friend, troll or activist…if you are on the internet there seems to be a certain freedom to say what you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.  Definitely not supportive…male and female alike.

~~

I learned so much from this great conversation. We talked for a good hour, laughed SO MUCH, heard story after story,  it went round and round the counter and I more than once wished I had a tape recorder because I couldn’t possibly remember everything to write down. And if I had, it would’ve been a much much longer post!  As it is, you’re probably thinking she does go on, now doesn’t she. 

What did I learn?

I learned that men are not as different from women as we like to think.

Sadly.

I learned stories about my husband and my kids I didn’t necessarily want to know. And I learned things that made me happy they are mine. I’m not always with them. Ha, I’m sure they don’t want that anyway. But I think they are good people who are kind and generous and that’s really what reciprocity is all about, isn’t it?

That’s where it starts.

It’s really is the key to Megan’s three rules.  Respect, Uplift and Encourage.

Run on…

13 Comments

Filed under Motivation, Running, Tess

13 Responses to If you can’t say something nice… (didn’t my mother say this?)

  1. This is so interesting tess! I’ve often thought of it as only a girl thing but what you’re saying makes me wonder if it’s more of just a human thing… And that it manifests itself differently between the different groups… Great food for thought! Regardless, unifying and supporting each other is definitely more fulfilling to me anyway! Lovely post, thanks 🙂

    • tess conley

      I definitely think it’s a human thing. I was really surprised to find the men say those things but recently was wondering more about it. SUCH an interesting conversation.

  2. Amen to this! I think this is part of the reason that I love both my run and my new job so much. So much support from my peers in whatever you do. It really just makes life so much, well, happier and easier.

    Sounds like a fascinating conversation!

    • tess conley

      Yes. I’m really excited for you to get a tenured full time university position teaching what you love (and worked so hard for) but I’ll be so interested to see if you are just as happy in that job as you are now teaching these students who seem to truly love and appreciate you for the joy you bring them. I hope! You are a great teacher.

      • I’ll be honest – with all the crap going on in academia today, I don’t even know what I want anymore. But I do know that I’m doing something I love and even if I never get that tenured job, I won’t let it make me feel like a failure 🙂

  3. Jan Coffee

    I’d love to take credit but I think it was your father that said it. He was always more idealistic than me.

  4. Jan Coffee

    Yep, I think it is a great mix, I am very proud of you.

  5. Diane

    I never had teamwork anywhere like I did in the Air Force. Worked in a mostly women offices three different places after I got out of the Air Force. All were completely different. Last office job, many were threatened by me and because I couldn’t relate to it and didn’t really see it–it was diffused and a non-issue.

    I still had that team mentality where work came into play and always doing my best.

    • tess conley

      I wonder if it was different for women in the military because there are fewer women in the military. I imagine that would make a difference for sure. I can see someone being threatened by a woman who was in the military. It takes a strong personality to that job. I think people are threatened by what they intimidates them or what they think would be beyond their own limits. Just my own thoughts there.

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