Jul 26, 2009

"He Said I Was Different"

Ok, so we've heard it all before. Whether you're male or female. However, I'm writing this post specifically for my young female readers, because... well I'm female myself!

Today, I will talk about why girls may hear this, some variations of "you're different", how to avoid feeling bad about being different, and the result of being different.

I'm going to group all of my teen readers together (13-18 y/o), so when I speak of 'you', it's not direct, it's across the board.

Scenario: Jane has known John since middle school, and she's always had a little crush on him. When they entered high school together, Jane knew that things were destined to be perfect. John would be her homecoming date, her prom date, high school sweetheart, partner in marriage... blah, blah, blah! Yes, a lot of girls think this far into the future when considering the next potential. Don't be sucked into the hype!

Anywho, Jane never worked up enough courage during freshman year to actually tell John how she felt. Sophomore year rolls around, John has made the JV basketball team and Jane has been secretly obsessing over this guy, for what 4 years now? You'd think that she'd say something by now, to avoid him being swept away for the captain of the cheer squad.

So, mellow Jane (very pretty and smart, might I add) builds up the courage to tell John how she feels. It's Wednesday evening after dance practice, and John is standing outside the gym with his fellow team members. And then the words just fall out, soooo unexpectedly...

"John, I, I, I... I like you,"

"You what??? But why?"

"Well, it's been a while and I just thought that now was the best time to tell you. Can we discuss this over ice cream Friday after school?"

"Sure Jane, I don't see why not. See you then"

Jane runs home, overly enthused to tell her mother, who by the way has known about this crush for some time. Her mothers only words were, "be careful Jane"...

So Friday rolls around, and Jane is waiting for John at the local ice cream parlor, and sure enough he comes strolling around the corner.

"Ok... lip gloss check!"

They chit chat for what seems like forever, and Jane is reassured that this is the perfect match. They continue to go on these random after-school excursions for about 3 weeks, only to come to a screeching halt when John announces over the phone that he can't date her anymore... get this! Because she's different...

Ok, so of course I have to give my synopsis of this story (yes, it's made up. I didn't mean to stereotype anyone, just written to create suspense and a storyline to follow)... Anywho, back to my synopsis... I know there are some ladies and/or men who have heard this line far too many times and can relate to Jane. And like most, they probably took it the wrong way or out of context.

Let me be the one to say, there is absolutely, positively, nothing wrong with being different! We all want to be different sometimes, whether we want to stand out on our college application, or if we really want that job we've just interviewed for. WE ALL WANT TO BE DIFFERENT.

However, in Jane's case... being different=being an outcast=BAD!

So, what should Jane do? First, I suggest that Jane talks to her mother. I'm sure her mother can alleviate some of the stress behind those words. But most importantly she's going to have to learn to cope on her own. So... I recommend that Jane evaluates herself, list the things that make her different from other girls and explain to herself why these are 'good' things.. Chances are her list looks like this:

  1. I'm on the dance team (result: you're in the new dance production at school)
  2. Involved in student government (result: you're in line to become the new Student Body President)
  3. I consider myself very conservative and classy (result: hey, the results are endless)
  4. I'm a straight A student (result: you've made the dean's list)
  5. I have green eyes and strawberry blonde hair (result: you're not a blonde, or a brunette... but who really cares?)
  6. I'm very tall and lean (result: you may one day become a model, or maybe even a basketball star)
  7. etc, etc, etc.
DO YOU GET MY DRIFT? The things that make you different aren't always bad things. As a matter of fact, they're almost always good things just portrayed as bad things.

Variations of the line "you are different":
  • "It's just something about you"
  • "You're not my type"
  • "I've never had a girlfriend like you before"
I hope I've alleviated some unnecessary stress in your life...

If you have any other stories like this, or have had to deal with someone labeling you as "different", feel free to drop a comment.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is very helpful... thanks for the great post :-)

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