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Are you sometimes bewildered by your daughter’s friendships?
This might be a little TMI, but as a sensitive teenage girl learning how to navigate the complexities of the teen girl social network, I discovered pretty quickly that there were certain people I wasn’t gonna let see ME sweat.
Because being vulnerable was considered a weakness.
But it turns out, that keeping certain things securely under lock and key weren’t quite as easy as I’d hoped.
So I ask you, what happens when your daughter’s toughest social challenge, her frenemy, is part of her tribe?
Welcome back to the Cultivating Resilient Teens Podcast episode #23.
Where we’re going to talk about two social pitfalls your daughter will want to avoid and the one simple skill that’ll keep her socially strong and steady.
First, let’s touch on what a frenemy is and what it looks like for teenage girls.
A ‘frenemy’ is defined as “a person that is friendly toward another because the relationship brings benefits, but harbors feelings of resentment or rivalry.” (Dictionary.com)
Does this sound familiar to you?
If it doesn’t, BUT, you see your daughter always trying to “fix” her social situations, you may want to share a popular article from my website, Cultivating Resilient Teens, titled, 4 Powerful Ways Your Teenage Daughter Can Help A Friend Who’s Struggling
Because although teenage girls are passionate about helping each other, sometimes, even the best intentions can backfire.
If you’re wondering …is my daughter experiencing a frenemy-like relationship, here are two examples that’ll help make sense of the frenemy dynamic.
- The frenemy is super nice when she wants to impress others, or the members in her tribe, because of the “perceived” social benefits.
- One-on-one or in a small group setting where there aren’t any “perceived” social benefits, the frenemy is often manipulative, overly critical, and sometimes downright verbally unkind.
The hard part is this behavior is often the result of resentment or rivalry.
The good news is, if you pull back the layers of resentment and rivalry, the emotions are there to help you learn and grow.
That’s why we offer 3 Actionable Solutions to stop feeling jealous and create what you really want in Podcast Episode #21.
Because for passionate, connection seeking teens, this is tough stuff.
Victim and Peacemaker Pitfalls
Okay, the two behavioral pitfalls that complicate the frenemy relationship are:
- Embracing the victim role
- Or assuming the peacemaker role
While your daughter may actually feel like the victim due to being the recipient of unkind behavior, embracing the victim role will only cause her to feel powerless.
And your daughter is never powerless.
As Eleanor Roosevelt reminds us, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
On the flip side of the coin, as helpful as the peacemaker role may seem, the amount of time and energy your daughter can spend trying to help each person in the tribe:
- Understand each another’s intentions
- Figure out where the miscommunication occurred
can cause her to get emotionally hooked and hijacked in all the drama.
Prevent Getting Hooked or Hijacked
And, while we’re not suggesting your daughter ignore the issues that come up, we’d like to nudge her, before she reacts, to pause and reflect on:
- How SHE feels about the situation
- Identify the qualities and characteristics SHE believes constitute a real friend
- Make a list of 3 ways SHE’LL nurture her emotional wounds and tend to her needs
A Simple Skill
One of the most effective ways for your daughter to calmly, yet firmly, respond to a frenemy-like situation is a simple skill she’s likely already practicing in some areas of her life.
It’s the art of thinking about her thinking.
Or a term called metacognition.
When your daughter has a keen awareness of her thought process, it’ll empower her to:
- Separate the facts from the assumptions in social situations
- And set strong personal boundaries with clarity and conviction.
She’ll know her intentions are heart centered.
And heart centered intentions allow your daughter to bounce back from social stress and disappointment.
Although the teen girl world is complex, can be really confusing and sometimes get ugly, please remember there’s always an opportunity for your daughter to learn and grow by tuning in to her thoughts with compassion.
Dr. Kristin Neff, one of the worlds leading experts on self-compassion, shares that “When we give ourselves compassion; we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives.”
Learning to implement life skills, like metacognition and self-compassion will help your daughter’s journey feel like an awesome adventure.
When she’s in charge of her mind and her body, watch out, she’ll soar for sure.
Thank you for sharing your time with me today and remember, every experience is perfect for your growth, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.
Quote: Eleanor Roosevelt “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Quote: Dr. Kristin Neff “When we give ourselves compassion; we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives.”
Merriam-Webster | Definition of Metacognition |: awareness or analysis of one’s own learning or thinking process