The list of things I wish I had said in life is generally a lot longer than this blog post will be. But something happened today and it got the old cogs in my noggin whirring and started to formulate a blog post. Excuse me that this is a little outside of my usual style as it’s very much not beauty related and doesn’t even relate to other things I like to touch on in posts either. But it’s something I wanted to put down before the thoughts and feelings went out of my head.
Firstly, I’ll explain what happened and then I’ll try and explain why it has spurred me to write a post.
I was out walking Monty today, around the park near our house. It was just at end of school time so there were a bunch of kids/teenagers walking home through the park as usual at this time of day. Monty and I have luckily managed to avoid the hail/snow/rain today so were just toddling along enjoying the sun and she was having a good sniff around – as she does. At one point she was dawdling behind so I paused to wait for her. It was then that I caught a brief snippet of a young teenage couple sitting on a bench nearby. Honestly I wasn’t trying to listen in at all – I more often than not have my headphones in listening to podcasts when I go for a walk – but the snippet I heard immediately caught my attention. Of course I’m well aware it was only a moment and I have no context, history, facts or knowledge of the two people involved to go along with it. But what I heard:
Boy: “You keep talking to boys I have a serious problem with, like you talked to [name not heard] who I wanted to kick the s**t out of”
As I said, only a brief snap of conversation but it struck me and my immediate instinct was ‘do not let him talk to you like that’. I wanted to say something, but I didn’t. For the rest of the walk this was whirring around my head. Should I have said anything. Was it even worth reacting to. Maybe it was out of context. Maybe it wasn’t as big a deal as I took it as. Maybe I should have stuck nearby just to make sure she was ok.
The way my route for the walk went I did in fact have to pass them again (assuming they would be in the same spot) and they were. I could see from a distance the boy had moved to be sitting on a wall over her and the girl was looking upset. There was something in the way he had spoken to her in that first moment I over heard that I think is what I didn’t like. It was aggressive and it was controlling and it made me think. My main thought being that it’s not ok to talk to anyone like that and it’s not ok to tell anyone who they can and can’t talk to or be friends with. I should probably note here that whilst I didn’t say anything I did stay not too far away just to check they seemed ok and that it wasn’t going to obviously escalate.
So why am I writing this down? Well, for one – I do wish I had said something. I was too British and too aware that it really isn’t any of my business – regardless of how good the intention is – to say anything. Then secondly, I have three nieces and two nephews who are in that teen or pre-teen age bracket and I would hate to think of them thinking this is normal or ok. So I thought the one thing I might be able to do is write down my thoughts and maybe they might read it, or their friends, or parents, siblings or someone else and it might get shared or mentioned or somehow make it in to the heads of someone in the position where a boy or girl isn’t treating them how they should. Then it might just set off that little spark that says ‘hey, that’s not ok and I’m not going to let it happen’.
I’m only one person with a little blog and I’m not one that often shares heartfelt or serious topics, I keep it mostly about lipstick and pretty things. I certainly don’t want this to be seen as any sort of ‘click bait’. But this small overheard moment struck me as something that I wanted to write about with the hope that even one person might read it and feel ok to say that’s not ok.
So I guess what I’d love to have said to the girl, had I had the guts to actually do it in that moment is:
You don’t deserve to be spoken to like that. No-one should tell you who you can and can’t talk to. You deserve to be treated better than that. If this boy is supposed to love you, then he should trust you. You don’t try to control someone and who they speak to if you trust them.
And to the boy, again – had I had the guts in the moment.
Please don’t speak to her that way. Don’t tell her who she can talk to. You will only push her away. If you feel jealous, or insecure in some way – then talk to her about why.
I’m no relationship expert, counsellor or by any means an expert on teenagers. All I know is that I was one once and I have nieces and nephews I would be so upset to hear being spoken to (or speaking to someone) in this way I overheard. I wish in hindsight I had the confidence myself to say something in the moment, just to offer a little nod of support to the girl or maybe just a little rational voice to the boy to calm down a little. Who knows, the power of hindsight is strong.
If anyone – a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend – in any way is trying to control who you are or aren’t friends with, that’s not ok. It isn’t always direct, sometimes you have to read between the lines. It’s up to you (any maybe your parents if you’re still a child/teen) who you are friends with. If you feel like you can’t be friends with someone or do something because of what they might say or do, then that’s not ok.
If someone claims to love you but says mean things to you, that’s not ok. Someone who loves you would never want to make you feel bad.
I guess one way to try and look at it – and this is obviously not as easy when you’re in that moment and emotions are involved – but would you speak to someone you love in the way they speak to you? What would your Mum/Dad think if they overheard it? What would you think if you heard someone speak to your best friend in the same way?
I’ve always been a firm believer in treat others as you wish to be treated.
If you have a friend or someone close to you that you maybe think isn’t being treated in quite the right way, I know it can be really hard to talk about and the person can be blinded by the emotions of it all. Sometimes the biggest challenge is that you can’t make them see it if they don’t want to. Just be there for them, support them and gently try to help them realise it on their own.
Of course this is getting a bit rambling so I’ll stop before it goes on for WAY too long.
I’ll just leave it as this. Maybe something in this post or reading that moment of conversation rings a bell for you in some way. Just please believe you deserve to be treated well and if you love someone – please treat them how you would want to be treated.
Sorry for the ramble, promise will be back to beauty and pretty things tomorrow.