“When a person shows you who they really are, believe them.”-Maya Angelou
The Velociraptor of Irony (thank you to Jennifer Stewart for this term) comes to eat me from time to time. I admit it 100%. I am not perfect. I know sometimes I write things that come across (and are?) very sanctimonious, but really I am just a person with strong beliefs, strong convictions, and a desire to try to make the world a little bit better for friends and strangers alike.
I was thinking about my blog to do with "Queen Bees." I had a major a-HA moment about a week ago. I was discussing Queen Bees with my mom, and rather than call them Queen Bees, she referred to them as manipulators. I usually associate manipulators with jealous spouses, domestic violence - that sort of thing. I had never considered that a Queen Bee was anything but a strong, fun personality (and they usually are), but they become that way through very calculated manipulation.
Then I read this article. I was floored. (all italics are referring to this)
"No matter what happens, with many twists and turns, this emotional manipulator becomes the victim."
"Although the constant victims instigate tension and fights, they manipulate the situation so that they can be perceived as the victim. After their partners or others are engaged in emotional battles with the constant victim, the constant victim seeks sympathy from others involved and turns people against each other in order to gain control and power."
"They create alliances (usually with themselves in charge) and attack others who might stand in their way. At first they are friendly with their victims and use compliments and ego blustering techniques in order to facilitate a bond between themselves and their victims."
Queen Bees are not just the popular ones - they're incredibly talented manipulators.
And here is where the Velociraptor of Irony eats me.
I hate it because I used to be that way - Hard. Core.
When I was a teenager and during college, I thrived on manipulation. I was totally unaware that I was doing it, though. I had no idea. But others did. I burned some bridges with a few friends and a boyfriend. I was drawn to drama, drawn to other manipulators, and I don't exactly know when I started to stop - I think I slowly started to mature out of it around the time my husband and I were dating, and it's pretty much gone (I think I can safely say that) now. And other than everyday neuroses, I am in a pretty healthy mental state these days.
Having children certainly drove it out of me - I do not want a single ounce of drama in my life, because I deal with it all day long. Hell - pouring a cup of milk into the wrong glass can instigate a meltdown on any given day, so the last thing I want to deal with is an adult trying to suck me into a web of whine.
But as a teenager, I struggled with depression and self-esteem. Chicken/egg - was it because I was manipulating, or was that a side effect? I really don't know. But I do know that manipulators are hurting, substantially.
The Velociraptor of Irony eats me again.
Wait - so the bleeding heart-er who seems to excuse criminals for every reason under the sun can't forgive a manipulator? How does that work, exactly?
I don't know. Self-preservation? My cup is just full. "I just can't" - Madeleine Scott. And it isn't that I couldn't forgive one - they don't ask for forgiveness. They don't think they need to because they've won. They're the victim, remember? And maybe they are, but not the way they think they are.
So, anyway. I really don't think Queen Bees intend to be mean, they're just manipulators. And I don't think they mean to be manipulators, they're just hurting somewhere and stuck in a cycle of not-great mental health.