Where two or more women are gathered together, there is bound to be drama.
This seems to be such a generally accepted rule, it may as well be a proverb. But I believe this is a myth. I think this is a holdover from a time when reality TV shows were first introduced and became wildly popular and it was hard to tell if life was imitating “art” or vice versa.
Maybe I’ve just gotten older and we are just better at interacting with one another but I firmly believe we are squarely in the era of The Sistafriend.
Every woman these days seems to be cheering for another woman. We are supporting each other, we are cheering one another on, we are setting each other up for success, we are taking trips together, starting businesses together. We have a lot fewer Nenes and a lot more Tarajis out there these days.
Recently, four of my girls and I went on a trip to Turks and Caicos for my birthday. We were there for 5 days and 4 nights, shared one AirBnB together and had A BLAST!
During the trip, men we came into contact with constantly told us that they were so surprised that we were such a “cool group of girls with zero drama”. This was mentioned to us AT LEAST three separate times during our time there. Admittedly, we easily took this as a compliment. We proudly responded “oh yeah, WE don’t do drama!”
On my way back to the US, I found myself thinking about how easily we slid ourselves right into this stereotype, often reserved for women, and were so proud to set ourselves apart from “those women” for whom the shoe fits. Then it occurred to me that this stereotype (like many stereotypes) doesn’t even hold water. I believe it’s a holdover from a time before that’s just outdated, like the myth that black men don’t take care of their kids. We all know TOO many black men who are amazing fathers to let that myth continue to circulate.
Over the years, I’ve been part of AT LEAST 5 girl groups that were, what I would consider, drama free. I have the group of besties I grew up with, there are four of us and we’ve been friends since we were about 5 and 6 years old. I have my adult girl group – four amazing women I met in my 30s and brought together. I also have my Chicago Sistafriends – a group of 7 women whom I absolutely love. I even had a group of workout girlfriends and we rolled pretty tight for about three years.
None of these groups have a lot of drama so it’s just hard for me to believe this myth to be true. Here is what I do believe.
HUMANS WILL GET ON EACH OTHER’S NERVES
I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman or transgender or non-binary, people get on peoples nerves. It happens to us all. Our friends, our family, our lovers, the guy in line in front of us at Starbucks gets on our last nerve and we get on other people’s nerves too. Hell I get on my own nerves so I know for certain I get on other people’s.
Despite the fact that nerve agitation is something each of us is afflicted with, women specifically get a bad reputation for it. We somehow get pegged as being catty or inciting drama when we’re just being humans – getting on other humans nerves or letting other humans to get on ours.
All disagreements are not drama
Men get to disagree with one another all the time. They get to yell at each other and even get into fights and people chalk it up to them getting out aggression, but they are never accused of being incapable of getting along with one another as an entire gender.
Yet somehow, the moment that two or three women disagree, it’s now a dramatic cat fight that’s just so typical of women. It’s like we’re not allowed the space to just disagree with one another. Every disagreement is not an argument and every argument is not drama. Despite what you saw on Basketball Wives every week, we do not throw water into each other’s faces every time we can’t agree on a topic!
Sometimes, conflict is ok
In these days of hyper-sensitive humaning, we have to remember that sometimes conflict is ok. In fact, sometimes, it’s productive.
It’s especially productive if people get the chance to air out their feelings, apologize, or agree to disagree and move on. These types of conflicts can often strengthen friendships, help you learn more about yourself, and learn more about the people you’re dealing with. It can even make you better at dealing with others. Conflict is just a healthy part of life, relationships, self-development, and growth.
I’m obviously not saying that drama, as a whole, has been eradicated. Drama exists. It always will. It exists in circles of women, men, transgender nonbinary, co-ed, kids, teens, adults, elderly people, humans. It can exist in any group of humans.
I’m personally tired of every time a group of women get together, it’s noted specifically whether there is no drama and if there is not, the women are complimented for it. It’s like telling a black person that they “speak so well” with the connotation being that you expected them not to speak well. Why are you complimenting me and my friends on our ability to be civil human beings who interact with one another in a pleasant way? It’s because you assume that we can’t…and that’s some bullshit.
We don’t need a pat on the back for being able to get along with women, because we do it pretty much every day.
So can we kill this myth already?