Over on Farm Boy’s previous post, Spawny left this comment;
Maybe Tarn can tell us how many times women tried that (shutting someone out) on her as punishment, only to be horrified that Tarn didn’t give a damn. I reckon it’ll be a lot.
Sadly, he’s right. The amount of times I can recall girls attempting to get me to give up my frame of self to fit their needs borders on the obscene. They did this in a myriad of ways, but the basic steps were always the same;
This is the first step in the program to get someone back into the herd. When a member becomes too individualized, you approach in a small group…maybe about 2 or 3 girls. Try to appeal to their sense of group-think. Remind them who their “true friends” are, how it’s “us against them”, perhaps even admit that slight (read: no lasting) compromises can be made so the individual feels better rejoining the group. Usually this will work. If not, there’s always…
If the individual isn’t convinced to cave in by using sweet words, cut off all communication. In a school setting this means giving single word responses if you’re doing a project together, or even telling the teacher that you can’t work together and requesting a partner switch. Outside of class, get the rest of the group to shun the individual. If you are very popular, this could even mean you have the ability to get an entire bus to stop talking to the individual…even if you don’t ride that particular route yourself. After about a week of this, slowly begin talking to the individual a little more, using the Cajoling step if necessary to remind them of how things used to be. 99% of the time, this treatment will have worn down the individual to the point where they’ll gladly rejoin the herd just to have someone to talk to again. This step may be combined with minor physical bullying like tripping the individual in the hall, stealing their books and playing keep-away til they cry from sheer frustration, yanking on their backpack so they fall in the dirt outside, and the like. Be sure to leave no marks bigger than small bruises so that teachers won’t be quick to get involved.
Should your individual prove to be in that 1% who is particularly stubborn, feel free to break out the big guns. Girls tend to share a lot of sensitive personal information with each other as a form of bonding and indicators of trust. Break those bonds and use this to your advantage. Tell the individual that they risk having some powerful secrets exposed if they don’t get their act together. Slowly let out semi-embarrassing secrets, then move on to bigger ones if need be. It’s a good idea to talk loudly about the individual every time you pass each other in the hallway, even if this means changing the topic mid-sentence. Of course, if the individual was of the more introverted type or not actually friends with you to begin with, you may not have that much dirt on them. In which case…
Just make up shit. It doesn’t really matter if the stories you spread around don’t make much sense or can be easily refuted by anyone talking to the individual…At this point, nobody worth your spit is speaking to them anyway. The only people left for the individual to hang out with are the losers of the Popular Game. Don’t worry, your wayward individual will soon crack and rejoin your way of thinking. If not, then they obviously belong in with the losers and aren’t worth your time.
Either way, you can call it a “win” for you and your group.
The above steps are what was used on me in 6th grade when I refused to follow the herd, and actually stood up for a boy, Nick, that was being mercilessly taunted by some popular girls and their boyfriends. Unfortunately for my tormenters, I didn’t give a damn about their so-called punishments at that point. I’d already concluded…based on prior bullying in younger grades…that I had been born with a scarlet D on my chest, and was Different than other girls. But by actively defending their prey, I’d gone from being “The Weird Girl” to “The Weird Girl Who Doesn’t Know Her Place”.
Too bad for them my bullies in my prior school (and my father/stepfather at home) were much better at their “job” and I had developed some spectacular coping mechanisms. It also helped that I honestly thought their attempts at controlling my behavior were some of the dumbest/most juvenile actions I’d ever seen. Nick and I became friends, I introduced him to my rag-tag group of goths, geeks, nerds, and socially odd friends, and we got through middle school and half of high school very well indeed.
In a nice showing of karma in action, I saw the head “popular girl” at a school reunion a few months ago. She is no longer a skinny, dolled up, picture perfect wannabe model…Now she is a 250+ pound, unhappily single, still childless (she always wanted a big family), divorced cosmetician whose smoking and partying habits have made her look 10 years older than she really is. When the manosphere talks about women “hitting the wall” at age 30, I generally disregard it. After all, I’m 30, and though I don’t like my feminine body, I have to admit it looks quite good. But it’s now quite obvious that they are talking about women who have utterly let themselves go…much like Nick’s/my former bully. Perhaps instead of her focusing on the perceived faults of others, she should have taken a closer look at her own life.
There’s a moral here, for those willing to acknowledge it, eh?