The Put-Downers.

We all know these people. Hell, some of you are those people. The Put-Downers. The people that make completely unnecessary and uncalled-for liners designed specifically to make you feel like an ass – and for them to feel like a million bucks.

I recently met a new group of people, whom asked me how long I had been freelancing for. I replied, “just over a month now” and they looked at each other, laughed and said, “Oh, just a baby”.

Now – was that completely necessary? Was that observation in any way, stated for the benefit of anyone? It certainly wasn’t for my benefit. It’s like rolling your eyes and remarking, “Oh, water is so wet”. Ok, maybe not so much that – but if you really hone in on that line (as I obviously have, given my obsessive over-thinking nature), that line clearly places me in the position of “junior”, whereas the speaker, gets to assume her throne of “senior”. By that one line, she (believes) that she has claimed the throne of alpha-female at the table.

Many years ago, I was obsessed with being the alpha-female. I had to be the one with the most logical opinions, the one with the best ideas and it wasn’t until I had more exposure in my work community, that I realised there were a lot of people with opinions and ideas – and shit, some of those ideas were better than mine. So, I learn to shut up. I also learnt to relinquish the role of alpha-female to anyone who so desperately needed it and was willing to sacrifice grace to get it. I have also accepted that I do not need to prove myself right – as long as I know it to be true, is sufficient. I have also accepted that the quality of my work and behaviour speaks in far more rich volumes than my just verbally stating it.

Until anyone can disprove my self-opinion (and I want some strong evidence on this one), I genuinely believe that I am not someone who talks out of her ass, who doesn’t go on and on about herself (except on this blog, but it’s my blog, fuckers!) and am definitely not the girl who will put someone else down, just to pick myself up. And I know this with almost absolute certainty, because – I don’t need my pick-me-ups to come from anyone else but myself. As a female, I make fun of truckload of people but always behind their back – because that’s the proper thing to do. If you don’t mock anyone, I don’t think we could be friends.

Ultimately, this happens only with women. Women hate all other women – whether they’re best friends or not. Someone has inevitably talked shit about the other person. For some reason, with my recent foray into freelancing (some might say it’s the infancy stage…), I have met some women with questionable intentions. They have said strange things that were out of place, and sometimes, out of line. However, they all boiled down to the same personality – the woman that needs to feel that she is the best – or at least, better than me. Hey, if you need that kind of validation, take it – it’s yours. I promise I won’t even put up a fight.


5 Replies to “The Put-Downers.”

  1. Interesting (coming from a guy): do you think women have always been the way you indicate in your final paragraph or is this a new development? I often point out to people that our brains are set up for gossip, but they may also be pre-programmed for constructing insults 😉

  2. Dear trashbird,

    I think women have always been this way – but of course, it’s the type of women you choose to surround yourself with. In the working world, it’s unavoidable to meet some good ol’ fashioned bitches, and then again, I have friends who enjoy meeting people with drama, as it gives them something to look forward to.

    In the working context, I’ve never had clients/colleagues say such things to me because I had the backing of a company. Now that I’m freelancing, I guess I’m open game!

  3. I think in a corporate setting the ill effects are more obvious, and so people are more likely to learn from saying stupid insults. Even if we haven’t solved the real problem (the negative thoughts themselves), we at least keep the insults from coming out.

    When you join some new social group, these sorts of things will always come up as a way of “othering” you. My wife recently told me that the reason she started hanging out with me and my friends is that in stark contrast to everyone else, we didn’t do that; it wasn’t conscious, which is why it took 10 years for me to find out. So, it may not be specific to your situation (being a new freelance designer), but it doesn’t help 😉

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