Dear Dish-It: Another Dancer Is Jealous Of Me
I’m a dancer, and everyone in my level thinks I’m the best. I’m starting to take one of my classes at a higher level with two of my friends. This girl in my old level has started being really mean to us. I don’t know if I should be rude back or not. What should I do?
You’re very lucky that you are such a talented and accomplished dancer! It sounds like dancing is something you truly love, and you pour a lot of hard work into it. And, congratulations on being accepted into a higher-level dance class. That’s great news, and I hope you continue working on your talent and growing as a dancer.
As for the girl you say is being mean to you . . . it seems pretty obvious that she is just jealous of you and your abilities in dancing. After all, you were accepted into a higher level, and she was left behind at the lower level. It’s a pretty common scenario – but, I know, an unpleasant situation to have to deal with.
Being rude back to this girl isn’t going to help. It’s going to make her angrier and she’s just going to resent you more and more – which likely means she’ll become meaner and meaner. Rather, you need to do something that a lot of people find really hard to do – you need to put yourself in her shoes.
Try it. If you were this girl, how would you feel seeing three of your friends advance to a higher level while you are left behind? How would you feel if the teacher was constantly congratulating other dancers in the class and only correcting you? How would you feel if you felt like other people were better than you?
If you can truly put yourself in her shoes and feel some of the things she might be feeling, you’ll be better able to understand why she’s being mean to you and how you can make the situation better. By understanding some of the bad things she feels, you may come up with some solutions to the problem.
While it’s obviously impossible for you to get her into the higher class (I’m guessing that’s up to the dance teacher to decide), maybe you and your other friends from dance can include her in some other activities you do. Maybe the four of you can go to the mall or have a sleepover or see a movie together – make her feel like she’s accepted among you, since she probably feels left out at dance. But whatever you do, don’t talk about things she’s not a part of when you’re all together. Leave the dance talk to another time.
If she’s open to it, you may want to offer her some help to improve her own dancing skills, so maybe she can advance to a higher level, too. She may not feel comfortable accepting help from anyone, though, so use your good judgment with this one.
The final suggestion I have for you is to simply be her friend. Don’t retaliate or be mean or rude back to her – even if she continues to do it to you. If she sees that you mean no harm and you like her and accept her and still want to be her friend, she may come around and stop acting the way she is toward you. There’s an old saying – “kill them with kindness" – that applies to this situation really well. The best thing you can do to someone who is being really mean to you is to be really nice to them – maybe, hopefully, eventually, it will rub off.
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