Monday, 16 May 2011

(Expat) mean girls

Lately, I've just about had my fill of some of the women I know out here. I've missed my old friends in the UK hugely.

It's not that I don't have many friends - I do. In fact, I have lots and lots of "friends", people who invite me to coffee and lunch, children's birthday parties and trips to the pool. I just don't have many of the sort of friends you need when you have, say, post-natal depression. Yes, those sorts of friends - the ones you can REALLY rely on. The ones who don't mind when you invite them over and talk about nothing but your own worries the whole evening.

And it's not just this that gets me down. Having lots of superficial friendships doesn't bother me overly - but quite frankly, I just can't bear two-faced people, and there are more than a fair smattering of those out here, I can tell you. I just feel I can't trust many of the aforementioned "friends".

Really, I think this is an almost inevitable result of the expat way of life, particularly in aviation. I mean, most of the pilots at my husband's airline live in the same compound, right next door to each other. This means their wives, who spend a great deal of time without their husbands (and a great many of whom don't work and don't drive) have only each other for company. Cue a lot of trips to the pool and coffee shop, and guess what they talk about between themselves? Well, here's a clue - it's not the stock market or the latest terror attack in Pakistan. Nope, it's the people they know in common.

Some people thrive on this sort of behaviour. They love to be in groups, and this allows them to bond together by bitching (or excluding) other people - a bit like gangs do in schools. In fact, a lot of behaviour here resembles the school playground. It's almost like these women have regressed. There's also a great deal of negativity. Get these women together, and all they do is moan about being here, their husband's jobs and command prospects, the cost of living, blah blah blah.

I really can't be doing with this. It reminds me of the bullying I experienced at boarding school - not pleasant memories, I can tell you. And all the negativity makes me want to top myself.

So, what to do? I've realised finally that all of this is tremendously unhealthy. Thus far I've tried to remain "friends" with said people, in order to avoid any further unpleasantness. But having spoken to a few other people who feel the same about it all, I've decided I need to cut ties. The time has come to focus on my genuine friends here (and they're really lovely people, thankfully).

Our family is going to be here for some years to come I think, and what we need is to surround ourselves with people who are glass half full sorts, people who are determined to make the most of life.

Because, blimey - life's too short for this crap....



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