I grew up with a relatively equal amount of male friends and female friends. This started in grade school and stretched well into university and beyond. In fact, during high school, I would say that the majority of my friends were guys or at least it seemed that way.
At the time I felt this was the better option. Conversations with guys were less complicated – they were straightforward and not loaded with potentially misinterpreted emotional outbursts. They were calm, relaxed and it was no big deal if you just sat there and watched the TV show. I appreciated how direct they were with each other – no clouding what you really thought. Maybe someone got pissed off, but by the end of the day…it was over. They laughed at each other, swore, and didn’t talk about what they were wearing the next day.
And so, I hung out with them when I could because life seemed so much easier with them. Had you asked, I would have told you that I would have more issues raising a girl than boy – I mean, how could I relate? Could I deal with all the drama?
Funny how time and perspective can change your opinion on things.
Like being the parent of a teenage boy.
Suddenly all those characteristics that I found appealing as a teen are completely irritating as a mother.
That calm relaxed demeanor without emotional outbursts seems more like living with an extra from The Walking Dead.
The direct, no BS way of talking…yeah well, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve said, ” it’s not what you just said – it’s the tone you used”, I could buy an island and escape the oppressing fog of disdain that I live under.
I thought my friendships from adolescence would have prepared me for raising a teenage boy. I believed that my teenage daughter would have been my nemesis – given that I actively avoided dealing with them when I was one. What I have discovered is that the only things that these experiences gave me were false expectations and bad assumptions.
This is not unlike the manager or VP who is determined to fill their team with high-energy, career-driven, status-challenging people.
Why? Because that it is who they were in their early career – they pushed boundaries, crossed lines and rocked boats. And look at what they achieved!
But being one of these A-players is not the same as managing an A-player.
They can be a pain in the ass. They can be high maintenance. They can be insubordinate, disruptive, and plain ole irritating. I mean, why can’t they just follow the plan and stop questioning everything?
Because you got what you wished for.
The problem is that you didn’t really stop to consider what you were wishing for.