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Why Women’s Facebook Support Groups are a Joke

I am not generalizing when I say this, but some women are absolutely ruthless to each other.

Over the past year I have been added to a few “Support Groups” for women. The groups have the premise of a variety of themes, such as Oilwives (wives of men who work in oil and gas), Anxiety groups for women only, weight loss support groups and body building support.

I am not big on engaging, but often I will check out the newest posts just to see how relevant they are to me, or if I can help. So far, the best group I belong to is a small private group of women who all have the same trainer and training program. We all support each other and we post positive Memes and add some humor to the mix. This is the only one I can be bothered to engage in.

This morning I deleted myself out of a few of these groups. I will never look back. I simply do not have time for the drama and rudeness that these “supporters” are doling out! I am still shaking my head after reading the post that became my last straw.

A young woman, who is upset that she is overweight, who struggles daily, posted a version of this:

“Hi all, I am hoping to get some advice on here. I am lost. My husband went shopping the other day and texted me that he was bringing me home a surprise. I sat at home wondering if it would be brochures for a trip, or some jewelry or maybe a cute new shirt or some cute socks….and my mind wandered, awaiting his arrival.

He brought me cookies from the bakery. Macarons. And he had eaten some out of the box on his way home. How do I tell him how hurt I am by his gesture when he knows I am trying to lose weight.Please help”

This poor woman was ripped apart like a pork chop in the middle of a pack of wolves! Women were calling her childish and telling her not to air her crazy on FB! Women were calling her ungrateful. Women were telling her that she needs to grow up. And these were comments that EVERYONE could see. I cannot begin to imagine the private messages these women were sending each other. SHEESH! The worst “supportive” comment I saw was “Why is this about you? Clearly your husband was trying to do something kind. If you say something rude to him he will remember this come Christmas or Mother’s Day and you will deserve nothing.

WHAT???

I have no words. All I can do is quietly leave the group and never go back. This is supposed to be an outlet of safety and trust for women who struggle. Tough love is applicable to some situations, I get that, but this is beyond tough. This is disgusting. I did send her a private message and told her that it’s okay to feel hurt or frustrated and to talk with her husband about her feelings. It’s much more effective than stifling your feelings and resorting to overeating or resenting him in the future. Maybe he isn’t aware of how you feel and thought maybe you work so hard to lose weight that you deserve a treat now and then. Maybe the reason he ate a few was so you wouldn’t be tempted to over indulge. Maybe he wanted to share, and hoped you wouldn’t mind.

On another “support group” I am on, body building women post before and afters. They pose in a way that shows off their physique that they have busted their asses for, in hopes for positive comments or for appropriate feedback from the veteran builders. Again, I am abhorred by some of the comments:

“You need to lay off the pasta. Your butt is too round”

“Have you considered getting implants? Your chest is too flat”

“You have a long way to go, but good for you to have the guts to show yourself on here”

And the worst I have seen:

“You have been working out for how long? You need a trainer that knows what she’s doing. Yo fat girl”

Seriously! Why are women so mean? Why is it so easy to judge people and throw rude comments around, especially when we are “added” to the support groups, in hopes of finding trust and common ground? I just cannot fathom ever speaking to anyone so harshly. This is why so many of us have anxiety, depression and self loathing. This is why we hate our bodies, our hair and our lives.

So, my question is, do these support groups start off with good, positive intentions, and then, as a variety of personalities are added, become high school all over again?

This make me recall when I was in grade 10, I went into a store with my best friend. We ran into some boys she knew and one of them asked her why she brought her dog along? (meaning me)

I will never forget how humiliated and sad that made me feel. I wanted to crawl under a crack in the sidewalk and die. Since that day, I will never speak unkindly to another human being. It hurts, it sucks and its damaging. Some people have the ability to shake it off, but words really can hurt.

WOMEN! Let’s lift each other up. Let’s overcome jealousy of other women’s appearances. Let’s not be judgmental. If you say you’re offering support, then SUPPORT and don’t be an asshole! Put yourself in another women’s shoes before you say rude things. Ask yourself how it would feel if someone said words like that to you? Always remember everyone has a story. It’s none of your business what they have been through or how they have turned out the way they have. Maybe they have been abused, or were raised in a toxic environment. Maybe they have anxiety or insecurities. Or, maybe, they just want to find a friend who they can trust. BE THAT FRIEND. There are enough heartless people in this world. Be the exception.

We are no longer in High School. Respect the meaning of SUPPORT . If you are unable to help other women and offer encouragement and kindness, then please, get the hell off of the “support groups”. If you have to be rude, in order to try and “help” others, then you are the ones who need help.

Writer of relationships / early childhood and mental health . Poetry and fiction dabbler

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