The curse of the good girl can be stressful on teenage girls as the media plays into their desire to be perceived a certain way. A good girl may have tons of friends, but can also be a people pleaser, doing what others want to keep the peace in her friendship. She doesn't get angry, but she holds everything effortlessly right, so when she inevitably makes a mistake, she reacts poorly. As seen on popular shows like Gossip Girl and 90210, classmates police behavior, punishing any "social violators" with gossip and dirty looks. And due to the ubiquity of cell phones, it can seem like everyone's watching-bad behavior can easily be captured or texted to friends with the click of a button.
Top Tips for Zapping School Stress.
It's important to be aware of your daughter's behavior, to ensure her desire to be "good" is not affecting her life in more threatening ways. These common actions often exhibited by teenage girls may be a reflection of the stress to be constantly perfect:
- To avoid confrontation, some teenage girls develop eating disorders, cut themselves, or become depressed. It may be an expression of anger from imperfections or often stems from thoughts that their family will reject or punish them if they show feelings of sadness or anger after failing or if they are unhappy with a situation at-home. Make sure you keep the lines of communication open!
- Holding back true feelings can make even the closest relationships feel false and insecure. Using common terms like "No offense," and "Just kidding," teens are never quite sure whom they can trust or if someone is really joking. As a result, girls can become less and less skilled at speaking their truth in relationships.
- Drinking can also become a dangerous outlet for many good girls. The phrase, "I was so wasted" is often used to excuse less-than-perfect behavior. The alcohol offsets their needs to ensure their actions are always good.
If you notice your daughter trying to succeed to the point where she is stressed out, it's important to re-enforce the notion that no one is perfect, and even those who come very close still have their flaws. It's what makes us human!
Related: Where Teens Should Draw the Line When it Comes to Friendships with Adults
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