Community over competition, right? In theory, yes. In reality, not always.
Last Sunday, I teamed up with 2 blogger friends to host our first live session on my Instagram account. One of the themes that came up in the questions from our followers before and during the discussion was the issue of cattiness and cliques in the blogging community.
Unfortunately, the issue of frenemies and blogger cliques is not new. As much as the blogging world may seem like an incredibly happy place filled with sunshine and rainbows and messages of women supporting other women, there are cliques and there are fake people. Can it sometimes feel a little like high school? Can there be a “mean girl” culture among some? Yes, absolutely!
Like many of my peers, I’ve experienced cliques and frenemies first-hand – both when I started blogging and even now! For a new blogger, just starting out and trying to ‘break in’ to the blogging industry, this may make blogging seem intimidating. So, I thought I’d share my own thoughts on cliques and frenemies in the blogging community and some tips on what you can do about them.
Cliques and Frenemies Exist, it’s True
Blogging is a social exercise and invariably, groups form. As you meet people, you’ll naturally find those you share commonalities with, friendships will develop, and that’s a good thing. But, when groups or individuals act in a way to intentionally exclude other people, that’s when I have a problem with it.
We’ve all experienced this in one way or another. Maybe it was going to an event by yourself and feeling left out, not being invited to something, or people giving you the cold shoulder online or IRL for no apparent reason. Fakeness or ‘situational niceness’ (the classic move of a frenemy) would have to be my favourite, because there’s nothing worse than someone being really nice to you in one scenario and then talking about you behind your back or ignoring you when in the comfort of his or her own group.
What causes it? Elitism? Competitiveness? Jealousy? Insecurity? Who knows?! Some people are just not nice, and it’s not worth your time and mental energy to try to figure out why!
The good news is, however, that the blogging community is filled with so many wonderful and friendly people, and you shouldn’t be discouraged by any of the bad apples! Blogger cliques and frenemies are easy to spot and avoid, so here are 5 things you can do about them.
How to Deal with Cliques and Frenemies in the Blogging Community
1. Don’t Expect to Like Everybody
To distinguish between friend or foe is so innately human and was essential to our survival. We are not meant to like and trust everybody. Sometimes you just click and sometimes you don’t.
But, do give each person a fair chance. Someone may come across catty, but just has a case of RBF. Or maybe that person was having an off day, or is really shy and awkward (as an extroverted introvert, I don’t do well with large events and small talk. I prefer small groups and long conversations). It usually takes more than one interaction to get a feel for someone’s true personality, so don’t be too quick to judge. But, if at the end of the day, a person really just isn’t nice, then move on.
2. Don’t Expect for Everybody to Like You
You can’t please everybody; you’re not pizza. If you go around trying to please everybody, or spend time wondering why some people don’t like you, you’re just going to end up being really exhausted. If you already know what you bring to the table, what does it matter what some people might think? Focus on the things within your control, not outside of your control.
3. Be Yourself/Be Your Own Person
Don’t let the actions and attitudes of other people stop you from being the awesome person you are! Be yourself without apology and be an individual. Trust me, you don’t want to be that person who always needs to be in a group. The ability to stand on your own is an essential skill – not only in blogging, but in life, in general.
4. Be Professional, Courteous, and Friendly
Try to live by the golden rule: treat other people the way you’d like to be treated. I like to live by another golden rule of blogging: be the same person in real life as you are online, and vice versa. Always be professional, courteous, and friendly – even to those who aren’t so nice to you. Kindness goes a long way, so just be a nice person.
5. Find Your Tribe!
While you should be an individual, you can’t (and shouldn’t) do this alone. If you close yourself off because of a few bad experiences, you’d be missing out on the opportunity to form some amazing friendships. Good things come from building a sense of community. Find your tribe – those who are like-minded, share similar values, and uplift you! No one understands what you’re going through more than other bloggers. Having a support system is not only vital, but also rewarding! Once you find them, cultivate and nurture the relationships that do matter.
Have you experienced cliques and frenemies? If so, how did you handle it?
Photography by: Laura Clarke Photography