Stereotypes and School Rivalries

We all know the cliques and the stereotypes that are attached to them. The band geeks, the Math nerds, the dumb jocks, the teacher’s pet, the English snobs, you’re well aware of them I’m sure. So this is not a post about those. What is the one thing that joins all of these groups into one fighting team? School Rivalry.

During school, we pick each other apart for our status, but come the football game on Friday–united we stand. We find ourselves chanting right alongside the bully that was saying these very things to us the day before.

anthony

School rivalry is a lot like a family. You can’t stand your little sister and pull the heads off of her baby dolls, but if anyone messes with her, you’re pulling off the heads of someone else’s baby dolls.

Because we are a part of our school, we think everyone within the school is a direct reflection of who we are as a person. The same goes with our family. We believe how our sister acts directly reflects who we are as a person. Even though we are two separate people, we are grouped together with one overarching stereotype. When the stereotype doesn’t match with our definition of who we are, we fight back and defend.

We are not defined by the stereotypes put on us by others. Have you ever noticed that all stereotypes have a negative connotation? So no matter what group we are placed in, we lose. We will constantly have to fight for our identity ifwe let the stereotypes define us. We never believe them deep down, but we fight against them as if they are true to prove ourselves.

Of course the only logical option here is to fight fire with fire. So we make accusations of our rivals and post snarky comments on social media. Anytime one of them messes up, we make sure to point it out so the rest of the group knows how we think of them: one-in-the-same.

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But what if we stopped letting others define who we are. What if instead of fighting back, we showed them grace and compassion. If we really want to see them stop, we can’t fight the same way they do, it will only make a bigger battle.

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

The bigger person is not the one who proves the other one is less than. The bigger person is the one who turns the other cheek. We are human and we are going to mess up, and wouldn’t it be nice if someone showed us a little grace when we do? We often feel entitled to this grace, so shouldn’t we give it just as freely as we expect it?

Start believing the truth that you are not defined by the people around you, and it will be a lot easier to love the people across the field wearing the other teams’ color. Talk about a win-win.

Have you noticed how school rivalry has affected your life?

Inspired by Natalie at Brenner Bunch

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24 Responses to Stereotypes and School Rivalries

  1. flaceM says:

    I totally agree with you 🙂 very well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vernon says:

    Wow! In High school I disliked our rival with a passion. It was passed down to me when I was a freshman. Today we all laugh because most of them are my friends. But back then it was about the sport not about character assassination. Great point you made.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      There is just something about a rival that sparks a firey passion inside us! Thank you so much for reading and your input. I love hearing stories of friendship that started off in a negative light. Just goes to show how naive we can be! Some of my best friends have come from rival schools too. Wishing you the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marla says:

    This is definitely thought-provoking, Emily. I know we are definitely out of the school rivalry period of our lives, but for me the “rivalry” I sometimes have a hard time with is the SAHM’s and the Working Mom’s. Really? I keep wondering why people feel the need to bash each other, when really we each do our best with our circumstances and family.

    My husband and I lived, and took care of an old lady the first year of our marriage. One lesson she told us multiple times was “Kill ’em with kindness.” If people start gossiping, or backbiting, then give them what they don’t expect and treat them kindly. Christ is the best example–pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. Rivalry’s and stereotypes are hard, but there is always room for kindness 🙂 Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lightthelie says:

      I know all too well the rivalry you speak of 🙂 Oh motherhood. Or even within the SAHM group.. there are tons of smaller divisions… breastfed vs. bottle, cloth diaper vs. disposable, etc etc… good grief! But I have to admit, I have caught myself defending parenting style while putting a different view down. Oh how silly I felt a minute later when I realized what I just said. It’s very important to be aware of the company we are in because it is all too easy to join in the bashing sometimes.

      I love that you noted on killing them with kindness. I am learning daily how amazing this tactic really is! What I love about it is that the more we practice this the easier and more natural it becomes. Thank you for just being the wonderful you that you are and sharing your bright and inspiring words here!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I read the book “you Are Special” by Max Lucado for the first time during those years when stereotypes were brutal and relentless. That book has remained near and dear to me since! If only we could all see each other’s worth more clearly. You said it so well and so nicely!

    My husband’s grandma was one of my most favorite people. She made me feel like I was the most important, talented, and unique person in the world, but at her funeral I found out she made EVERYONE else feel that way too. She never spoke unkindly of anyone, and I can’t imagine an ill thought ever ran through her mind. Even when I’d witness others being unkind to her. Every day I think of her and hope I can be that kind of person. And I’m thankful to have come across people like you (and Marla, and so many others here blogging!) who seem to emulate that trait as well. Thank you for this, and the reminder to try a little harder to be a little kinder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      I will have to read that book! What a gift you were aware of it during such vulnerable years of this life. Thank you for your complements, they bring such joy to my soul!

      What a beautiful story of your husband’s grandma. What an inspiration that is to us all! She is exactly the kind of woman I long to be. One who only sees the good in people and never participates in gossip or slander. What a blessing you were able to share in a part of her life that will forever have an impact on yours and all those around you. From what I can tell, you already are one of those people! The world is a brighter place because of you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. humblygrowing says:

    I love this! It’s so true. I use to feel so ashamed when people would realize I was the little sister… It took a lot of reading God’s Word and prayer to realize my identity is in God and not my family!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. beingeternal says:

    A Top-Drawer Post! I always find myself surprised with the unique and quality thoughts you come up with, in your writings. I must say, this post resonates with my life in complete sense. Whenever people defined me….I thought that my life’s struggle and purpose is to either fit into their definition of me or prove that I am not what they define me. At times, it also happened that I almost gave up and started thinking that I am what others say. Few even said that MAJORITY feels that I am THIS So they made me believe it is true. “We will constantly have to fight for our identity ifwe let the stereotypes define us. We never believe them deep down, but we fight against them as if they are true to prove ourselves.”- This episode has occupied major chunk of my existence. Of course, I allowed them to define me otherwise no one has any authority to do that without my permission. But I was too tender aged then. By the time I realized that I am not what others define me…it was too late….Again, it is better late than never. I think, We are what we are and not what others think or define what we are. ” When the stereotype doesn’t match with our definition of who we are, we fight back and defend.”- this is very very true and I concur.
    My dear, I am thankful to you very much for sharing this wonderful post. I am learning a lot from your writings. Much Love to you.
    Stay Blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Wow! I am once again blown away by your kindness and understanding! It is very true what you have said and I think most, if not all, of us have had to deal with that very struggle. When we start letting others define us, not only do we begin molding into someone we’re not… but we can also begin to act rather a lot like a chameleon! Making small, or drastic, changes depending on which group of people we are around and trying to ‘fit’ the role they have given us. Thank you for sharing… hearing stories from others gives us strength to be who we are knowing we are not alone in this struggle! “Better late than never” Absolutely!!! Love to you as well Reva ❤
      Emily

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post. Some really good stuff to think about – I think it’s easy to fall into a habit of putting people in stereotypes without even realize it!!

    Like

  8. jisbell22 says:

    Another fabulous post!

    Like

  9. I absolutely love this, Em. Especially when you had it this way: “What if instead of fighting back, we showed them grace and compassion.” Felt something touch my heart.

    Awesome post! 🙂

    Like

  10. Great post! Another light shone on another popular lie – the lie of stereotypes! Much wisdom here – thanks Emily 🙂

    Like

  11. lifeofpixie says:

    I’ve nominated you for the Liebser Award! Wasn’t sure if you have been nominated already, but you really deserve it 🙂 Here’s the piece I wrote along with some questions for you to answer http://lifeofpixie.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/pixie-liebster-award/ Well done, I love your writing!

    Like

  12. Nishita13 says:

    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
    Wow! I needed to read something like this. And here it is. Thankyou for writing this ❤

    Like

  13. Great post! I couldn’t help thinking about how some people do politics while reading it.

    This also encouraged me to be more aware of my reaction to people. I am learning the importance of kindness anew recently while dealing with some difficult co-workers. Thanks for posting!

    Like

  14. damseloncloudnine says:

    beautiful post. i so agree with this 🙂

    Like

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