That Girl Is Too Much
This week we’re looking at why guys can get aggro when you reject them. And how YOU can cope when you're rejected.
But first up, let's look at how everyone could rewind the tape in Marcus & Courtney's episodes when rumours are flying that Hannah's "easy".
If Marcus is an honours roll student,then how come he's such a d*ck to Hannah?
Unfortunately, being held up as a “role model” like being a prefect or the first 15 doesn’t mean that you treat girls right. The bro-ey culture that Marcus is part of can actually make it 'cool' to treat girls like sh*t - he'll do things to look cool in front of his mates, and girls are just notches on his belt. The other thing is that guys like that come from EVERYWHERE. Being a "girl" is still considered an insult in our society, and women are only ever seen as sexy young things or old women on TV. How many of us have been cat called, called sluts, grabbed or worse? Yuck. Get your sh*t together, guys.
Why are only girls called "easy"? Why do we think it's so shameful?
Guys are studs if they get with girls, but girls are “easy” for doing exactly the same thing. It's bullsh*t for SO many reasons - we're sluts when guys make up lies about us, when we're pressured or abused, or when we (gasp) we've got with more than one person.
And who makes up the rules about what's "OK" for us to with our bodies? Guys! The idea that we're somehow ‘tainted’ by sex goes waaaaaay back to when men literally owned our bodies, with fathers handing over ownership to a woman's husband at the wedding. How romantic! When we call other girls sluts, we’re buying into that concept of girls being OWNED by guys. Noooo thank you!!
What could you do to help the Hannahs in your life who might be called "easy"?
Tell your Hannah that you’re there for her if she needs you and that she doesn't deserve to be called easy. Don't spread the rumours and gossips, and call out people who do!
Zach: On the defensive
In Zach’s episode we learn that Zach liked Hannah, which is why he’s so nice to her after Marcus went full douche. Hannah wasn’t in any mood to hear that he liked her though and blew up at him - which makes total sense when you look at how many of his friends have f-ed her over (hello Justin, Marcus, Alex and Bryce!).
Hannah’s really public rejection makes Zach SUPER defensive, and he starts stealing all the compliments out of her bag, taking away the one thing a super down Hannah had to look forward to.
So let’s talk about defensiveness. It’s when we PUSH PEOPLE AWAY so they don’t know we are hurting and vulnerable.
Ironically, we mostly do this when what we need the most is someone to come closer and support us.
We get defensive when we don’t want people to know they hurt us - like Hannah saying she was “over it” the day after Marcus grabbed her –screaming at Zach shows she clearly wasn’t over it. She over reacted because she was didn’t want anyone to hurt her again.Zach got suuuuper defensive when Hannah shot him down after he put himself out there.
Guys are usually expected to make the first move and tell a girl they like them - which means they face the potential of rejection a lot more.
When guys are rejected, sometimes they'll lash out because they can't handle feeling rejected.
We call guys "pussies" if they show any weakness or that they're sad, so their feelings often come out as anger.
Guys going psycho at you when you reject them is NO EXCUSE for them being d*cks – it just sometimes helps if you know where it’s coming from. Rejection hurts. We have all felt it at some point.
So the opposite of being defensive is being open, honest and vulnerable - the way Hannah is when she writes Zach the letter telling him everything that is going on for her. WOW this takes courage.
Unfortunately Hannah opens up to someone who can’t handle it. Zach is overwhelmed by the letter and doesn’t know what to do, so he ignores it so he doesn’t have to deal. Hannah feels so rejected by Zach that she misremembers him as literally throwing the letter to the floor. Hannah needs someone who will truly listen to her and offer her acceptance and support.
Ryan: Exposed to everyone
At first the poetry group, and a new friendship with Ryan in episode 8 seems like a way for Hannah to express everything that is going on for her, which is a LOT, and a way to be truly heard and supported. RUH ROH.
Ryan takes advantage of Hannah by totally violating her privacy and publishing a poem WITHOUT HER PERMISSION.
This is a major breach of consent, friendship and trust. Hannah has to listen as her poem is read out all over school and is vulnerable to all sorts of exposure and bullying again. FML.
From bf to d-bag
Ariana had dated Matt for over a year. He was popular and good at rugby, but he wasn’t that good at talking about what was going on in his life, which started to annoyed her. Over time, they kind of drifted apart. Matt started acting pretty distant and cold to Ariana so she finally broke up with him.
After she broke up with him he turned really mean. He would glare at her in the playground and intimidate her whenever they passed each other in the halls. He made fun of her to his group of friends.
Ariana was shocked by the change in him. He had been so sweet when they first started going out! She didn’t know what to do, it made her feel confused and really bad about herself.
Luckily she talked to her big sister, who told her guys often act that way when they’re hurting. She said Matt was probably being mean because he felt rejected, and that it wasn’t OK. Ariana felt better once she understood a bit better.
A lot of Ariana’s friends had been telling her to take the way Matt was treating her as “a compliment” since he was still paying attention to her.
Her sister said “that’s a bunch of bullsh*t – you’re better than that, and you shouldn’t have to put up with his bullying."
So when Matt reached out to her over Facebook Messenger randomly one day saying he missed her, Ariana wasn’t surprised, but she also called him out on being such a d*ck to her. She told him how hurtful he’d been and that she really cared about him – and to her surprise, he actually apologised. Ariana and Matt were able to be friendly after that, which made school a lot less stressful.
Rejection hurts - what helps?
Being rejected is one of the most painful experiences in the world – and we mean that literally.
When you're rejected, your teenage brain is wired to tell you that it's worst pain possible.
Whether it’s telling a friend about someone hurting you and having them freak out, being dumped, or having your friends not want to hang out with you – that will HURT. So don't be hard on yourself if you find yourself struggling after rejection.
If you’re feeling rejected, give yourself a bit of self-love and reach out to people who you KNOW love you. We know it's suuuuper hard when you're feeling devastated, but make a special effort to do the stuff you enjoy, like doing stuff with your friends and going to the beach.
And remember that because that one person or group doesn't recognise your loveliness, it doesn’t mean you’re unlovable.
Believe us, we KNOW how crushing that rejection can feel and how it feels like things will never get better. But we pinky promise - eventually your heart will heal, and things will get better.
How could we rewind the tape?
Zach's one of the few characters who actually seems to feel like he could have done things differently. Good work Zach, you can join us on next episode of #RewindTheTape!
- Why do you think Hannah felt she could bare her soul to Zach when she wasn’t able to share with anyone else?
- Who could Hannah have written to that might have been more helpful and supportive?
- What could Zach have done with the letter?
- How do we recognize when our friends really care about us vs are using us for their own gain (Hi Ryan, like the buzz around the anonymous poem in your mag)?
This is part of a series to help us see what we can do to help give the Hannah Bakers of the world a different ending x.
Here are alllll the links here: