Annastasia is the mom of 3 awesome kids. She is married to her best friend, who serves in the US Air Force. She is a homeschooling, work at home mom that loves to spend her time outside in the sun and near water. Annastasia is a health & fitness coach, and loves helping others get results. She loves God, her family, strawberries, big trucks, roller derby and shoes. She also never turns down a good glass of wine! Living near Napa Valley helps with her wine connoisseur-ship. Find me on: http://www.facebook.com/fitalicious @McNastia on Twitter & Instagram at annastasiamcpherson.
Drama has always been around. Back in the day it took time for word to spread by mouth or letter, but in this day and age of social media, bullying and drama is more prevalent. Recently there’s been an influx of drama at the base we are stationed at. It seems innocent at first. Wives want a place to connect and get to know the area, one another, and help each other out, so a wife or a few get together to start a group on Facebook. They invite all of their friends, and before you know it there is 500+ wives that are supposedly connected to the base seemingly helping one another out. These groups are so common there are many for every base, every branch of the military, and every clique of friend’s. These well intentioned wives who create the group realize they need to establish some rules, usually different or ones that should have been established in the other groups. They tend to relate to posting about a home-based business, how often you can post your things for sale, if you can swear or have an attitude.This is where things start to spiral out of control. In every group of people, there will be those that don’t agree with the way things are being ran. It happens. It’s human. So, what happens? A wife gets angry at the way things are ran, and then BAM – you have a new spouse page to hang out without the same “rules” that frustrated others on the other page.
Now, this all may seem completely harmless…but what I’ve seen happening, is a small group of spouses that are getting “control” over all the “base” spouse groups on Facebook. They admin all of the spouse pages, sales pages, and business pages. This is where things REALLY start to get CRAZY. Before you know it, there is a “Real Housewives of ________” style group started, airing all the dirty laundry, drama, and anything that pisses them off kind of page. While I feel it is good to get things out and discuss them, this is definitely not the most constructive way. Many find these types of pages entertaining, but how would they feel if it was their name being posted by someone calling out something they did? Surrounding yourself with this kind of negativity just breeds more negativity.
Being a military spouse is hard. I don’t care what branch your significant other serves in, it is hard. Not all women (or men) can do what we do. We have to be flexible, quick to make friends, and ready to move at a moment’s notice. We must be prepared to care for the kids for MONTHS at a time with no help since we normally live away from family. We also must keep a positive outlook on life. It is REALLY easy for us to get down and feeling all the negativity in the world and around our bases. Like breeds like, so if you are surrounding yourself with positive and uplifting people; that is how you will be. The same can be said for the negativity. What kind of person do you want to be? What kind do you want to be around?
How do we manage to find a balance in all this crazy, social-media-driven world? We need to feel connected, and to find friends at our bases – but without the drama. How do we do that?
Here are 5 ways to help you find friends without being caught up in the drama in the Facebook groups.
1. Remember that you get to choose your friends. So just because you are at the same base, doesn’t make you automatic friends. Find people with similar interest. Try checking out your base/local mom’s groups, volunteer for something that is important to you, find a church and get plugged in. The things that are important to you can help you find friends that are like minded.
2. Try taking classes for things your find enjoyable. You are likely to meet people there. Yoga class, running groups, book clubs, stitch & Bitch groups, Zumba, Crossfit, walking group, cooking class, etc.
3. Limit the amount of time you spend online getting sucked into the “base” pages filled with drama. It’s easy to get sucked in and it’s almost like a reality TV show in real life. It honestly does nothing for your positive outlook, so just log off and get out to meet people the old fashioned way…. in person.
4. Get outside. Meet your neighbors. Talk to people at the park, store and while you are out and about. You will be amazed at what a warm friendly smile and a sincere “hello” can do.
5. Take the time to meet people while we are out doing the “hurry up and wait game” at the doctor’s office, base offices, pharmacy, or in line at the commissary & PX etc. We all wait alot on base, so make some good come of it by meeting friends while waiting instead of complaining about the long lines and waiting (which are un-avoidable).
The biggest thing is, don’t gossip. Just don’t get sucked into it at all. Every base/group of women is going to have it. I remember my grandma telling me about stories from way back when my grandpa was a Marine stationed in Barstow. Wives were just the same back then, but they didn’t have Facebook to project it. Just keep in mind that on the other side of the computer is a real person, with real feelings that may just be going through a really hard deployment and just need some friends. Reach out and be nice, don’t spread the negativity.
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I unfortunately don’t make friends easily, and have thus far avoided interacting with military wives because they are normally that stereotypical gossip group. It’s hard to avoid when you move on base and you’re already being told who is “weird”, who is not so nice, etc. I do have to say, most have been correct in their descriptions, but it’s still hard to find a friend on base. I’ve done the talking to someone at the park, or attempted I should say, lol. Not all wives are as friendly as we make them out to be.