pick-me girl

Being a "Chill Girl" is Killing Your Relationships! Here's Why You Need To Drop The Pick-Me Girl Attitude

Amy’s ‘Cool Girl’ Monologue from Gone Girl is truly a masterpiece (the excerpt from the book is below and the movie is here) -

From the book - “I was playing the girl who was in style, … the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl … I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists …” 

In relationships (any), if you’ve been told to be more mature, less dramatic, more relaxed, less seriously about life, less needy, less clingy, more fun, less demanding, more carefree, more laid back, less sensitive, more easygoing,  … that you are being TOO MUCH! 

Well it is safe to say that you might have been told to “chill out” a bit too much in your lifetime! 

The ‘chill girl' charade has long been embraced, romanticised, glamourised and glorified across so much of our pop culture, media and families . It's even gone as far as being renamed as the ‘pick-me-girl'. She is the one who is OKAY with everything and anything! You don’t text or have time for her … not a problem! She NEVER HAS A PROBLEM and IS NEVER A PROBLEM. 

Well, she is a fantasy, an idolised stereotype, and an incredibly dangerous character for ‘real’ women to embody. In the 1990s and early 2000s, pop culture pressured to adopt/ embody the “chill girl" persona. This meant repressing their feelings and needs to make life more “comfortable”, not just men, but also their classmates, coworkers, bosses, their family, and even other women. The facade of 'I'm the chill girl' made people feel like they were less likely to be seen as a problem or burden and thus lowering their perceived risk of being rejected. 

This face leads to a dangerous internal narrative:
So, ‘if I have no needs, life would be easier and everyone would like me!’ 

But is life so simple and are we really an algorithm?

If we look deeper past the need of acceptance and love, what does this facade enable? 

  • Opening oneself to being controlled by ideas of society - The ‘pick-me-girl’ are un-empathetically judged and shamed for trying to avoid judgements. One oscillates between what behaviour would be less harshly judged, wanting love and companionship, which can all feel like a losing game.
  • Silencing our needs and wants - Open conversations about what we want and need is crucial in any relationship. It's natural to crave fulfilment and security, and keeping those feelings bottled up can backfire. Over time, we might silence ourselves even before anyone rejects us. This disconnect can make it hard to understand our own needs, let alone communicate them to others.
  • Fostering resentment and unhealthy expression of emotions - Blowing up, breaking down, feeling lost and out of control, are telltale signs of confusion as well as suppression of emotions. One may have ‘learnt’ that suppressing emotions is one way to manage rejection. However given enough space and acceptance for advocating for what they want, they might be able to see different behaviours.
  • Normalising perfectionist/ idealistic culture by abnormalis-ing being human - The idea that you have to be a particular way to be accepted and deserving of love by not having 'hang ups' /needs. 
  • Attracting the wrong people - People who have no expectations, needs or desires will attract individuals who are seeking this kind of person. Do you really want to attract someone who only thrives in a one-sided relationship? Someone who wants a partner who never speaks up or has their own needs?
  • Lack of accountability - When needs aren't voiced, no one will know that they exist. Hence, there is no accountability to meet your needs by you or your partner compromising on a sense of reciprocity in the partnership making it feel one sided.

So what could we do? We can start by ‘Work on embracing authenticity and self acceptance!’ 

Instead of abandoning self and one’s needs, one might need to abandon the idea that taking up space is bad or that being yourself is a problem. Being unchill is often misconstrued as being crazy or too much. 

Nobody is truly chill in relationships. Would your partner be as ‘chill’ as you are if you were not meeting their needs? How would you know that people ‘like’ you beyond your 'chill' persona?

So, then how do we create a balance between 'chill girl' and unreasonable demands?
Expectations are important to have in the relationship but within reason. It is important to have realistic expectations of oneself and others. No one is perfect; a relationship is a bunch of imperfect people trying their best. It is important to ensure that there is respect and compassion and no physical or emotional harm. Getting intouch with what is important to you and the non-negotiables is important when setting these expectations and boundaries. 

You are not an insatiable monster if you are ‘not chill’. We do not need to further enable this culture of pathologizing ‘emotional’ people who not only take the reins of their identity but also openly engage the full range of their feelings and needs (as a healthy human being tends to). Being chill may be perceived as attractive but being yourself is also attractive and much easier. 

PS - Inner chill-ness comes from accepting ourselves as we are, and being ourselves to the fullest extent!
pick-me girl pick-me girl

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Malvika Lobo


Malvika, a seasoned therapist with over 7 years of experience, specializes in Animal Assisted Therapy and Arts Based Therapy. She is the smother of animals, a chai enthusiasts and has a hot take on all things.

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