Sunday, Houston Roller Derby hosted a meet n’ greet for our new junior derby program. During the Q&A portion, one girl asked, “What if I don’t get along with a girl on my team?” It’s a valid question, not just for junior derby players, but all derby players.
You’re not going to get along with all your teammates all the time. I’m not talking about Mean Girls here. There will be people who just rub you the wrong way. Sometimes it’s something specific (They NEVER shut up, ever. Not during drills or league meetings or road trips.) or sometimes it’s vague (I don’t know. Maybe it’s something about her face or her attitude. I just don’t like her.) It doesn’t really matter why you don’t get along with someone on your team. What matters is how you respond.
You’re on a team together, and unless you feel like quitting and moving to another team/league, you are going to have to make it work. I usually try to find something in that person I do like, (she’s got an amazing hit, she’s a wily jammer, her hair is shiny) something, anything I can hold onto to get over the fact that, in general, I can’t stand her. If I concentrate on the good points long enough, I usually find myself liking the person in spite of whatever it is about them I don’t like.
Shawshank answered the little girl’s question by saying that sometimes you’ll form bonds with people that don’t translate into other areas of your life. As an adult, you make work friends. But you don’t necessarily hang out with those people outside of work. They’re your friends, but they are friends in a certain setting. Outside of work, you may not have that much in common. Same thing with derby.
You may find that you can get along with certain people, but only at practices and bouts. Any other time or social setting, they get on your nerves or you just don’t have anything to talk about. Perfectly okay. No one is saying you have to be besties with everyone on your team/league. And if anyone does tell you that, that person lives in the land of candy and unicorns where everyone always gets along, not the real world.
Bottom line. Don’t stress if you don’t like everyone on your team. Look for the good and hold onto the good. In the immortal words of Tim Gunn, make it work.