πŸ’­ Ethereal Epiphanies

Short-form lightly edited, lightly structured essays, written in 30 minutes.
Published on:
February 11, 2024

😈 Friend Groups and The Evil Mother Hen

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Ever since I was a teenager, I've been fascinated by social dynamics in friend groups. Usually, I've been more of an observer or an occasional participant rather than a core member of these groups.

My experiences over the past few years have led me to deeply study social interactions and human behavior. I've looked back at my observations in real-life friendships on TV shows like "Real Housewives." I know these shows are influenced by production teams, and the drama is somewhat crafted, but the dynamics are real and happen in everyday life. In every friend group, I've observed since my teens, both in real life and on TV, there are different characters: the talkative one, the introvert, the funny one, the sad one, the one who's been through a lot, the drama causer, and the delusional one. But one always stands out: I call them the "evil mother hen."

This person is the secretly manipulative one, who preys on others in the group. They often see themselves as the glue of the group. They typically refer to themselves as the queen or the leader. They're usually drawn to the underdog or the person with the least money or family support. I've noticed this even in my own life. In many scenarios in the past few years, I have found myself being a participant in large friendship groups, which is very unusual for me. I always find that the Mother Hen very quickly draws close to me because they view me as the underdog the person without family the person that needs help.

However, when the "mother hen" recognizes I'm a strong person who quickly recognizes their game and manipulation, they usually quickly dislike me. On two occasions, the mother hen utilized her, "minions" to quickly get others against me all while to my face telling me we were in good graces.

It's intriguing to see how this happens across different continents and cultures. This person, whether a man or a woman, always needs to be in control. They draw close to the less fortunate, making them feel special, loved, and supported, while also subtly and gradually feeding them information to control them. They know how to make others in the group, feel dependent on them and grow loyalty with the ones they feel they can use in the future.

What makes the mother hen 'evil'? From my observation, it's their subtle malice. They present themselves as caring, loving people who want the best for everyone in the group, but in reality, they spread gossip and lies. When things don't go their way, they quickly turn other group members against you.

For example, in the "Real Housewives" franchise, can you think of someone who fits this description? I think of Lisa Vanderpump, Theresa Juidice, and Mariah Huq. I'm sure that in 101 settings, and maybe in real life they are vastly different. However, on television, they are the cookie-cutter and quintessential "Evil Mother Hen." She's a woman of power and wealth who draws close to any new, vulnerable cast member she feels she can manipulate. She presents herself as a helpful, loving person, but secretly uses newcomers to do her dirty work and harm others, all while smiling. The moment anyone opposes her, she secretly tries to push them out of the group.

Again, I know this is just a TV show, but it's fascinating to see people in real life exhibit these behaviors in actual friendship groups. Do you know anyone in a group who fits this "mother hen" trope? I'm really interested in exploring what causes someone to become this "evil mother hen." Is it narcissism? Megalomania? I'm keen to learn more about the mental states or disorders that contribute to this real-life character in friendship groups.

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