Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Don't Be That Girl #2: The Mother Hen

On the other end is a guy pulling his hair
out because she won't stop texting him...
{by Michael Vuke}

If you missed Part 1 of the "Don't Be That Girl" series where Michael warns about the frightening and frumpy Catlady, be sure to check it out here!

Part 2: The Mother Hen

If the Catlady was avoided because she didn’t want to interact with guys, the Mother Hen is the complete opposite. However, this girl is one that most sane men go out of their way to avoid whenever possible. The Mother Hen obsessively clings to her guy friends and constantly pries into their lives and activities. She is over-protective and sensitive about ‘her guys’—don’t say anything remotely bad about one or her wrath will descend upon you. The Mother Hen puts the ‘mothering’ into ‘smothering’. 

How do you know if you are one?  Do you feel left out or slighted if your friends do not tell you every detail of their day? Are you constantly texting your friends with questions like: “Who are you talking to?” “What are you talking about?” “Where are you?” “Who are you with?” Can you describe your relationship with several guys as “a big sister”? If you answered yes to any of these, you may be well on your way to becoming a Mother Hen.

Why do we care?

We already have one mother—we don’t need another. It is frustratingly annoying to constantly be subjected to questions and inquiries; plus, it shows an alarming lack of security on the lady’s part. As with any relationship, we like balanced, mutual conversations where both parties can tell the other one what they want in as much detail as they want—Mother Hen’s turn it into an interrogation. After a while, it starts to feel like a parasitic relationship instead of a friendship. Plus, these are almost impossible to end. You try to cut back, but the Mother Hen just won’t stop. You run away, and she runs beside you. It’s the stuff of nightmares.

Contrast the Mother Hen to the Caring Friend. A Caring Friend wants to know what is happening in your life, and asks. However, they know their boundaries—they aren’t pushy or intrusive; they simply are interested in what happens to you. While they enjoy hanging out with you, a Caring Friend isn’t clingy, and they will never expect you to dedicate all of your time to being with them, or to update them when you are doing something without them. A Mother Hen often times acts the way she does because she is insecure about herself and needs constant stimulation from someone else. A Caring Friend acts the way she does because she cares about what happens to her friends.

How do you keep yourself from becoming a Mother Hen? Comment below!
Michael Vuke loves hanging out with friends, but he also likes having quiet time by himself to think and reflect. Whether he is driving down a backroad, making music with friends, or reading a book at home, if an idea hits him, he is known to drop everything and write until he has captured the inspiration. What inspires you? Tweet it out to him @WriteandDream! Michael blogs about what inspires him at michaelvuke.wordpress.com


  1. It almost goes without saying that 'mother hen' personalities are undesirable. Women of that type have been mocked in innumerable media venues for years. The question ultimately becomes one of definition. Where's the line between a 'mother hen' and a 'caring friend'? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

    1. I would say the difference lies in what I brought up in the last paragraph. If someone is constantly following the other around (whether physically or cyber-following), prying, and obsessing, that is different than someone hanging out with the other one from time to time, asking questions (and backing off if they are avoided or not answered!), and while occasionally expressing some friendly concern over a dangerous activity, not mothering.

      A lot of it has to do with two things, in my mind: 1. The attitude behind it and 2. The frequency.

      I touched on this briefly in the last two sentences; a "Mother Hen" is ultimately acting out of selfish impulses and desires. They need that constant stream of information or contact to satisfy feelings of adequacy, belonging, or companionship. A caring friend is acting out of wanting to continue a friendship; any information or hanging out that happens is not a daily requirement, but simply part of being friends. Friends look out for each other--but they don't latch on to each other.

      Does that help clarify what I mean? If not, I'll give it another go!

    2. Maybe it goes without saying. But then why do so many girls seem to need to hear it???

      Great post, Michael.

  2. "The Mother Hen puts the 'mothering' into 'smothering'. That was the best line in this!

    I am enjoying this series of articles. Not only entertaining, but also very informative and a gentle warning to us girls to watch ourselves.

    Thank you, sir.

    1. When I was planning this series, I had a list of 'types' and I wrote down a one-liner for each one--that was the line I based everything else off of!

      And it is my pleasure; I'm really enjoying this opportunity to write for InsideOut, and I'm glad that others are too.

  3. That was soooooooooooooo awesome!

    I really ejoy the way you bring in a different "Charracter" at the end, giving us an idea of what we should be shooting for.
    I can't wait for the next one!!!!!

  4. I wonder if I am a mother hen, because my friends call me mother hen but I don't feel like I am. I can be controlling but I don't get bossy until somebody insults me or they are doing something dangerous.Another reason I don't feel like it is because I don't have guyfriends that I annoy or be intrusive on. What got me upset today is my friend has been avoiding me lately and giving me not so nice looks. I asked her what was wrong today and she practically yelled at me saying that I am so bossy and controlling and I have been upset about it ever since and this didn't make me feel much better. Thanks a lot NOT!


  5. Most women don’t know this... but even if a man is attracted to you or even says he loves you...

    ...chances are he still feels something is missing.

    Because there is a secret, emotional need hidden within his heart that he craves more than anything.

    And in most cases, is not being met.

    The problem is, if it’s not being met, his attention will inevitably wander until he finds a woman who can give it to him.

    Maybe one in a thousand women knows how to do this instinctively, and they usually rise to unbelievable levels of influence and fame.

    But most women, or men for that matter, don’t even know it exists.

    On the other hand, when you have this 1 simple secret...

    You won’t believe the shocking effect you have on the men in your life.

    Here’s a video I discovered that shows you exactly what I’m talking about:

    Here’s how: ==> He’ll give his heart to the first woman who does THIS... ]