We all love the movie “Mean Girls” because it makes a joke of a common event that majority of women have gone through in their childhood and sadly still experience well into adulthood; bullying.
I recently had lunch with a woman who told me that she would have picked on me in high school; “You’re pretty and nice. I would have made your life a living hell.” She laughed after she said it. I think I may have laughed too because it shocked me. It’s such a cruel statement.
Typing that makes me cringe. It’s just so mean.
Who gets ready for their day with thoughts of methodical ways to make someone else look bad?
I can’t even … Literally, I can’t. I have a hard time attempting to drink my coffee, get into an awakened state of mind by listening to my motivational playlist, and not being a bear to my husband.
Bullying in the 2000’s has taken a new form of blind criticism because once a person says something bad about another person, we go online and investigate their social media presence in attempts to find a reason to justify the label.
Rumor: “She’s all about money. She isnt really that happy.”
Images for Evidence: “Yep! She’s on vacation and posts about positivity. It must be fake.”
To view the world through jaded eyes can be easier than seeing reality.
Truth: “She finally found her soulmate. She is that happy.”
Images for Evidence: “She’s trying hard to live a happy and meaningful life while working her butt off for different contracts and more non-profits than she can even try to work with and she does that part for free. Her fuel comes from battles you know nothing about.”
The magnetic attraction of negative words is stronger than the positive ones. The magnatism is strong because hurt people gravitate towards one another to patch that hole of emptiness. They can cultivate a tribe of women (yes, adult women) that will break confidences you once thought you shared just so they can belong.
It’s astonishing that one mean girls words can be successful in manipulating the masses. The only explanation is something that lives inside every person; insecurity.
It’s only when we take off the mask and allow ourselves to be honest about all “the feels” going on in our hearts and minds that we can finally live with compassion and empathy.
Being a constant student with an appetite for understanding, I did a bit of research about what makes mean girls tick. If I can understand an issue, it doesn’t hurt as bad.
My findings are based on Rosalind Wiseman’s studies on relational agression.
She struggles with envy. Mean girls want what other girls have. Whether it is clothes, looks, or men; mean girls are willing to go to any extreme to hurt the person that has what they want.
She is appearance-focused. Mean girls are often overly concerned with their body, hair, clothes, their face, their make-up and their weight. Likewise, they pick at these things in others. You can spot this when a mean girl speaks; it’s often about other girls in a mocking and demeaning way.
She is status-focused. Mean girls are often obsessed with what others think of them. They consider how everything looks to others including where they live and how they dress, to what car they drive and which guy they date.
It is not uncommon for a mean girl to befriend someone based solely on what she does and the social media influence she has because they want the same attention.
She has girl troubles. One surefire way to spot a mean girl is when they say “I have more guy friends than girls.” Run. Run for your life.
She has issues with control. Mean girls are very controlling. If they can’t control your friendship they’ll eliminate you from their life without notice. They’ll drop you like a bad habit by leaving a group chat, by contacting anyone they can as an attempt to turn them on you, and any other way they can to hurt you. And this leads to the other kind of mean girls, followers.
Followers will do anything to remain part of the group including becoming bullies themselves. To these mean girls, what others in their tribe think and say is a priority to them. Because these girls fear losing their position in their tribe so they’ll bully others to fit in or be accepted; anything they can just to feel loved.
Ostracizing another person may feel good when you’re in the good graces of the leader but not allowing someone to be included in your group only announces to the universe that you deserve the same. You don’t deserve the same. Rise above.
Challenge the mean girl by not responding. Saying mean things, even if they’re true, doesn’t make you feel any better. It shows them that they have your attention which is exactly what they want. Ignore the thirst.
Allow them to serve as a lesson for growth. So grow! Grow far, far away from them and don’t look back.
In order to challenge the mean girl you must lead yourself with an open mind, a honest heart, and the bravery to challenge your fears of walking away from them.
Food for thought, if you stop participating directly and / or passively with hurting other women, who will be left to hurt? No one.