Mean girls … So much comes to mind when I think of those two words. Obviously the first thought is about the movie, second a few really mean girls that I was tormented by in middle school, and the third (and more) are based on social situations that I’ve only experienced over the last few years.
I instantly think about the boys and men that I know and I can’t pinpoint any adult male intentionally gossiping to hurt, uninclude, or degrade another male in their life.
It’s usually a direct habit where they just don’t vibe with one another or they dislike each other for whatever reason but they don’t go after each other to intentionally cause the other guy trouble. If they hit the extreme of disliking one another, there can sometimes be a physical fight but I believe that it’s usually not the case if they’re both mature, pragmatic men; men not boys.
Motivation for both groups usually includes: a desire for power, for control, for achieving greater social status, popularity, jealousy, fear, and derailing competition.
Sad, right? Why do us women claw down the things that are beautiful in an effort to make ourselves feel better for a brief second? As the bully knows, that second may seem glorious but the hate they hold in their cruel heart will only eat at them and make them so much more bitter with time.
In an article I read, it went into great detail to describe the way mean girls attack in relational aggression:
“The words now associated with female aggressive behavior include: excluding, ignoring, teasing, gossiping, secrets, backstabbing, rumor spreading and hostile body language (i.e., eye-rolling and smirking). Most damaging is turning the victim into a social “undesirable”.
The behavior and associated anger is hidden, often wrapped in a package seen as somewhat harmless or just a “girl thing”. The covert nature of the aggression leaves the victim with no forum to refute the accusations and attempts to defend oneself leads to an escalation of the aggression.”
How spot on is this? It’s a bullseye on the behavior but what is the person left with once this happens to them?
It’s a negative effect regardless as to what age, stage, or phase you’re going through. Rejection from anyone isn’t fun, let alone a group of women you know. Instead of succumbing to the mean behavior you have to try to not let it bother you.
Easier said than done and even harder if you’re “people pleaser” because you want everyone to like you and the sad reality is that people won’t always like you but it’s not you, it’s them. If they can’t tell you why they’re mad at you or be a big enough person to own their behavior, they aren’t worth your time. These toxic little gremlins must be removed from your life so you can move forward.
Here are a few affirmations I’ve been working on to get me past some of it:
1) I am far more than what people think I am.
2) There is nothing wrong with me.
3) I am a good person with a golden heart that beats good intentions.
4) I have something to offer the world.
5) I am enough.
As hard as it may be, keep a positive attitude in anything you go through and you’ll come out ahead of the situation. Tackle situations with glitter instead of allowing the bully to take you to a bad place.
Their intentions are pure evil. Glitter will help you keep a clear conscience so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior will internally be ashamed of their wicked slander. They’ll never say it but they will know it to be true.
Last and most importantly, never let anyone make you feel like you’re not worthy of living the life of your dreams and that you’re not lovable. You’re worthy. You’re lovable. You’re wonderful. Keep your chin up and in the words of my favorite stress reducing anthem by Taylor Swift, “Shake it off.”
Photography by Anna May.