Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mean girls????

I have been thinking about Mean girls ( over 30 that should know better.) Everyone knows them and some of us have been one. When the news is talking about it non stop I thought that I would reflect a little about it.

Stop what you're doing and think. Think back to a time when you were in high school, surrounded by critical girls, cliques, and insecurity, where anything you said could be held against you and social events could flip flop between being exhilarating and excruciating, often several times in one night. 
Whispering that stops when you walk into the room. Eyes rolling when you crack a joke. Stony silence when you try to make conversation. Cruel behavior is so common among women that it has its own name: female aggression. Unfortunately, it doesn't end after high school – it can happen anywhere, from the water cooler at work to the PTA meeting. So why do grown women bully each other and what you can do about it?

What can turn perfectly sane women into catty competitors, pretending to have each others' backs while waiting to stab each other in it? Psychotherapists say,  it's easy to get sucked in when you are an adult because you go right back to the old high school girl that is still stuck inside you.. When you think of bullying, you probably picture the tough guy who beat up the chess club president in school. But women bully too. And usually it has nothing to do with physical contact. 

Though women are less inclined to yell and scream, start a fist fight or punch each other in the nose, they use subtler but equally hurtful bullying tactics. Among their favorites: backstabbing, giving the cold shoulder and being passive-aggressive.

Disagreeing publicly is one thing, but why do some take it so far? We all have baggage from high school.  Very few people say  “I felt self confident back then.' Most women had issues with other girls, that is part of who we are today. When we are stressed out and get upset, we immediately go back to default settings, acting more like the girl from high school - lashing out, retreating and less of our evolved adult self.  Women know how to push other women's buttons - plain and simple.

You might ask what a women bully is. They are devious, vindictive. Have a selective memory. Need to control. Excel at twisting the truth.  They also adore gossip. Most women don't consider gossip to be a bullying behavior, but it is, Anyone who has been the subject of a vicious rumor will certainly agree. Recently this has happened to me personally. There is nothing that cuts deeper.  It never made me feel worse, such an emotional roller coaster. I thought I was mad at first but that isn’t me. Those of you who know me well, know that this is so true. I now feel hurt. I don’t know how I will ever not look at the “mean girl” and smile or be pleasant to her.

While the 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all' rule seems to go out the window when it comes to the real world, I still remember my mom teaching me this & we all know the “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?” In many cases I wish someone would just freaking punch me!  We all need to think about what you say and how you say it before leaving a forever trail to your momentary bitterness.

I am going to focus on trying to find something that gives me a bigger sense of purpose. Maybe volunteer or find an activity that I  love. What is something you would like to try that is new or something that maybe you use to do??? Maybe it's writing, playing sports or painting. Devoting time to your passions may not make the bully problem go away. But if you have an activity that truly makes your life worth living, those gossips in your yoga class will lose some of their hold over you. 

So I know that I Don't need to force my way into a group that won't accept me, yes in the past I would do anything to have been in the cool crowd. Being insecure myself a few years ago, I decided my “new” friends were better then one of the best friends I have had my entire life. This life lesson was the biggest eye opener for having such a great loss for me. It really made me grow up and take inventory of the people I had in my life. Thankfully me and my old friend worked everything out after four years.  Now it always comes to my mind that if and when I am about to share in the gossip or say something that might be taken out of context, I really don't need to say anything about it at all.

Remember you'll only set yourself up for more heartache as the “mean girls” continue to exclude you. Instead of obsessing over the women who give you the cold shoulder, or say hurtful things, try to seek out friends, colleagues and neighbors who make you feel comfortable and accepted. Maybe you need to figure out who to weed out in your life. I did this and now instead of a ton of friends I have a hand full of best friends. I am so much happier and freer now that I took the time to do this. I know that the girls in my life now are my secret keepers, my rocks, my family.
The ones I know will tell me how it is even if it would hurt to hear it. The ones I can say anything to even if its going to hurt them. I now understand that I can be myself and know that is all anyone has ever needed me to be.

I do hope that the “mean girls” out there will take a walk in someone else’s shoes a few miles. And if you do say something about someone they will find out, they will be mad, they will be upset. That words cut deeper then a knife. That sometimes when you say something in anger or to hurt someone you can’t ever take it back.

Be careful out there, mamas - and be nice.


The Boston Lady said...

Hi Kingston Girl - thank you for being my 13th follower!

It's true that the "mean girls" exist even in our adult interactions. Ran into it when I was part of PTA when my kids were in school and it continues on, it seems, when groups of women get together in some form or fashion.
Like you, I've learned to weed this unpleasantness out of my life and try to stay focused on the positive. There's enough sad stuff to deal with in the world without purposely socializing with people who make us feel bad about ourselves.
I like your idea about volunteering or doing something to put a positive spin on life. My latest way to do this is through my blog. An adventure for me, a way to improve my computer skills, stay connected with friends and family and to focus on the positive things in my life. Even when my life is throwing bad things at me, I can turn to the blog and try to write about something good in my life.

Love your blog and thanks again for stopping by mine and becoming a follower.

Tracy said...

It is so true. I really see this in my work place and it needs to stop. I mean, we are all adults for pete's sake. These "ladies" act like they are back in kindergarten at the best of times. Well actually kindergarten kiddies have much better manners!! It just makes me wild the actions of some people. Enough said....I actually came bearing good news :O)

I am just dropping in to let you know that I have an award waiting for you on my blog!!

Take care,

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Oh girl those mean girls use to kill me! When I lived on Bainbridge and went to school there I lived w/ my grandparents my father didn't have tons of money. Lot's of $ for some can look down on others :(.

Guess being the chunky girl also didn't help :). God love them they did make me stronger :)

Dumblond said...

I could go on forever about mean girls. Not only did I have to deal with them in middle school and high school, but also in my last job. It got so bad that I quit. Not that any of it was directed at me but I just couldn't handle being around those catty women anymore.
What really gets me is the women who act this way and they are mothers! What are they teaching their children?!