Friday, May 9, 2014

Mean Girl Behavior: 3 Types & How To Avoid Being One

Mean Girls

Did you know one in school?

Did you know a girl who bragged to everyone how she had a phone, t.v., and cable in her bedroom? Maybe she only wore designer clothes, had "perfect" hair and made fun of you for wearing glasses, Levi's and braces. Maybe there was a clique of mean girls who kept their heads in a huddle of whispered glances and muffled laughs that you knew were directed at you.

Maybe you were the target of bullying, of having your locker doused with lotion ruining all your text books (true story), maybe you were snickered at or mimicked by others, maybe you were teased for being short, tall, blonde, underweight, overweight, shy, uncoordinated, studious, nerdy, etc.

Perhaps you felt as though your entire school career was one bad journey and you have zero desire to go back down memory lane.

Maybe you're sorry you even began reading this post because one of the previous paragraphs made you cringe and you don't want to be reminded of a time in your life you've worked three years, five years or ten plus years to forget. 

At one time I believed if adulthood would just hurry up and get here already all the mean girls would be reformed and life as an adult would be a mean free zone.

I was so wrong.

I naively believed that when we sprouted from little girls to women we would all GROW UP. I thought women would cut through all that nonsense of "She's thinner", "She's prettier", "She's got a better life", "She's got a nicer car", "She has more money", "She has a better personality", "She's married to so and so", "She's carrying a better bag", blah blah blah. I mistakenly believed they would all walk in kindness and not size you up. When women do this… when they are envious of your looks, your home, your figure, your vacation etc… and then diss you… when you've done nothing but been kind toward them… it can definitely be an eyebrow raising moment and lead you to think…


No, you likely won't be friends with her because you can't "fix" an issue that is hers. 

Her behavior has absolutely nothing to do with you. 
(Read that again)

If as little girls and grown women we can remember that fact we will do well. 

As an adult when you're not dealing with mean girls 
that are your peers you may be listening to your daughters detailed 
synopsis of her own dealings with mean girls in grade school.

No one really prepares us for how terrible adult mean girls can act. 

There seem to be three top types of mean girl adult behavior… 
although sometimes there may be a combination of two or more types. 

1. Snobby Behavior: 

The first mean girl behavior is the outright snotty kind who looks you up and down and assesses your look with critical eyes. You can read her thoughts on her face.... she shows them so clearly... "Hmmmm... real Louis Vuttion, DKNY slacks, a top that's probably a TJMaxx discount... and hair that was colored clearly from a box not the salon. And her nails? Ew." 

She may be a narcissist, she's likely very insecure and yet believes herself to be quite superior to her peers. This type of behavior may be viewed as exactly what it is… rude yet amusing. Here's the thing… at least you know what you're getting with her. You can read her by the side long glance she gives you. Take the higher road and be kind (not buddies… particularly and specifically speaking if you have to work with her be nice) but otherwise ignore, ignore, ignore. 

2. Indifferent Behavior:

Indifferent behavior is sometimes harder to pinpoint initially but eventually with time you get their number. She may if in a situation where it can't be avoided be forced to chit chat with you... usually about superficial stuff like asking which teacher your daughter got this school year... but that's about where it begins and ends. She won't typically seek you out. She seems to have an issue with you, as most of the time she appears to avoid you like the plague but you can't for the life of you figure out what it is because you've been nothing but super nice to her. 

Typically if someone has an issue with you and you've done nothing wrong the issue lies within them. Maybe their jealous because you have something they don't. Instead of working on whatever it is their unhappy with it's easier to diss you. The best way to handle it is to take her reaction as the compliment it is however backward and continue to take the high road.

3. User Behavior:

The third mean girl behavior is the user. It seems nothing gets on my ever-lasting nerve more than a user… this is mean girl behavior that seeks you out only when she needs something off you… otherwise she doesn't know your name. Maybe she only knows you exist if she has a teacher gift to assemble and by the way… she needs a contribution of x amount of dollars from you… Pronto! Maybe she only knows you exist when her daughter needs an extra warm body at her birthday party but makes it abundantly clear you don't need to stay. Maybe she only knows of your existence when she wants the neighborhood email list for being "in the know" concerning all of the block parties. Maybe she only knows of your existence when you're having a party so she can snoop inside your house. Whatever her motivation is you know it's not sincere as a true friend's would be but instead she then drops you like a hot potato after she has what she wants and moves on. 

Sometimes we may feel rebuffed by someone we genuinely attempted to reach out to in kindness and be friends with... leaving us bewildered and wondering what on earth happened... only later for your ex to become sudden friends with them, perhaps your bestie or a peer. It's natural to feel the sting of meanness or rejection but it's really not a reflection on you... and the truth is... they may not be good company for you to be friends with. 

When dealing with a user or merely an unkind person the best way to handle them is to disengage. Cutting the cord with someone who uses people for whatever they can gain... whether it's lake access, status, a new job, etc is not a loss… you can't lose what you never had to begin with… they aren't your friend(s). Continuing to have contact with someone of this nature is comparable to having a hemmroid that's not capable of healing... a continual pain in the rear. Life is too short to go around like that. 

As women all know it's stressful being around that... instead we can say no to letting her steal your joy. 

The thing is… 
when dealing with girls who are all grown up and behaving mean we have to use discernment…

We have to figure out if she's just having a bad day or if it's a pattern of behavior we have observed over a period of time. If she's having a bad day, shower her in love and grace… cut her some slack. But if the behavior you've seen has been a continual issue for some time still be kind when your paths cross but at the same time it might be time to get distance from her and move on. Even as adult women we don't have to be at the mercy of mean girl behavior… we don't have to subscribe to it just because it might not match up with society's ideal image of social correctness for girls to just "be nice" at the risk of taking abuse...  we have the right to decide to not go back for a second, third, fourth, hundredth helping of toxicity or mental nausea. We can say "I'm moving on."

Didn't we get enough of this in Highschool????

It's always better to be less popular, less "in", less conforming than it is to have a mean girl in our midst. 

Because no matter how beautiful a girl or woman is, if she's mean…

No amount of sugar or honey will make her sweet inside.  

© ~ 2014 

5 Tips To Not Be A Mean Girl In Adulthood:

1. Include others, branch out of your clique. There is always someone who feels left out.
2. Don't judge someone based on their physical appearance. Use discernment and look at their morals, integrity, their heart… those qualities are what really matter.
3. No rude remarks… like "I'd love to give you a makeover", "You have hat hair today" etc. Use your manners. 
4. If at work be professional and not catty. Don't use others to do your work to further your career.
5. Don't place stay at home mothers above working moms as superior or vice versa (women do all women a disservice when they attack other women as moms and how they define their role). If you're in the PTA don't ignore those mothers who can't commit the same amount of time or that choose not to.

To My Readers:

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

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