Every school has them. The kids who say cruel things, play unkind pranks, do things to embarrass others, and form little cliques that exclude others and band together their bullying. They are the Mean Girls.
My mother used to explain that jealousy fueled a lot of their antics and negative attitude. Others will say their efforts in putting others down, made themselves better. Whatever reason for their behavior, I struggled to let their torturous words roll off my back.
One hope kept me above water…
Eventually, we’d all grow up. Eventually, school would end and whether or not you were a Cheerleader, popular, or nerdy wouldn’t matter. Eventually, the immaturity would end. I held on to that and it got me through times I wanted to give up.
But what happens when these Mean Girls become adults and they are grown up Mean Girls?
I am an adult. They are adults. We have children of our own and yet…they are still just as catty, cruel, and immature as they were in high school.
I discussed the issue with a few friends and discovered – I wasn’t alone.
“It’s ridiculous,” one friend said. “I had a mother who refused to help out with a fundraiser for our youth football league unless her kid ‘gets to run the ball’ more often. It punishes the team and that is what is sad.”
Another fellow blogger added, “I get it at work, too. I have two women who work together to make others look bad. They see another worker’s success and will do things to set them back, supporting each other’s hateful comments and underhanded tactics. The worst part, when you try and call them out on it or explain to superiors what is going on…you look like the crazy one.”
I love the campaign It Gets Better. Because, in some cases, it does. But what happens when it doesn’t get better? What happens when you have Grown Up Mean Girls?
Everyone has ways to deal and mechanisms to help cope. Please share your thoughts and tips!
For me – I rise above it.
At first, I played the game and realized that it is a waste of time and energy that spilled into my personal life. It made me irritable, cranky, and generally unhappy.
Then, I developed ways to secretly tell them off. The meetings I had with a Mean Girl I couldn’t escape turned into a barb. I’d wave at her and say, “See you next Tuesday!” (Think about it for a minute…you’ll get it.)
However, as good as it felt for few minutes, the nasty hidden name-calling began to feel…sad. I was sinking to her level. It sounded like something she would do. So, I decided to rise above it.
Instead, as hard as it is, I smile when they giggle behind my back. I ignore their immature behavior. I am polite and even nice to them. They may not deserve it…but I do. I deserve to be the better person and do it with class.
It isn’t easy, but in the end, what they think and do won’t matter. But what I think and do…does.