Surviving the mean girls is a lifelong experience. Those bratty little girls you knew in elementary school became more bratty in junior and senior high school. They morphed into “sweet” sorority girls in college and possibly put their meanness on hold in marriage and motherhood. That’s only temporary. They just had distractions from their main purpose in life for a while, that being mean.
There is no doubt in my mind that they are not born mean, they learn it. Just like you have to teach children to be hateful, you have to teach them to be mean. Maybe they were not taught in the form of having actual lessons, it is possible they learned as a defense mechanism to someone being mean to them, and it snowballed into a lifestyle.
When they are young their meanness shows – it is front and center and obvious. As they get older they hang in packs of meanness. Eventually they realize meanness should not be front and center and they hide it behind smiles, laughter, flattery and other false methods and many times you don’t see it until it is too late. When it comes out you feel like you were hit by a taser gun. You never really see it coming at you – as in directly at you. You may have seen it directed at others, you may have accepted it in them because the meanie uses smiles, laughter, flattery etc to move your thoughts into a new dimension.
“I was only kidding/teasing/I didn’t mean it/it was a joke.” They were not kidding, teasing, they meant it, and it wasn’t a joke.
I read a wonderful article this week that a friend passed on to me on Facebook. It is about how bullying doesn’t end as we age. It doesn’t. Worse yet is now that we have the internet and social media it is so easy to bully people from behind a keyboard. We have all seen it.
The article I am referring to is:
It is really a very good article and not deep or disturbing.
Surviving the mean girls means identifying them first. We all get fooled. Many times we don’t see them for who they are, and by the time we do it is often too late and we feel the emotional pain of what being pommeled on the playground must feel like physically.
The beauty of being “older” is we know we would be arrested if we bitch slap them so instead we ask around. We vet them after the fact and we always find people who have also been pommeled.
What I have noticed though is those of us who have been pommeled are speaking up and speaking out. We are not just taking it any longer. Remember this, when someone is being mean to you, they are also being mean to others. Just this week I learned that a mean girl I know is “on the local news” so to speak. Her meanness is out and this alone will take some victims out of her path. It works that way for all of us because once we ID the mean girl we take some of their power away.
The largest lesson I have learned in all of this is going back to what I said. It is never just you, other people are being pommeled too. I just sat back and listened and in conversations little nuances would come out. You can do this too. No names should ever be mentioned, that would be mean. Allow others to share their circumstances and you may start to see similarities and pretty soon a pattern will emerge. Age does have it’s privilege or maybe it comes from watching cop shows on TV, but at least once you know that you are not alone you are empowered.
Let’s stamp out mean girls!