I don't know if it's something that has suddenly become a part of girl mentality, or what. This is sadly something that has been on the forefront of my mind for some time because here I am now raising two girls, and I am worried.
It's often something that is featured in movies -- goodness, there is even a movie titled Mean Girls. The interaction of girls towards one another where they are nothing but mean. I'm left wondering why this is something we're found to be okay with. It's not funny.
Girls are becoming more and more belligerent towards each other, and for some reason it seems like the world is okay with that. I've been wondering why girls, of any age, are so cruel towards each other.
Many of us have experienced the cruelty starting at a young age. Perhaps you were excluded from getting to eat with a group of girls at recess or lunch, or maybe one girl made you their target because of how your hair was styled and it spread like wildfire to your peers. How many of us have scars from being bullied? I know I do.
I want my daughter's to grow up being women who have great heart and good character.
Not many will admit when they have been on the other end, and been the one inflicting the pain. Let's be honest though, we've all been there. How many of us though grow up, and stop doing this?
Sadly it seems like some have not grown up, and have not learned from their childhood. Instead they continue their mean girl ways, and take their behaviour into adulthood.
Mom wars, frenemies... how many names are there for these moments? For these women? The bullying continues. The behaviour is still used to do the same thing it did in school. It is used to control, intimidate and make others feel small.
A common thing among women is to gossip and talk about others behind their backs. Have you ever read the tabloid magazines at the checkout? Are those not the same thing -- a person somewhere bullying celebrities? Yet these magazines are so popular, with many women buying them as they leave the store, soaking it all up.
Have you ever experienced mom wars? I have. It's ridiculous. It's destructive. It's heartbreaking. It's hurtful. To exclude someone because you do not agree about something, or have had a disagreement with of some sort.
Have you been judged on how you parent, or over a choice you've made? Even something so pathetic as disagreeing about giving children organic squishy food packs, or other squishy packs. Have you been there?
How can we as women continue to cut each other down over things like this, it needs to stop. We talk about wanting to end mom wars, but really we need to get to the base of it all and end girl wars. It starts young, and it continues into adulthood.
We should be lifting each other up, and supporting one another. If an issue comes up you should be going to that person, not ganging up and attacking them in whatever way is deemed fit. Sometimes it really is best to say nothing at all, if what you are going to say will cause damage.
I am incredibly worried for my girls. Am I setting a positive example for them, or am I being sucked into all of this? I sure hope I am doing the right thing, I know that I am making changes to things.
No more magazines. Making sure if I have an issue with someone that I talk to them, because it is not the place of others, and out of respect for one another it should be addressed with them.
No more being pulled into the mom wars. I don't care if you nurse or bottle feed, vaccinate or don't, feed your kid organic food each day or pick up fast food. I'm working towards a new mindset, and I sure hope I show my girls how they should behave towards other girls.
I'm sure there will be moments that I fail, I will face that if and when it occurs. Really, I hope I am showing my girls how they should be behaving towards anyone.
I want my daughters to see me showing kindness, respect and love towards others. I want my daughter's to grow up being women who have great heart and good character.
Change has to start somewhere. I'm starting with myself and my girls.
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1. Wondering if it’s real? Ask yourself if she reminds you of someone, for example, a sister or parent, or a mean girl from school. On the other hand, if you haven’t come across bitchiness before, you might be so stunned you assume you are being paranoid. Take notes to help you to recognize the pattern of behavior. Ask others what they have noticed about interactions; they may volunteer their observation that she has been bitchy towards you. However, some Mean girls are cunning and others don’t see their actions.
2. Decide whether you are up to ‘calling’ the mean girl on her actions, or need to develop coping strategies for harm minimization. Don’t be hard on yourself because you can’t counter with a snappy one liner or don’t have the energy to change your behavior. Confrontation doesn’t necessarily work—you may need to deflect her rather than go for blood on the wall. Try to minimize contact, and keep your distance when interacting. The more you can understand what is beneath the surface, the easier it may be to look after yourself.
3. If you try coping strategies, but you aren’t managing your dread, despair, or worry—ask for help and support. Research the resources—HR, org policy & protocols, ask trusted colleagues or friends what they would do/have done to see if their strategies may work for you, and go to your mentor, or counselor.
4. If you have exhausted all the harm minimization techniques and your health is suffering, you might consider a transfer, exchange, or sabbatical, or job change. Nothing is worth your health.
5. When you begin a new job, take your time and gather more data before you pal up with the first women who approach you. Making early allegiances may trap you in the mean girl's clutch. Never take gossip about other workers at face value—make up your own mind.
6. Use innocence and poor hearing to shield you. If a bitch whispers nasty comments, you can publicly say, “sorry Jane, I didn’t hear you properly, can you repeat that?”
7. Look for high functioning workplaces, to begin with. You are least likely to find bitches in organizations with strong, clear leadership and transparent communications. Look for places where common values, ethics, and goals are shared.
8. Do not allow your job to consume your entire identity. Balance work with other aspects of your life; the greater number of roles you have, the stronger your sense of self. Be a daughter, sister, niece, professional association member, club member, hobby member, sport member, and community volunteer.
9. If you leave work, see this is an opportunity. Take the time for reflection; don’t simply hop into the first job available. Ask yourself, ‘who am I? Which sort of people and places bring out the best in me? What do I really want to do? Regain your health, robustness, friends, networks, and life. While bullying is rightly treated as a breach of law and company policy, many people may dismiss bitchy behavior as inconsequential, or expect the individual to ‘toughen up and don’t take it personally’. However, there are serious consequences from both subtle and outrageous bitchiness. It can be insidious, sneaky, or a ‘just kidding; don’t you have a sense of humor?’ put down. The apprehension, anxiety, and stress can compromise your immune system, and affect your work functioning.
Follow Tamara Goyette on Twitter: www.twitter.com/discoveryparent