Who has not been the recipient of mean girl behavior? And as for my male followers, I can assure you that your wife and your daughters have been victims at least once in their lives….odds are many more times than just once. And yes, these mean girls do grow up and become mean women. I have been the punching bag more than once, and the meanest experience I ever had in my life happened just a few years ago. There is so much we can learn from these experiences AND so much we can teach. Three key points:
- Their meanness is not about you – it is 100% about them. Whatever the root cause – insecurity, unhappiness, jealously, immaturity – they own it. It is hard not to take the rejection personally. I have personally shed buckets of tears when made the victim of mean girl behavior and voted off their island. And in more than one case, I have blamed myself, questioned myself, and wondered what I could have done to deserve this treatment. What I know for sure is this – whatever anyone has done in the human condition does not justify or warrant mean girl behavior.
- My mom’s wisdom comes to mind when seeking what to share in this blog. She has coached me over the years in this way: “You need to pray for them, forgive them, and feel sorry for them.” This can be hard to do when your feelings have been hurt so deeply it is hard to comprehend. And when an injustice has been done, it is difficult to let it go and not want to retaliate or confront. Yet, as my wise father has said more than once, ‘Do you think you are the only one that sees what is going on? If you see it….most everyone else will see it, too.’ My incredible parents are 100% correct. If we just give it time, the injustices sort themselves out. We have to take the high road, be true to ourselves, and do the right thing…..the rest will take care of itself.
- Be the change you wish to see. Each one of us have the capacity to be unkind, thoughtless, and less than caring to our fellow human beings…..this is the human condition. However, we also have the ability to choose how we treat one another. We can choose to be loving, kind, inclusive, and supportive of our fellow business partners. We can choose to stand tall and be courageous when others are ugly and unkind. By not being brave and standing up for others, we are as guilty as those who are throwing the punches.
I am proud to be associated with an organization called Plaid for Women. The co-founders are friends, and are building an amazing national community of women from all walks of life, and have created an award winning resource site chock-full of meaty articles, stories of role models, and other excellent information for the empowerment of women. I am particularly excited about their newest movement #No Mean Girls which calls attention to how women, particularly in business, can be like crabs in a barrel. If you or someone you know has been the victim of unkind mean girls, you can join the movement by clicking here. We have the ability to stop this behavior….for our children, our grandchildren, and ourselves. Please join hands with us……you will never regret it.
As Margaret Mead has offered: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Would it not be amazing if the women of today joined hands to support one another? What would be the potential of this next generation? Imagine a world where women and girls embraced one another – in our successes, our difficulties and our diversity – what a wonderful world it would be.