Mean Daughters Grow Up to Be Mean Moms

In doing some research I found this article on adult mean girls. Here is an excerpt from Queen Bees & Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman.

In a world where women still make less money than men in the same career, where housework is hardly ever split "fairly" between husband and wife, and where women who stay at home are told they do not work, it seems that women's biggest problem would be men. But for all too many of us, it's the other women in our lives that make life difficult. I've spoken with a few of my friends recently and their daughters are dealing with mean girls. I tend to attract these types as well. I'm working on removing the sign on my back that says, "I Heart Mean Girls".

Grown up mean girls, can be catty, vindictive monsters. And while typically this behavior only causes some minor discomfort or hurt feelings, in extreme cases it can make jobs, relationships, and family life difficult, sometimes even impossible.So what's a girl to do when a grown up mean girl starts a rumor, begins glaring at her from across the room, or seems bound and determined to undermine everything she does?
Here's a few tips on how to handle the real life, adult mean girls {and the miniature version too}.

Don't Lash Out
Vindictive, catty behavior between women thrives on reciprocity. You may be the victim now, but if you spread a counter rumor or engage in the game of dirty looks, you're just as guilty as the other woman, and you give her an excuse to become progressively meaner. The cycle of grown up mean girls truly is a cycle that spirals out of control, so allow that cycle to stop with you. Remember the Biblical principal - Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Be Kind
Women are often socialized to see other women as competition and sources of jealousy. So while you may think another woman has no reason to be mean to you, in her mind she might. Rather than just ignoring her, make an effort to reach out. Greet her with a smile, ask her about her family, or compliment her on something she's wearing (sincerely compliment). If you're nice to her, she has little incentive to continue being ugly to you, and she'll move on to the next target. Like I always say, "Smile and wave girls, smile and wave."
You can be kind without being fake or being BFFs. "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Call Her On It
Some women are so used to interacting with other women in ways that are catty, vindictive, and mean-spirited that they may not be aware they're doing it. Mean girl behavior thrives on passive aggression, and it's  hard for that aggression to remain passive if you call the other woman out on her behavior. Don't start a war and don't be ugly. But if there's a specific incident you can talk about, and being nice and friendly hasn't worked, confront the other woman and ask her if there's something that can be done to change the quality of your relationship. Some suggestions for how to start the dialogue:
"Hey, I've noticed that you roll your eyes a lot when I'm talking, and it hurts my feelings. I didn't know if you were aware that you were doing this, but I wanted to see if there was something I had done to offend you so we can have a better relationship."
"I've heard that you are saying ugly things about me. This hurts my feelings and I want to have a good relationship with you. What can we do to fix this?" See "How to Have the Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding " by, Dr. Henry Cloud/Dr. John Townsend

Don't Take Undermining Behavior Lightly
Mean girls in school, church or on the job can undermine your performance and make your every day life tasks impossible to perform. If you've tried the suggestions above and nothing has worked, start keeping a log of incidents, pray over the journal entries. If it is in a work or volunteer setting, take the list to your director. It is important that, if a mean girl is trying to undermine you, your supervisor know this is happening.
See "God Will Make a Way" by Cloud/Townsend.

Bottom Line:  Mean girl behavior can only thrive when lots of women choose to participate, so don't do it! Stay out of that game and take the high road! And even if a few women have been mean to you, avoid adopting the belief that all women are mean or catty, or it's likely to make you behave like a mean girl too! We also have to be an example for our children. Our girls, have to see us handling these situations in the best way possible. This article from iMOMs discusses Relational Aggression.

xoxo sweet girls -
Mrs. Montgomery
Kickin' Some Mean Girls Booty Like...

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