Written By: Lauren Steeves
How to stop yourself from being a modern day mean girl.
In honour of October being National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month, we decided to focus on a topic that most of us can relate to—mean girls. We hope that by reading this article, we can help women learn how to support one another and make bullying a thing of the past #youcansitwithus.
Remember the good ole days of high school? And no, I’m not talking about the braces, horrible acne, two-minute sexcapades, or strawberry vodka— I’m talking about the ridiculously mean backstabbing girls. We’ve all encountered one of those girls during our teenaged years, but who knew we’d still be putting up with them long after graduation?
You don’t have to be a psychologist to see all the mean girl behaviour that goes on in the world. Whether it is at work, school, or even a spin class— mean girls are everywhere. And we’ve all played both sides before being both a victim and an attacker—so I wonder, why we gotta be so rude?
Queen B puts it best in her epic song Flawless***stating, “We raise girls to see each other as competitors.” And I agree with B.
For women, it’s extremely hard for us to be happy for other women. Period.
And we’ve all been there before. You’re with your friends, one makes a comment about another girl’s body, boyfriend, job, etc. and then everyone starts ripping her to shreds. Comments emerge like, “Yeah she only got that job because she ____” or “Her body is great, but I’d still say she’s a 5” and “What is a guy like that doing with a girl like her.”
And unfortunately that’s me filtering the gossip.But why are we doing this to each other?I think it all boils down to two common emotions— jealousy and insecurity.
Now it’s normal to feel jealous, all of us have experienced the feeling before, but it’s how you handle your jealously that determines whether or not you turn full on cray.
A body image and self-esteem expert Erin Brown came up with few useful tips to help each of us transform from a mean girl, to a kind grown-ass woman.
1. Everyone’s been there, done that.
Even Queen B’s the first to admit, “I’m just jealous. I’m just human. Don’t judge me.” So it’s important to cut yourself some slack too and understand that it’s normal to feel jealous. Instead of beating yourself down and creating more issues, recognize the emotion and think about how it can serve you in a positive way. After all it’s not about how you feel, it’s about how you choose to react to a situation.
2. No one likes negative Nancy.
Brown explains that, “So often when we feel jealous, we are putting someone else on a pedestal. The most common reaction then, is to knock them down.”
Rather than knocking another girl out, stop yourself before things start going negative. After all, who benefits from your rude ‘tude? No one— and especially not you. All you’re wasting is time and energy.
3. Do some soul searching.
Usually jealousy is deeply rooted in feelings of insecurity and can serve as an indicator of where we’d like to go in our lives. So rather than letting jealousy rear its ugly head, turn the spotlight onto yourself and evaluate what changes need to be made in your own life.
Are you jealous of another girl’s job? Well, maybe that’s a sign that you’re dissatisfied with your own. So what can you do to change that? Does it require an easy fix or does it require a career makeover?
By taking the time to focus on what you need, instead of what others have you create the opportunity to build the life that you want—not the life you think you want.
4. Raise your glass
As long as you are looking for it, you will find girls who you think have it better than you. There will always be girls that are younger than you, richer than you and more toned than you—that’s a fact. But don’t hate, appreciate.
Learn to give praise to those girls who are doing something you admire. Because even a girl looks like she has her shit together, chances are she’s hustled hard to get there and it took a lot of guts and tears too.
Brown says, “The sooner you start applauding those ahead of you, the sooner you’ll join them.” The fact of the matter is there is room for all of us and we each bring something amazing to the table.
After all, “her success is not your failure.” If anything, she may be the one that leads you to your own.