If there’s anything this Hailey Bieber/Selena Gomez debacle has taught us, it’s that, unfortunately, mean girls aren’t just in the movies and they don’t stay in high school. In fact, there’s a really good chance you’ll have mean girl encounters for the rest of your life. But don’t worry, we have some tips for dealing with them like a pro. Or better yet, like a Selena.
The million-dollar question is why do mean girls act the way they do? Most of us probably knew a mean girl or two in middle school or high school that learned from their mistakes and turned into a really nice, genuine human and we love to see it. But others go from being mean girls to being mean women. This kind of behavior typically has something to do with power and aggression. Regardless of where it stems from, it’s not cool to make others feel bad, sad, insecure, or unwelcome.
How to Deal
In a perfect world, mean girls just wouldn’t exist, but because they do, let’s talk about how to deal with them.
Understand and Sympathize
Sometimes being an adult is hard, and this will be one of those times. Sure, you could get even with the mean girls, but we’re here to encourage you to dig a little deeper and try to see things from their point of view. Mean girls tend to lack self-esteem and confidence, so in order to boost these things they become controlling and demanding and resort to childlike behavior such as spreading rumors and alienating people on purpose. This behavior has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
The ‘B’ Word
That’s right, we’re talking about boundary setting. You decide where to draw the line, then make sure you stick with it. Any type of interaction that falls out of the scope of the boundaries you’ve set should be ignored. And if the mean girl added you on Facebook, or followed you on Instagram, go ahead and block them so they don’t know details about your personal life. They won’t be the ones applauding anyway, we promise.
If the mean girls double as your co-workers, make sure you’re documenting the behavior so you can report it to human resources.
Confidence is Key
This may be easier said than done, but never let a bully smell your fear. Even if you have to fake it, mean girls are less likely to target a person who appears confident and in control.