College Diary: The Mean Girl Complex
'Reality check: Mean girls exist at all ages and in nearly every situation you will ever be in. You know the type, power hungry, seemingly put together and overall fake girls. They are good at being nice when they need to be because that is how it works. They can't always be bitchy or they would not have their followers. It is mind-blowing to me that girls still act like this past middle school because it is clearly just the result of their own unresolved past issues. Often the biggest bullies are the ones that have been viciously torn down at some point in their lives.
This was me in middle school. I was insanely insecure but, realized that I could influence people. This resulted in me being a tyrant to everyone else because that was better than being treated poorly. Having a sense of power when you feel powerless is incredibly appealing. In this sense, I really identify to "mean girls" because I was the mean girl.
I realized that I had a lot of issues I needed to deal with. "Mean girls" are the product of being insecure and hurt and are often girls that are desperate to claim some sort of power, voice or influence. They have yet to come to terms with their complete story or their sense of self. My heart goes out to these people and the fact that they are constantly fighting some personal demon. The unfortunate aspect to this complex is that a lot of mean girls don't realize the driving force that makes them act the way they do. This is where some serious self-reflection and ownership for their actions is needed.
How Can You Handle "Mean Girls" ?
1. AVOID: Normally I am not one to say to avoid a situation however, in the case of mean girls this is your best bet. AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THEIR DRAMA. If they are a person that brings anxiety, stress and self-doubt to your life, REMOVE THEM FROM YOUR LIFE. As crazy as it may sound, you are in control of your own life. You and only you dictate what type of life you lead. YOU chose the people you want to be surrounded by. Why would that group of people ever intentionally include someone that tears you down?
2. CONFRONT: Now, hear me out on this one. Confrontation in any situation can be absolutely terrifying. The easiest way to approach this is by acknowledging what YOU are feeling and NOT accusing them of actions. The minute you accuse someone else of something, they stop listening and start defending. If you start any confrontational interaction by using the phrase "I felt/feel ________ when, ________ happened" you are 1000 times more likely to open up a conversation. That being said, mean girls are often irrational and it is important to stand up for yourself and make sure YOUR NEEDS ARE BEING MET! Asking for what you want does not make you a bitch, it means you are strong enough to stand up for yourself. You are a person. You have the right to be acknowledged and heard. You have value and you deserve to fight for your value.
3. LET IT BE: Being the bigger person can be tremendously difficult yet it is a massive sign of maturity. As I mentioned earlier, most mean girls are not in a mental space to handle their mean-ness. It often takes a bigger person like YOU to realize they have their own stuff to handle and it has nothing to do with YOU. Is it unfair they take their insecurities out on you? YES. Do you deserve to be belittled? NO. It is extremely helpful to acknowledge and understand that people act in certain ways based on their personal experiences in life. Each person has a story that makes them, them. Being able to identify and empathize is the best way to understand someone and not take everything so personally.
While we will never be able to escape the mean girls of the world, our best bet in surviving is by keeping an open and nonjudgmental mind about it. Most importantly, do not stoop to their level. As difficult as it may be, it is important to attempt to understand people and why they make the decisions they do. That being said, remember you control your life. Surround yourself with the people that you enjoy being around. Follow your happiness and encourage others to do the same.