Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mean Girls

I'm getting tired of the Mean Girls.

Ask any woman and she can tell you a story about Mean Girls. They were the girls who could make you feel small because you wore the wrong shoes or caught the attention of one of "their" boys. They were the ones that always had angry eyebrows and wicked smiles. They came in little nasty clusters of Mean.

A friend told me of a time that a group of Mean Girls threatened to flush her head down the toilet at school so she hid in fear. Another bubbly friend had a story of having Mean Girls in her college dorm set fire to her door posters. Her room mate told her she had been targeted because the other girls thought she was phony and they were all sick of it. Then there's the girl who had to hide in the library for fear of being beaten up because she had made the mistake of becoming a certain boy's girlfriend.

Some Mean Girls have morphed into Mean Moms... Momzillas.

My Twitter buddy, Morningside Mom was sharing about her experiences with Momzillas. The ones that have to make other moms feel less than good about themselves. The ones that critique you indirectly by one-upping every time you bring anything up. Snacks. Bed times. Schools. Vacations. Good Lord, you just don't want to talk to those ladies! Morningside Mom said she just finds reasons to break up with them like time constraints. But what if that mom is on the other end of the couple? For instance, your husband's friend's wife? Uuughhh... I had to deal with that last weekend. You know what? It sucks! I felt like I was on the defensive from the moment we walked in the door. I answered her questions about homeschool and my long trip and having a twenty-year-old at my age very carefully and politely. She softened up a bit when I over-complimented her kids and old mis-matched furniture... (there, now I feel a little better).

Why did she have to rattle my cage so hard???

Did I tell you about the fur flying after BlogHer? Yeah, I know I was on a cloud when I wrote about it on my return. I sort of hinted to one situation. I peeked in on another. But who knew? Okay, so Dooce... I'm a fan. I've found that y'all fall into two camps: Love Her or Hate Her. So, a couple of weeks after we got back, another gal that I was a fan of wrote about her Dooce experience. Apparently, upon being introduced, she was pretty much blown off by Heather. I remembered my Dooce experience and was like, are we talking about the same Heather? Well the blown off fan made it a really big deal eliciting sympathy-for-her-slams-for-Heather comments. I stayed out of it. I didn't really want to pick sides and decided to remain fans of both. But then, for the last couple of months, I've been reading some more of the blown off blogger's stuff. I started seeing a lot of posts that are really just, well... snarky and mean. Her targets have been unschoolers and stay-at-home-dads as well as a poor "friend" that just isn't that into her anymore. She harshly criticizes moms in her neighborhood and in the public eye while she posts pictures of her kids dressed in undies on her blog. Um... Kettle!

So I had to take her off the list.

If you're going to click out of here, I'd prefer it be to give money to Nie Nie or to read about a rockin' mama or to be delighted by a bubbly mom in a pink feather boa.

Why do you think Mean Girls or Momzillas are the way they are? What do you think? Are they jealous? Insecure? Or just born mean? Did their daddies not love them enough or did they learn this behavior from their Momzillas? How did you (or do you) deal with Mean Girls as kids, teens, or co-workers & moms today.

And even though Heather is an Obama fan, Dooce stays on the Blog Roll.


queenoftheclick said...

We all know them.

The funny thing is if you get to have a one on one with a mean girl or a momzilla, they don't realize how awful they can be. In actuality, they think other women are mean to them.

I think it starts out as jealousy and insecurity as a young girl and then just turns into a habit.

So what do you do about it? Just look away, press delete and ignore them. If you had a day left to live, would you give them even one second of your time? Of course not. Silly people aren't worth your time. Cling to your family, real friends and God - that's all that's important.

And even though I am an Obama fan, I'm sure you will forgive me. I live in Liberal NYC and I am a product of society. I like reading Dooce's blog. I don't know people get so riled up over her writing. It's just a blog.

Kate said...

I can totally relate to what you are saying! At the moment I have a mean girl in my life. She's my DH's cousin and also the wife of one of his best friends so I can't find a way to conveniently ignore her, but if I could, I would in a heartbeat. I don't know about other mean girls but this one seems to have a major problem with other women. It's hard to explain but I suppose it's like a weird form of competitiveness, as though her self-esteem is so low she makes sure she is the funniest, prettiest, most interesting woman in a room by driving every other woman away. Quite sad really.

Caroline said...

Rock on Sugar. Yes. I am so DONE with mean. I just don't get it. What is accomplished by that sort of 'tude? How is it constructive? How can you feel good at the end of the day after stewing in such negativity??? Enough already. Grow the hell up, I say!

Its funny you mention the other end of a couple. I am struggling with that one myself. I dare not blog about it either b/c she reads every word I write. Because she likes to gossip about me. I know she does. She is very proud to say how much bigger her home is and point out that my Thomas the tank engine tracks are the dollar store kind. She tears down my "at home" birthday party b/c it made my house messy (which she commented on LOUDLY). She is bubbling over with insecurity - clearly - and seems focused on me as a target. Huh? It's exhausting, I just flee from her...

Prob is? Her husband is so awesome, so nice, so GOOD. I kinda have a crush on him, and so does my husband. But we don't see him as much as we'd like - for obvious reasons.

And now I worry I am being snarky and a mean girl. But can't I vent about a mean girl? Can I do it and not be be mean tho?

My best defense is to not let it get to me. "Yeah, I got this TV stand at Target, isn't it AWESOME!?" No shame in my TV stand, thank you very much. She seems caught off guard when I don't - outwardly - let her get to me. How can I live with myself and my dollar store train tracks? Doing just great, lol, thanks.

Anyway, thank you for letting me vent here. You, my friend, are a "nice girl".

Debbie said...

I'm pretty sure they are just very insecure. That by no means justifies their meanness. I have tried to teach my kids to avoid this - don't put others down to make yourself look better because you just look horrible. Great post.

Mutha Mae said...

Bubbly pink feather boa girl, here. Thanks for referring to my story and my website.

Mean girls get their power and their importance by putting down others. These are people who can't find strength from within, so they take it from others. Maybe they have overbearing husbands or bosses or family members and this is how they get that feeling of control they lack in their everyday lives. Being mean boosts their sense of self. It makes them feel important, alive, powerful, and in control.

Mean girls will fight to the death claiming they are just being honest. They are just saying what they feel. They are just being true to themselves. They can't think of puppies and sunshine 24 hours a day. Well, no one can. Some of us just choose to keep those thoughts and actions to ourselves.

I'm sorry I can't finish my thought. I'm mesermized by queenoftheclick's animated avatar. The blowing of hearts is so cool. And hey, it sums up what I'm trying to say. Put love out there and you'll get love in return. Send out hate and the universe will give you more hateful opportunities.

Sara said...

Unfortunately my sil is the momzilla. But then every once in a while she does something fantastically generous/nice. I think it's just to keep me guessing! LOL. I've just stopped answering her calls, and responding with email. I think she got the hint.

D'Arcy said...

Yeah, I know them.

And I believe in KARMA....

In fact, usually, their lives are their just reward. People who are mean usually aren't that happy and thus have to put others down to try and raise themselves up.

Glad you and me don't roll that way.

Suz said...

This is quite a post. And I must say, I have missed reading you....I have been in and out...I must get back IN.
I hate the haters. The Momzillas. The Mean girls. They have been at me since I was in 6th grade.
i don't know why....I know I am smarter, kinder, funnier.....but still they are just meaner and somehow that bothers me...
I will ponder this some more. Thanks for bringing it up. You are such a gem. :)

PhineasPoe said...

This phenomenon is not limited to just the females of the species. While, in my experience, it's not dads one upping each other over child care men are quite adept at this behavior. It usually comes at work but I have encountered it in other situations including at church. And it can be about anything really: the way you look, your job, your politics, the car you drive or the life you lead.

I think some people are just scared of differences. If you aren't exactly like them they would rather heap scorn on you than try to understand you. And it's sad because the most interesting people I've had the pleasure of knowing were very different than me. It's unfortunate that those people will never know what that's like.

Rock and Roll Mama said...

Wow! Thanks so much for the shout-out, I greatly appreciate it! Thankfully, I think I paid my dues with mean girls in junior high and now they steer clear of me.

i did have an extensive run-in with one a few years back that was very, very bad- and what I learned is that you can't cure other people's crazy, but you can learn to stay the heck away from them. SO that's what I did, although it felt like she was "winning." But my blood pressure improved drastically. :)Great post, Thank you!

FancyLori said...

I've always believed it was insecurity. If you are secure with yourself and happy with who you are, then what's the point in trying to bring other people down? No person who is truly at peace with themselves has any reason to pick fights in an attempt to boost their own egos. It's a waste of time and energy. And, in the end, it just makes them look bad.
What do I to deal with mean girls/moms? Besides ignoring them? Why, I just sit back and wait. They always bring themselves down with their own actions. It is inevitable. And often hilarious.;)

Anonymous said...

I think you nailed it, insecurity and jealousy. Poor things, you just have to feel sorry for them. I've had people get upset with me because I won't allow my kids to eat junk food, and I think it's because they feel guilty that they do...weird, I know. I also think they learned it from their moms. I have a friend that is very critical and then I met her mom and I found out why.

To Think is to Create said...

OH yes, the mean girls continue, and always will. I posted about this a while back here:

In the end, the only way for the mean girls to have "power" is to give it to them. I am getting better and better at not giving it to them. ;) Almost there...

Ann said...

Oh wow, do I have a thing about Mean Girls. I am a girl's girl and a guy's girl. Mean Girls make me crazy - I will NOT have them in my sphere, I think they are absolutely toxic human beings. I think Momzillas are insecure, status-driven, and shallow - I truly fear for their children.

I have to laugh at that person's reaction to Heather - it just reeks of jealousy and more. What was she expecting - an invite to dinner for pete's sake? Probably. Obviously, that person enjoys back-stabbing and was all geared up to do so with Heather as well. Can you say predictable?

I deal with them by keeping them as far from me as possible, period. They are so easy to spot, so obvious - and I really won't make exceptions. Yuck.

Good N Crazy said...

Funny. Momzillas eh? That's a new term for it all.

Plus I think the whole email/blog thing gives us a big step away from reality and can say anything we it comes out maybe stronger than we mean to sometimes?

But I hear you.

I get all angry at things, and sometimes my email gets sent off before I think, and I then I if I were in person I would NEVER have done that?

but the negative blogs...they get old and hard to keep reading. seems like they started out funny and get darker and darker...which reminds me..I need to go see if mine's gotten too dark lately..!

Plus I have a 6th grade girl this year and am bracing for the 'crap' to begin...

JEANNE said...

I loved this post - I was bullied like mad by mean girls in high school, and looking back, am pretty happy about it: because being on the "outside" of a clique gives you persepective (i.e. you're not "blind" and can learn).

Now if I ever have to deal with a Momzilla (or Dadzilla ;-) the end result is that I'm glad I'm not like her/him, and I feel even better about who I am!! lol

the humble one said...

I encountered a girl from work that was very catty and manipulative. I couldnt believe how many followers she had, i mean she singled me out at my work, and it was hard to believe, cuz i worked at a school, and the teachers that i worked with were rude and made a lot of sarcastic remarks. This girl in particular though was not attractive, but she was loud and she was the type that needs to be the center of attention. She seemed very insecure cuz she would constantly talk about herself,but what i find very comical is that she would say things behind my back and say that im ugly, but she would copy my hairstyles, which i didnt get.
I even confronted this girl twice about my feelings and if she could quit the sarcastic and catty bullshit, but she denied that she was doing any of that. And from then on she gossiped to my coworkers by saying that i am too sensitive and she continued to make sarcastic remarks by making herself feel like te victim and blaming me for acting immature!-I really dont get it!!
However, i did imply to a coworker that girls are mean cuz of thier own insecurities. And this made things worse, this particular girl was in soo much doubt that she was insecure and was angry that i had made the comment.
So my best advice and from what i have learned is to stay the hell away from insecure girls, and i have good radar when it comes to them. Insecure girls feel superior towards the more humble and innocent girls that maybe more intelligent, be better looking, or are more successful. They like to single out girls that are vulnerable and that seem different. Most importantly they single out girls that have doubt in thier character!! No matter how hard i try to change girls' insecurities, there is just no way, cuz they need constant re-assurance and they need attention!And there is way to much competition, girls need to understand that everyone has flaws so then why must we put each other down or judge each other!- no one deserves to be dehumanized or made to feel inferior!! We need to come together and support one another!