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Mean Girls Suck! Tips For Dealing With Relational Aggression.

🥺⁉️Female rivalry and mean girls. It’s more than competition. It’s the backhanded compliment, fake smile, passive-aggressive comment, and takedown that occurs behind closed doors. It’s happening everywhere. In your workspace, community groups, even on the soccer field with another mom. A formal name for this sneaky type of mean girl behavior is called, ‘relational aggression,’ and is defined as,

a form of covert or indirect aggression or bullying in which harm is caused through damage to relationships or social status within a group, rather than through physical violence.”

‼️This behavior is not exclusive to females but it’s readily associated with them, especially for school-aged girls. However with young girls, this is often, unfortunately, a learned behavior from a prominent adult figure. Female rivalry is boundless. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and frequently starts at a very young age. It’s unbiased, doesn’t discriminate, and no age, culture or demographic is off limits.

It’s a type of behavior where feeling can be expressed without bringing a lot of attention to oneself because it’s typically passive aggressive in nature. And if you’re on the receiving end of it – you know. You’ll feel confusion, shame, and that you’re very much alone. Additionally, there are a lot of mental health impacts associated with mean girls and female bullying.

‼️In groups of women you routinely see the moment when the frenemy claws come out. The stance becomes a bit straighter, there’s a bit of perceived, light-hearted laughter and then BAM! The passive-aggressive remark made to let the other female know. The one-up, to not-so-lightly say, “I’m better that you, because I’m on this path and you’re not.” It a dig for awareness, power and to make herself feel better. To demonstrate to everyone else that we’re friends having a nice, pleasant conversation and everything is just fabulous. But really it’s not. And really, we aren’t friends.

Here are a few examples of how mean girl behaviors, or relational aggression, can rear its ugly head,

  • Exclusion

  • Gossiping

  • Cyber-bullying

  • Silent treatment

  • Gas-lighting

  • Intimidation

  • Conditional friendship

Linda Stade further explains the difficulty and concept of conditional friendship as it pertains to young girls,

“When there are unspoken rules about behavior and ‘going along’ with the group. It’s why many lovely girls behave very poorly. Inclusion is incredibly important to their developing psyche and they will do anything to remain within the inner circle.”

⁉️Are you or someone you know, dealing with a mean girl? Here are a few tips about how to address the negative behavior,

  • Document it: These types of behaviors are frequently intangible. Documenting what’s happening can help to produce patterns.

  • Recognize what you can control: You only have control over you own behavior and how you react to the situation.

  • Disengage: A way to stop mean-girl bullying behaviors is to remove the audience. Put an end to it, by not participating.

  • Recognize the intent: Try to tackle the underlying cause, to better understand why the behavior is occurring.

  • Address it one-on-one: A private conversation doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome, it does however, mean you’re doing what you can, to try and modify a negative situation.

  • Stand up for yourself: It’s hard to do, but defending yourself by being assertive and self-confident can help to set clear boundaries. Especially if not visible to others you may be the only one who can protect, YOU.

⁉️Have you ever dealt with a mean girl? If so, what did you find to be the most useful thing to stop the negative behavior? Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you!

You already are. It’s time TO BE.♥️

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about how to deal with female frenemies, follow me on LinkedIn! Stay tuned for my blog out next week about the impacts of female rivalry, you’re not alone.

I say that it’s time to be different. It’s time to talk about what female rivalry is, to know how to break it down one action at a time.


⁉️Interested in learning how ‘female rivalry’ impacts the workplace? 🎉DOWNLOAD my FREE .pdf guide, ‘5 Reasons WHY Good Women Walk’ to learn more!


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