Believe it or not, there are mean girls in real life and not just in Hollywood’s archives. When mean girls grow up and leave high school, they aren’t called mean girls anymore. Instead, they are driven, ambitious and often called that little word that rhymes with witch. But if we peel off those outer labels, we will see one that says “mean girl.” Peel that back and there is usually a throbbing wound underneath which is the reason for all the meanness in the first place. Getting to the root cause can often help eliminate the problem.
Once we’ve cleaned out the wound and patched everything up comes the hard work of erasing and changing old habits. Even if we aren’t necessarily mean anymore, those habits will die hard. And some of us probably don’t even think we are mean girls—hence, this article. The first ten will tell us if we are a mean girl or not. If not, why are we reading this? If we are mean, then the second half will give us tips to help reverse those mean habits of ours and start changing things for the better. It’ll likely be a lot of work, but together we can get there and create a positive outcome. So sit back, grab a notepad and start scrolling.
20 What Did You Say To Me?!
We’re the boss around here, officially or unofficially, and no one dares to say no to us. We obviously know what’s best and the direction everyone should be going in. If someone said no, that would mean they are challenging us, and how dare they challenge us? As Bolde puts it, “People don’t say no to you. Because they’re terrified to see what happens if they do.” And well they should be! They haven’t seen the world of hurt they just walked into yet. Of course, there is a chance that they have a legitimate reason for saying no or maybe a good idea they could contribute, but this is my team.
19 What Is A Confidante?
In all the movies, groups of friends all share their secrets with each other. They get emotional support from each other and bond, growing closer than before. As we look around our group of friends, we wonder why no one ever confides in us. They all chatter and talk about mind-numbingly boring topics like work, weight loss goals and their fears of being a new mom. What about the juicy stuff like cheating husbands or affairs? Bolde tells us, “No one wants to confide in you. Even your friends don’t like to tell you when they regress in their life choices because you always seem like you couldn’t care less.”
18 I Don’t Gossip, How Dare You!
We are at book club and Stacy is late. Everyone is speculating, but we know why she’s late. We will let everyone spend a few minutes of theories being thrown around before we drop the bomb and casually mention Stacey’s reason for being tardy. Everyone will clamor around us for the juicy details. Why is Stacy so mad at us? Was that supposed to be a secret? According to Bolde, “When one friend does confide, you turn around and spill the beans pretty much immediately to anyone who will listen – particularly if the secret is about someone you both know.”
17 I’m In It To Win It
Everyone loves a good competition, right? Our neighbor bakes the best cookies ever? Time to learn how to bake. Steven is the reigning Scrabble champion? Not for very much longer. Curtis from downstairs is looking to get that big promotion? He probably doesn’t know that it is already ours. Everything in life is a competition, and we are going to crush the contenders and take home the victory every single time—no matter what the challenge is. According to Love Panky, “Healthy competition can definitely spice up a game of pool or a Call of Duty sesh with your man, but some girls take it too far.”
16 Reigning Queen Of Drama
If someone ever called us a drama queen, we would either own it or be very confused. We aren’t drama queens; we just fix everyone else’s drama. We are always right, and they need to know when they are wrong. It gives our life some excitement and purpose to save people from their own horrible decisions. It’s not our fault that everyone takes our advice the wrong way. As Love Panky puts it, “Wherever the mean girl goes, drama is likely to follow. Since she has to be the center of attention, she will create a scene or start conflict just to insert herself front and center.”
15 I’m Not Controlling
Everything needs to be done our way because it is the right way and everyone else is doing it wrong. Shawn loads the dishwasher the wrong way, Stacy wants her wedding to happen in the spring—which just won’t work for our schedule—and Dennis wants to decide on his own wardrobe choices for the week. What would these people do without our expert guidance and experienced advice? They would make horrible decisions—of course—and then complain. According to Very Well Family, “Some mean girls are very controlling. In their relationships, they are clearly the ones in charge. As a result, other girls willingly follow their lead or risk being forced out of the group.”
14 OMG, So Done With Them
Back in high school, there were six of us and we were so tight. But Amy has become so tiresome lately—we will just not invite her to our annual lunch on Saturday. Maybe after she cleans up her act and gets some new clothes, she can try to come next year. As Bolde describes it, we might be a mean girl if we have “ever purposefully left someone out. Sometimes you just need a break from certain people.” Sure—we used to do that a lot in high school, but people get over it, right? Besides, they know better than to follow our Insta feed and see the party pictures we took without them.
13 A Little Quiet Time Never Hurt Anyone
Gwen has been so annoying lately—time to freeze her out while she gets it together. Shane got into a fight with us last night, so we aren’t talking, even though we have to be at Spencer’s soccer game later. Some people just need a good dose of the silent treatment to realize how wrong they are and how much they will miss us when they finally drive us away with all their issues. According to Bolde, “You’re not above giving the silent treatment. In fact, you think it can be a pretty effective way of letting people know that they really messed up. (Even though you think they should already know anyway.)”
12 Friend Or Foe?
In our line of work, we either have zero female friends (which is so weird—don’t they know what a treasure we are?) or we have a posse. Everyone in the group knows better than to mess with us, and we all look so fabulous all the time. We have very high standards for our appearances and not just anyone can pull the look off. As Café Mom puts it, “But if you have zero women friends because for some reason they don't like you, or you have a posse of PTA moms who follow you around but also annoy the crap out of you, then we need to talk.”
11 Ooh, Let’s Talk Guys!
We are all about the guys. We dated the quarterback in high school and that hot guy in college. Now we are eying up our boss while checking out that guy Maria was talking about. She didn’t want to date him herself, right? He’s way out of her league. It’s a pity that Dave’s friends don’t like us—one of them would’ve been perfect for Maria. According to Love Panky, we are, “The boyfriend stealer. You’ve met a guy, he tells you he has a girlfriend, and you insistently pursue him like you’ve got something to prove! Then, once you get him, you brag about it all over social media just to spite his ex.” Read on for the next ten entries on how to stop being a mean girl!
10 Dial Back The Judgment
We all judge the people around us—consciously or unconsciously. It is not one of our best qualities as human beings, but we can fix it. Instead of verbally judging people, keep those thoughts to ourselves and move on with our day. According to Elite Daily, “It is hard enough being a girl — we deal with periods, makeup and behaving acceptably. All this, combined with the added stress of consistent judgment, is enough to drive anyone insane.” It is one thing to be the mean girl in high school, but in the adult world, we need all the female support we can get.
9 It Is Not A Competition
A lot of us mean girls see other women’s achievements as competition. The reality is that no one is competing against us except ourselves. We don’t need to be the best at what Bethany does or beat Tracy at her hobby just because she is good at it and we aren’t. As Girls Ask Guys puts it, “Too many girls see other girls as competition. I can't help but wonder why we can't get along. I just want you to know I am here for you. It's hard being a girl. Yes, men also have their problems but so do girls. Females need to stick together.”
8 Say Nice Things Or Nothing At All
That was once a golden rule taught by parents to their children. Many of us don’t hear it nowadays, or we “outgrew” it. But if we want to stop being a mean girl—we need to start saying nice things to the people around us instead of mean, cutting remarks. According to Girls Ask Guys, “Girls understand what it feels like to be ecstatic at 8 pm and in tears at 2 am. We recognize the importance of keeping chocolate on hand. And, of course, why it's important to have a variety of romantic comedies to choose from. And it's completely okay to compliment other girls.”
7 Ditch The Jealousy
So now that we aren’t competing against our fellow women—we should work on being jealous of their looks, accomplishments or successes in life. Everyone gets a little jealous sometimes, but some of us take it too far. Sure, we wanted that promotion for ourselves, but Diane earned it. And Sara has always looked good for her age; it is not a good reason to be mean to her. According to Elite Daily, “I believe that if we could eliminate jealousy, backstabbing, name calling and all other petty behaviors that many women employ, not only would we rule the world, but we’d smile and love more abundantly.”
6 Learn To Apologize
On the road to recovery as a mean girl, one of the biggest steps we can take is to contact the people we’ve hurt in the past and apologize to them. They might not accept our apology, but at least we said it and we have a clear conscience now. We did our part to become a better person. As Glamour puts it, “As women, we might be guilty of saying sorry too much, but most of us understand the concept of admitting and moving on. Being able to apologize, fully and honestly, for mistakes you've made or hurt you've caused is a powerful skill to master.”
5 Make New Friends
This sounds easier than it is, but making a new friend while recovering from being a mean girl can really help us change our ways. It is like a fresh canvas. One of our identifying features as a mean girl is that we have a little close group of friends and never let anyone new join us. It is time to break that habit now that we are changing our behaviors. As Elite Daily puts it, “Not allowing a new member into your ‘clique’ is a frequent occurrence. At my age, I assumed this would be a problem of the past, but I’ve witnessed so many women say they don’t like someone purely based upon rumors.”
4 Always Be Kind To Others
We have all heard of that “do one kind deed a day” challenge. Instead of laughing it off or doing a random deed whenever we feel like it, what if we purposefully challenged ourselves to do kind deeds for people around us every day? We could put that competitive drive to good use, and make ourselves happier, too—in the long run of things. Mean girls don’t do kind deeds, and we are done being mean. According to Greater Good, “Two recent studies suggest that giving to others makes us happy, even happier than spending on ourselves. What’s more, our kindness might create a virtuous cycle that promotes lasting happiness and altruism.”
3 Learn To Admit Mistakes
This isn’t easy for anyone, but if we are striving to be the nice girl instead of the mean girl, it is a skill we need to develop. Admitting we were wrong or made a mistake can go a long way toward repairing the relationships in our lives. Other people whom we have hurt will see the change we are striving for and might help us along or give us a second chance. As Huffington Post puts it, “Bottom line, we all need to learn to admit when we are wrong and to take responsibility appropriately. This goes double for those in leadership roles.”
2 Take Rejection Like A Boss
When we—the mean girls—are rejected for something or by someone, we tend to overreact. Everyone around us runs for cover, and we make whoever rejected us pay. As a nice girl, we can’t behave that way anymore. Instead, we need to learn new ways of handling rejection in a calm and healthy way. According to Bolde, “We don’t go crazy over being rejected because we know that it happens to everyone—guys included—and we can’t have it all. There will always be someone who doesn’t like us or understand us, but who cares? We love ourselves for who we are and we’re not changing a thing just to get a guy to love us.”
1 Be Kind To Yourself, Too
Lastly, one of the root causes of being a mean girl is our own deep insecurities. If we take a moment to be kind to ourselves, we can begin to move on and become that nice girl we are striving for. We can practice our new kind deeds on ourselves if we have no friends around. And being kind to ourselves will make us happier in the long run. According to Positivity Blog, “Being kind to yourself in everyday life is in my experience one of the best things you can do for yourself. Life will become lighter and your relationships will most likely improve.”