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5 Antidotes to the Mean Girls Club

March 28, 2023

I want to explore a subject that may be a little sensitive. The Mean Girls Club. This scary group of girls that work together to bring down the weakest one amongst them. 

 

Somewhere in our past or present we have either been victim to it or party of it—possibly both.

 

The sudden turn of their backs when she enters a room or the whispering behind the hand or maybe it is blowing her up on social media?

This childish bullying, we all have experienced or engaged in during our high school days, carries forth if not unchecked into college and well into the professional workforce and to our new PCS locations.

We need to talk about this and we as leaders, parents, and mothers and friends need to stop it. Don’t engage in it and when we see it happening, we must speak up. It doesn’t seem to go away with age.

 

When do you think this form of psychological bullying suddenly stops?

 

Surely when your immature high schooler goes away to college? Sadly, I see it in my son’s University Parent FB Board today.

Every year I have seen Freshmen girls crying to their helpless parents about how the girls suddenly turned on them for no apparent reason other than the mob mentality has given them license to do so with no ramifications and with no cost.

In their eye, only the benefit of not “hanging out” with this girl anymore is only to have her shunned and abandoned. There is no consideration of her feelings or even what she is to do? The only thing they see is a malicious achievement—a benefit. Likely one they together relish. 

 

What is Shunning?

 

There are cultures who use this technique for purposes of  “discipline, correction or exclusion from the group. It is highly effective and dangerous. Shunning’s purpose is to quell dissent and subject individuals to the will of the group.” 

This is done when someone has done something immoral or against the rules of the faith. This is not deployed when someone is simply unliked.

Sadly, the stories of groups shunning members often ends tragically. 

 

The impact of being turned out casts a dark shadow. 

 

Dr Williams says that the psychological pain from ostracism produces the same patterns in the brain associated with physical pain and that it can be deadly. Women are at risk for suicide, as are men.

His research shows there is a high prevalence of suicidal tendencies among those who have been ostracized.

Do you think this psychological bullying, or “Mean Girl” mentality stops at college graduation when they achieve the honor of a degree, when they display their academic achievement for the world to see?

No, it continues into the workforce and reveals itself in office cliques or ageism with blank stares and eye rolls and lunchtime walks that exclude, inside comments and Inside jokes, connections on social media with some, but not all.

Now these behaviors must be ratcheted up with a technique that is not illegal, or they will be ‘exited,’ but with prowess to leave no trace of proof but deniability. 

 

Will that stop when someone PCSs and finds a new pack of women?

 

It may come in the form of NOTHING. No invitations, no dinners, no night out with the girls.  You are left at home with your dear spouse who brought you to a new location with high hopes that you will suddenly find that group of “nice” women who will take the risk of bringing you in and you take the risk again of testing the waters.

PCSing is tough.

The only way to end this is to be the women who we talk about being. 

I recently read, “You can’t do ugly things and expect to live a beautiful life.” 

There is a cost /benefit ratio to this behavior.  If there was no benefit, the cost would be too great. This is where we need to be. We, as females of any age, need to stop this behavior once seen, and create a cost to this behavior.

Defend the women who are experiencing this.

Don’t sit back and allow it to happen. You may not be in the direct line of fire, but does your guilt by association and silence make you culpable?

Look around and I know you will see it. Bullies don’t like to be called out. Create the cost.

 

Some antidotes to the Mean Girl Club

 

  1. Can you find a way to laugh at it? Likely not a group you would like to be around anyway. *
  2. Is there something within you that you are doing? BRF? Non-conversational? Not willing to share or too scared to trust? Try to see where you are at fault, adjust and go in strong! You will find your group.*
  3. *Love yourself and find time to be happy with yourself. *
  4. Start a fitness and health program. This action will help you both physically and mentally.
  5. Take a risk and call a new acquaintance. Make a date with her and keep it. Aim small, hit small. 

One good friend is better than a sea of not so good friends.

 

As we get older, experience has shown me that small gatherings are much preferred over the large.

If you can reach out to find a single solitary friend at your new PCS location, you will have the opportunity of finding a dear friend at every stop.

We are all out there waiting for the invitations. 

 

 

*For more information about Shunning and the Five Antidotes, visit https://studybuff.com/what-religions-practice-shunning/ *

 

*More about the author can be found @jennymanagofitness or on our Band of Bloggers page

 

 

 

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