As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, there shouldn’t be a need for an article on “mean girls”, right? Unfortunately, yes there is. This phenomenon exists in wards and in other church circles just like elsewhere else. Mean girls are just that—girls/women who are mean to each other in certain ways mainly particular to females. This “mean” treatment of others hits a peak in the junior high and high school years, although it generally begins in elementary school and can extend with some women their entire lives. The purpose of this article is to explore the mean girl phenomenon and give you ideas on how to more effectively deal with such treatment. For men, the “mean girls” phenomenon is helpful to understand when your girlfriend or wife is either engaging in it and/or the victim of it. Rather than ignoring it or pretending it isn’t happening, men can challenge and offer support when these traits surface.
What Are “Mean Girls”:
The idea of “mean girls” is not new. However, the concept became mainstream with the release of the 2004 movie “Mean Girls” featuring Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey. In this movie, the Lohan character Cady is new to a high school where her initial friends inform her about the main mean girls clique there that has caused so much pain to others. The mean girls are lead by Regina George and her minions Karen and Gretchen. Cady decides to take the challenge of infiltrating this mean girls clique to enact some kind of revenge on them for the pain and suffering they have caused so many. In the process of doing so, she learns all about, challenges, and eventually exposes this clique.
Through this process the audience learns all about the composition of and tactics of a clique of mean girls. Basically, there is the narcissistic “queen bee” leader (Regina) who, with her good looks, strong personality, and trend setting, makes all of the main decisions and sets the trends for both the group, as well as those out of the group wishing for her acceptance. The “minions” Karen and Gretchen are her main followers/enablers that conform to what Regina wants and does what she says. They do this in exchange for being included in the group and for the popularity and fun Regina generates as the leader. Cady infiltrates the group and also becomes a new supposed follower. Everyone else apart from the group is treated as an outsider to be excluded, backbitten, ridiculed, looked down upon, and treated as “less than”. Being excluded from the group causes much pain and esteem issues with everyone else, illustrating the hurtful and destructive nature of such mean girls cliques.
Ideas to Deal With Mean Girls:
*Learn about mean girls. Below are resources about mean girls that you can review to learn more about this phenomenon to better assess it and deal with it when it happens.
*Take away their power. When you are polite and civil to mean girls, but keep your space from them and find other friends, this takes away the power of the mean girls. When women act in ways showing they are not interested in trying to be accepted by the mean girls, the mean girls lose their power, control, and influence, as well as their ability to exclude. You can’t be excluded when you aren’t trying to be included and you don’t care.
*Don’t allow them to trigger emotional reactions in you—at least that they notice. When they go out of their ways to show you are not included and accepted by them, never allow them to see or hear you hurt, angry, or frustrated about this. Act like you don’t notice. It truly frustrates them and shows they can’t “get your goat” or “push your buttons”. Because if they see they can get under your skin and get you to feel badly, you have given them power and it all gets worse.
*Make friends outside of the clique. Look for women you click with apart from the mean girls and spend time with them. Show yourself and the mean girls that you will not clamor for their attention and acceptance and that there are other social options you prefer.
Mean Girl Resources:
Mean Girls (2004)
She’s All That (1999)
Mean Girls Grown Up by Cheryl Dellasega (about adult women)
Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman (about teen girls)
Little Girls Can Be Mean by Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert (about young girls)
Knowledge is power. Learning about mean girls can help you to either not act that way, not be victimized by it, or help others dealing with it. To ignore this phenomenon or worse, enable it and foster it, keeps these problems going. Such relational dynamics will not be a part of the Celestial Kingdom where all will be kind, loving, accepting, and accepted. No one will be excluded or made to feel not good enough. But until we get there (hopefully), mean girls tactics exist in this world and need to be deal with. Please do so to improve your life and the life of those around you. And remember, in the end, “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2020-10-25||Randy Gilchrist||Dating, Marriage preparation|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).