How To Handle Yourself Around Mean Girls

Think of your last encounter with a “mean girl”. How did you feel during and after the exchange? Did you make a mental note to come up with ideas on how to handle mean girls next time? After one of my experiences, I did.

I was wearing a cute dress and felt strong and solid in my shoes when from left field came a catty comment from a woman I had just met. An outlier comment in stark contrast to the social pleasantries I had received throughout the party as I was introduced to people for the first time. I raised my eyebrows in shock, and sarcastically, defensively replied, “Whoa, nice meeting you too,” as I gulped the last swig of cabernet. It was not my best reaction and sarcasm is not my best color.

I paused and realized that I had two choices: let it bug me or let it go. In a previous situation when a woman attempted to ruffle my feathers and smooth her own in one mean girl-esque swoop, I had figuratively stumbled back and most likely headed to the bar for a shot to numb the sting.


How To Handle Yourself Around Mean Girls

  1. Be aware that in putting you down, she is just trying to bring herself up.

This time, however, instead of numbing out I decided to look closer and recalled that when someone makes a comment like that, it could be due to the fact that they feel threatened by you. Upon realizing this, instead of feeling hurt, I felt compassion for her. She had jabbed at me in order to feel better about herself. It has nothing to do with me. Instead of feeling like I got punched in the gut, this awareness allowed me to let it go, like a feather floating off of my shoulder into the air. I even felt myself thinking: I genuinely hope she feels better about herself. Everyone is doing their best from their current level of awareness

  1. Smile.

Smiling relieves stress, which is good for you. When things are feeling heavy, lighten the mood with a smile or something that will make you giggle. Make it fun again.

  1. Discover something impressive.

Ask thoughtful questions about her life and you may be able to identify an inspiring accomplishment. Who knows, you may even feel grateful for the inspo and use it to fuel trying a new painting class/bike ride/book.

  1. Take care of you.

Go do something that makes you feel great! If you are still out, hit the dance floor. Take a lap. Get some water. Mingle with others. If you are home, draw a bath. Crack open your book. Doodle or journal. Clean. Take an action that betters your day. Self-love is top priority.

mean girls


Image:  Celestine Chua

Kelly Christiansen

A top columnist at MsCareerGirl, marketing guru Kelly Christiansen has 10+ years of strategic leadership experience and is a Senior Marketing Strategist on the Health Care team at Kahler Slater, an architecture firm in Wisconsin. An avid reader, runner, and recipe experimenter, you can follow Kelly on twitter @kellymc247

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