Hilarious movie, but not so fetch in real life.
We’ve all been victimized by them, but we’ve also been one at some point in our lives. We hate being the source of their hella-viscous attacks, yet ironically join in for the kill when the queen drags in a bleeding carcass. I can speak from both ends of my mouth about this because I am a recovering mean girl. I wanted to get off my terrifyingly rocky and gossip filled tug boat to board that stable badass-babe-tribe cruise line full of support and love instead.
Our favorite female catalysts flood our social feeds with inspiring and uplifting stories about women conquering the world together. We give an overwhelming HELL YEAH and pump our fist to the sky and swear off all negativity from here on out. But when it comes down to the real-life, nitty gritty, in the moment, ride or die confrontation; that’s when our claws come out.
No … scratch that. that’s when our INSECURITIES come out.
Life can seem so beautiful and humble until a harmless trip to the grocery store grants you a run-in from some unfriendly Mean Girls who put a little salt on your insecurity stick.
It goes a little something like this:
Mean Girls (in not so quiet voices):
“Um did you see that lady? Her baby is throwing snacks EVERYWHERE. She clearly has no clue what she’s doing and needs to control her toddler AND that grocery cart. She almost just took out that old lady! I would NEVER let my kid have my phone just to shut him up. That’s just bad parenting. I mean, how am I supposed to shop for my whole wheat, low fat, raspberry mustard whip while her crazy kid is dancing to that baby shark do do do do song in the middle of the aisle?
OK. You DID NOT just tell me to control my kid when I am clearly balls deep in a puffs explosion from my 8 month old while trying to corral my 2 year old back into the impossible-to-steer blue toy car cart. Meanwhile, I accidentally bumped into the marshmallow display; which, in turn tripped the old lady picking up her fiber supplement and face cream. So sorry about that jet puffed shit-storm, Ethel.
So how about you help me out next time instead of watching me drown in the viciously fickle sea of Motherhood. You remind me of those people who stand in front of the door waiting for you to get out of the store while you use your butt as a door stop, push the stroller with one hand and pull your toddler by the hood with the other. No that’s ok, I’ll get the door for YOU. I swear there’s a special place in hell for those terd rockets.
This little rant was sponsored by the insecurity of not being a good Mother. Yep, what it all boils down to is the fear of everyone seeing you at your worst and that you’re doing everything wrong. You fear those girls telling all their friends, family and co-workers about the terrible Mother they saw in the Grocery store. You think, “Oh my God, this is going viral and I look like the Wicked Witch of the West trying to run a daycare.”
This uneasy feeling starts to spiral when another Mean Girl puts a sarcastic comment on your social media because heaven-forbid your son still uses a pacifier at the age of two. Oh and don’t even think about bringing up your new fitness initiative if someone else isn’t on the same health train as you. Then a co-worker or friend starts the who-has -it-worse game and you have to try and play to catch up to her bad day. “Oh my god, you’re never going to believe what happened to me at the grocery store today …”
There is your uninspired recipe for a bad day.
It’s those quick hits of pain that somehow make us feel like the only way we can connect with people is through our sharing of needless suffering. That’s when we start entering the ring of hate and put up our fisticuffs, ready for a meaningless fight.
It’s those small defeats, those subtle hints of sarcasm and that one person that can make us feel insecure and fearful. It gives us the illusion that we are not good moms, that we are wasting our time to better ourselves, or that everything we do is wrong and nothing is right. Every time we get angry, our fight or flight response comes on and we throw on our extra gear and start to play defense.
When someone belittles you for something, whether it be about Motherhood, your goals in life, or just about you in general; it’s actually a strong signal coming from the other person that they are fearful of you overshadowing them in some way. When someone talks about you behind your back and starts taking you down to China town, they want other people to see your faults and short comings and bring you down to THEIR expectations. They’re trying to take you down to a level that makes them look better than you and their level is pretty low, so it’s not that hard.
If you are a part of a tribe that talks about other people and constantly puts others down, go Dances with Wolves on their asses and get a new tribe.
The 3 types of Mean Girls & how to lead them to their spirit walk:
1. WRETCHED REGINA
She is the ring leader. This is her circus and you are her flying monkeys. She will be the one to bring up the feast of choice and she will be the one to end it with one last painful bite of her fangs.
In Lori Harder’s book, A Tribe Called Bliss (oh my God, get this book!), she explains the Regina’s of the world as the equivalent to fast food meals. They keep coming back for more because it’s quick, it’s cheap and it’s junk. That quick hit only lasts for so long until they start to feel their crown of crispy burnt French Fries start to slip and have to start holding Ronald’s clown shoes for ransom until they can get their next fix.
GUILTY. Although I can only count a few occasions when I have been the Regina, I still plead among the condemned. And it made me feel like the shittiest person alive. It just didn’t feel right. I mean, don’t get me wrong, AT THE TIME, it felt good to connect with someone who you have been trying to get close with for so long. You start to agree with them because you now have a commonality that makes you feel closer to that person. That vapid connection wares off quicker than dollar store lipstick and leaves you with a stain of regret and a cheap smear of remorse on your face.
Just know that if she talks about others to you, then you will eventually be on the menu for an upcoming feast.
How to lead Regina to her Spirit Walk:
Deep down inside, Regina is extremely hurt. Whether it was from how she was raised, a catastrophic event that happened in her life, or maybe it’s a pain you have no clue that she is journeying through. Regardless, she is battered and bruised on the inside and hides it under layers of sarcasm, regret, and a painful past. Have you ever heard the saying that hurt people hurt people?
Regina needs love above all. She is scared of not being the best and not becoming the highlight of everyone’s day. She needs to dig deep and uncover the gleaming possibilities and securities in her insecure world. She thinks her competition is everyone else when in fact, she should be focusing on becoming better than the person she was yesterday.
You’ve got this, girl. Shine bright and become the hero to your own self. Forgive and start conquering your world with love.
2. VALERIE THE VICTIM:
She’s the one that never does anything wrong and it’s always someone or something else’s fault. The world is out to get her and she can’t do anything about it. I HATE this girl the most because I was her. I exaggerated stories and put down others just because it validated my actions/excuses. If one of my friends had a success that I was after but failing at, I secretly resented them and would be the one to say, “That’s so awesome! (with the clenched teeth smile) I can’t believe you lost 20 pounds! But now you can’t drink anymore right? That sucks. I love drinking too much to get skinny so cheers to your water!”
Guess who is the water girl now.
The truth: Other people’s success made me feel inadequate with whatever my current endeavors were at the time.
How to Lead Valerie to her Spirit Walk:
Once she can unleash her inner badass biotch to give her fragile, victimized little self a kick in the padded bra; she realizes that SHE is the owner of her life. Not you, not her family, not her “friends”, SHE needs to start steering this ship! Once she understands that no one else is going to support her dreams except herself, then she will become unstoppable. She is so enamored with deflating other people’s balloons that she doesn’t have time to fill up her own. Once she reveals the power within herself to unleash helium hell on her dreams, is when Mr. Fredrickson will be calling her to hitch a ride the next time he decides to go on a crusade to Paradise Falls. She needs to find her calling in life and attack it relentlessly. That’s when she can earn her gold star and ticket out of the mean girls tribe.
Onward, sister. The world needs more passionate people like you.
3) SIDE CAR SALLY
She is just along for the ride. She rolls up on a Wednesday in her pink hoodie, drinking a Double tall non fat mocha skinny vanilla latte, and nervous laughs at every joke to let people know she’s a part of the tribe. She’s like a strategically placed ornament that is just there for show. She doesn’t have a mind of her own so she plays along hoping to fit in just so she can have a crew to call her own. I’ve been there, too. Sally has a fear of not being loved, a fear of not fitting in, and a strong fear of being rejected.
How to Lead Sally to her Spirit Walk:
The thing is, this chick has some serious talents and a uniqueness about her that no one else has. But because she’s so different, she feels like she doesn’t fit in, so she hides her true self to fit into the mold society told her she needs to be. Her talents and characteristics are so unique and so enthralling! Yet, she is scared other people won’t accept her if those talents are too off key or not exactly what the masses wanted. She quits when things get tough and doesn’t understand just how much she is worth. The Regina’s beat her down into her little side cart of pity and Sally allows it. She needs to secure her insecurities with boundaries so people don’t walk all over her anymore. When she can understand her self worth and importance, she will realize that she is worth more than all the double-mocha-whatever-the-hells in the world! Once she can find her purpose, she will have accomplished life.
She did it! She hit level 100! She saved the princess.
I have been all of these mean girls and I have been/currently am being preyed on by all of them. But the truth is, most of us have been in all of these places and on both ends of the broomstick. My hope is that you can read this with your hopeful eyes relating to one of them and wanting to board this badass boss babe cruise line yourself. Or maybe you’re trying so hard to read this with a critical eye while you sway savagely on your rocky tug boat. AYE AYE CAP’N! You do you girl, but just know that there is a change sweeping the nation of positive and supportive chicks. It’s no longer fetch to be a mean girl. There is too much insecurity, negativity, and self hate on social media and in the mirror. We don’t need it with our loved ones and co-workers, too.
So where do we go from here?
We start to listen. We start noticing when these conversations are coming up in our circles and when we’re being sucked in like a pair of Spanx that we borrowed from our skinny friend. Start to notice when this cheap talk arises in your tribe. Take notice as to who is leading them and either: step away, say something, or simply start with being conscious of how these gossip sessions make you feel during and after the slaughter. If you are the fire starter in this gossipy hell, then take notice of that and look deep down inside to see what insecurity you’re trying to hide by burning that “witch” at the stake.
I once witnessed a dear friend of mine stand up for a person being verba-lisciously beaten down. She stepped in to say, “please stop talking about her.” I will never forget that moment because someone finally stood up to Mama Bear. BOOM! Conversation ended, awkwardly, but efficiently. Everyone nervously took a drink and we started on a new and more positive path. Later on when we were alone, I told my friend how much I admired her because (back then) I would have just agreed with Regina and laughed at the malicious joke even when I felt uncomfortable about the conversation. At that time I didn’t want to seem like the outcast. My friend replied with these beautiful words,”It’s not fair because that person wasn’t there to defend herself. She doesn’t deserve that, no one does.”
The magical part about this friend…
Even when I start going on my rampages about someone (because my insecurities are blaring bright red for all the town-folk to see), she has never said one bad thing about the person I am trying to roast. She helps me to release my fangs and see things from my victim’s point of view.
You go, Glen Coco!
So start by listening and reassessing. This shit is hard. No, I mean like REALLY HARD. Especially when your natural tendency is to complain about EVERYONE or to not say anything just to fit in. This is something that will always be a work in progress for me and something that will eventually get better as the cheerleader inside my head starts chanting Tony Robbins quotes and back-flipping buckets of grateful affirmations to extinguish my fiery soul.
The refreshing part about this journey is that once you start to recognize these situations, you can start to take the power away from them.
Lori Harder explains this so well in her book, A Tribe Called Bliss, (for the love of God GET THIS BOOK!)
-If you’re feeling judged and criticized it’s because you’re doing this to yourself, others or both. How we view others is how we view ourselves. The more critical you are of others, the more you think people are criticizing you. The more you judge others, the more evidence gathered that people are judging you. The more you compare yourself, the more you fall short and feel compared. Replace the judgments and comparison with compassion.
Instead of “she’s only doing that to show off” replace it with, “good for her for trying to better herself. What am I doing to better MYSELF?” See the differences in others and be grateful for those differences.
-Change and give up your comforts. In order to live in your authentic truth, you must be able to: walk alone, be courageous, be disruptive and disliked, be vulnerable, take responsibility, stop judging, stop complaining and stop blaming. Consult your inner guide before every decision, have daily rituals that keep you connected to your truth, adopt your own definition of authenticity and run with it. -Lori Harder.
Talking bad about someone else is the equivalent to squeezing your butt cheeks in white yoga pants. It exposes the insecurities that you’re trying to hide. -Me