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mean girls at work

(67 Posts)
bullseye2018 Sun 03-Mar-19 04:55:16

I’ve read a lot about mean girls at work because I’m struggling not to let the mean girls I work with get to me. Some theories suggest they target those they feel threatened by (more capable, more well-liked, more attractive), whereas others suggest they target weak/vulnerable women (submissive, less attractive, isolated).

Guess I’m curious to know what others think is the reality. And, given that, what characteristics might help buffer women from becoming the target.

ColeHawlins Sun 03-Mar-19 05:21:06

Are you writing an article?

NChangeForNoReason Sun 03-Mar-19 05:29:33

Good luck with the book hmm

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 05:30:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Dimsumlosesum Sun 03-Mar-19 05:33:04

Such a misogynist post angry

Reccy2018 Sun 03-Mar-19 05:33:30

^^ this

coffeeeandtv Sun 03-Mar-19 05:38:14

I have also been very interested in the notion of 'mean girls' for the last couple of years after being 'gaslighted' by other mums on the school playground. I ruminated for a while, observed every aspect of my life from my friends, work colleagues to family relationships and realised that actually there isn't one actual reason for the 'mean girls' to act like they do, it's just part of their personality rather than an actual thought about and planned action. They probably do have vindictive/jealous personalities but refuse to recognise this, for me I have focused on my own actions and reactions, my well worn phrase is 'it says more about them than you'. I show kindness in my words and actions and refuse to join in their nastiness, you would be amazed how quickly they move away when you don't fuel their games. You genuinely can't do anything to stop yourself from becoming the target, working on your own self esteem really helps and what I found enlightening was actually hearing what was being said behind my back as it was so untrue it was laughable. I totally sympathise as you are in work for a large part of your day and I appreciate how much this affects your confidence, I realised with certain friends, colleagues and family that I couldn't beat them so I just avoid them.

bullseye2018 Sun 03-Mar-19 05:52:46

Not writing a book, no. Just a woman trying to understand why the women I work with target me and others like me.

Sad to deal with mean girls here when I’m trying to understand the ones I work with.

bullseye2018 Sun 03-Mar-19 05:54:59

Thanks for your comment @coffee. I’ve tried most of what you’ve tried, but I feel like taking the higher ground seems to fire them up more. It is very hard when you have to be in such close proximity to them all day.

bullseye2018 Sun 03-Mar-19 06:02:50

Also @coffee, I’ve also found that I just feel like a total idiot when I find those I show a genuine interest in and feel I have had a nice conversation with have then just turned around and mocked me, stabbing me in the back with another mean girl. I try to dissect what I could have said that could be the subject of such cruelty but I’m at a loss. I asked a girl early last week how her holiday had gone and told her she looked very rested. She then spent the afternoon taking the piss out of me with another woman. Made me wish I had saved my breath. Why? Though reading over what I just wrote I feel like more of an idiot to be so upset about something that is not at all a surprise.

ColeHawlins Sun 03-Mar-19 06:10:19

* Sad to deal with mean girls here when I’m trying to understand the ones I work with.*

Maybe you're over sensitive?

Your OP was oddly phrased for someone seeking advice for themselves.

bullseye2018 Sun 03-Mar-19 06:15:33

“Over sensitive”. That old chestnut. After a shit work experience I just got called a misogynist and told to “fuck right off” when trying to ask my fellow women what they thought of the documented theories (not mine) behind the mean girl mentality and for suggestions for how to avoid being a target. Right, well. After the week I’ve had I wish I hadn’t bothered. Signing off.

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 06:19:31

I'm a good judge of character and don't engage with women I sense to be bitchy whatsoever. I will say hello and that's it.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 06:24:15

Sad to deal with mean girls here when I’m trying to understand the ones I work with.
Do you really not see how misogynistic this sounds. You are runnning with misogynistic stereotypes. You are perhaps dealing with mean individuals. Stop fucking making this about outdated and inaccurate sex stereotypes.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 06:26:10

kneehigim what about the unpleasant men?

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 06:27:43

Can we have links to this research about “documented theories behind the mean girl mentality”. Thanks.

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 06:28:15

Same principle. Though we're talking about women here.

Decormad38 Sun 03-Mar-19 06:33:15

I don’t really work in that kind of environment anymore thankfully amongst my peers but I notice it in the admin staff. Its all a bit sad and petty.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 06:37:46

But how are mean women different to mean men? Because surely we can’t make that judgement based on their actual sex, unless we employ misogynistic sex stereotypes. Go on, convince me.

ColeHawlins Sun 03-Mar-19 06:58:44

* “Over sensitive”. That old chestnut.*

Well here you are being demonstrably over sensitive.__ Maybe that's characteristic for you. Maybe it isn't. We have no way of telling.

ColeHawlins Sun 03-Mar-19 07:03:40

* kneehigim what about the unpleasant men?*

I do think there is an extent to which unpleasant men tend to be unpleasant in a certain way, and unpleasant women tend to be unpleasant in a slightly different way.

Which I attribute to girls being brought up in a sexist society which continually emphasise that they must be "nice". The same expectation isn't placed on boys. So they don't need to conceal their nastiness.

For that reason, I recognise what is meant by "mean girls" and don't really consider it a sexist trope so much as a product of sexist socialisation.

(But the OP read oddly for different reasons.)

Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 07:11:00

So many old chestnuts on here today!

Have you seen little girls play/be mean? They use exclusion mainly.
Have you seen little boys play/be mean? They whack the head off each other.

I am so sick of this 'sexism' 'sexist stereotype' nonsense it is actually seriously putting me off MN.

If women (and men lest I forget them) can not realise that the sexes are different, I really give up. It's feminism gone to the extreme.
Have you ever known a little boy playing to huddle up with his little pal and whisper to each other while excluding a third little boy?
No you fucking haven't.

I'm sick of hearing this 'trope' trotted out on every fucking thread now. It's infiltrating every thread!! angry

ColeHawlins Sun 03-Mar-19 07:12:52

Have you seen little girls play/be mean? They use exclusion mainly.
Have you seen little boys play/be mean? They whack the head off each other.

Yep. Completely agree.

ColeHawlins Sun 03-Mar-19 07:14:27

* If women (and men lest I forget them) can not realise that the sexes* are* different, I really give up. It's feminism gone to the extreme.*

Not with that bit, though grin

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 07:15:13

*Have you ever known a little boy playing to huddle up with his little pal and whisper to each other while excluding a third little boy?
No you fucking haven't.*
Yes. I have. Many times.

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