To my innocent and kind-hearted daughters,
I look at your sweet and naive faces. In doing so, I realize that as you are growing up. But since you are, you will encounter the so-called mean girl in due time now.
See the mean girl isn’t a myth or fairy tale, such as the wicked step-sisters in Cinderella. She is so very real. Plus, just when you think you have overcome her, she will multiple. She will also find her clone around the next corner.
I guess I should start at the beginning though. Since you have indeed yet to deal with your first mean girl.
So, what is a mean girl?
She may even start as a friend in disguise. But make no mistake she will show her true colors before long.
And when she does, look out!
She will manipulate any situation, as well as others she can. Why? To gain the upper hand to ensure that she will be the victor of all the spoils.
I wish I could tell you that you will never have to deal with the dreaded mean girl. But sadly I know better at my age.
However, why are mean girls so mean?
By now, you might be wondering as you read this letter what makes mean girls tick.
Well, quite simply one word and only one word comes to mind – JEALOUSY!
A mean girl truly has very little self-confidence. She also is always looking to steal your thunder. Why? Because at the heart of the matter is good old-fashioned jealousy.
So, as mom’s once-favorite show, Friends tells it, “You need to be to your wind keeper and not let anyone steal your wind!”
Still don’t get me wrong, the mean girl tactics may have evolved since I was your age. How? With the bonus of technology, such as nasty, vile text messages and more.
But the reasoning and logic behind a mean girl’s motives haven’t changed at all.
So the more things may have changed since I was your age, the more they stay the same.
So then how do you beat a mean girl at her own game?
1. Ignore, ignore, ignore.
If you give a mean girl and her antics play, you are only adding fuel to her already growing fire. You need to try your best to hold your head high and ignore her to indeed squash her mean girl ways like the annoying gnat that she truly is.
2. Be confident.
No matter what, make sure to not let her get under your skin. This is easier than it sounds, but still so crucial. Make sure to look her right in the eye, even smile to let her know that you are a bigger, better person than she is at all times and that you aren’t a fool in knowing full well what she is all about.
3. Use your brains to outsmart her.
You are bright and capable young girls, who not only have a vast vocabulary at your means and ready but need not forget this when verbalizing your feelings with the mean girl. So, use your brains and outsmart her whenever possible. Trust your dear old mom, when I say that the mean girl most likely won’t be the brightest lightbulb in the package and this is truly where you can shine if you only believe in yourself.
4. Find her Achilles heel.
Everyone has one and the sooner you do find the mean girl’s weakness or proverbial kryptonite, I give you my permission to use it to your advantage. Whatever it is, I promise you she won’t have a comeback for it and won’t know what hit her!
5. Remember this too shall pass.
Like I said earlier, your latest mean girl will not be your current mean girl 20 years later or even 5 years from now, but again understand that even after this mean girl is long behind you, another one will sprout up as sure as the sun rises every morning. The trick here is learning from this experience and being one step ahead of the next mean girl on the horizon.
When all else fails, I am here. I have been through the trenches and back myself. So now I impart my years of experience upon you. And I have your back no matter what and will always. Because quite simply you had my heart from the get-go and are my girls.
Your Mom (Who has Battled Her Fair Share of Mean Girls)
*This article also appeared with permission on Huffington Post Parents.