Those of you who follow my blog and follow me on LinkedIn know that I write quite a bit about mean girls (which are adult bullies) and the fact that I have zero tolerance for this behavior having been the victim of it many times.
Of course we have each been a mean girl at one point in our lives, and I’m sure we aren’t proud of it. I am not. Learn from it, vow to be a better person and encourage others to stop the behavior when you see it.
I wrote an article about doing a personal social media follower cleanse/purge – it was my way of social distancing.
I talked about warning signs of when to realize a friendship is over. I lost a number of friends last year due to a messy breakup. People took sides, which happens.
One particular friend and I had issues under the surface for quite some time, and we were passive aggressively handling it. The tension was there, and we were growing distant.
As I wrote on the blog, I felt that she constantly put me down, disrespected me, insulted me and made snide comments at my expense. She was too close with my boyfriend at the time and would discuss me with him, which I repeatedly asked her not to do.
She saw many things in black and white and wanted me to get over arguments on their timetable – she couldn’t understand that sometimes people take longer to work through their feelings.
In any event, I wrote about her on the blog and received a nasty text the very next morning.
This is not the first time this has happened.
As if I care what she thinks of me after all she’s done to me and said about me.
One of the hardest pills for me to swallow over the past year is that someone who was one of my closest friends is nothing like the person I thought they were. Imagine finding out not only one but two of your closest friends stabbed you in the back as well as your significant other.
In the text, she told me I treated my ex badly and deserved our breakup. Um, okay. She does not know what really happened behind closed doors between us. She believes she knows everything that occurred in my relationship with him. She does not know the truth, and it is none of her business. I didn’t confide in her about him because she was very close with him, and I was distancing myself from her. You would think she would look at his patterns and see the truth herself but she can only see my shortcomings. She has a very narrow point of view.
She said quite a few more below the belt and untrue things via text that aren’t worth even repeating because she was trying to push my buttons. But here’s the thing – her opinions aren’t my reality. I know I say that a lot but it’s true.
She is inconsequential to my life now. She ganged up on me at a time when I needed my friends. She refuses to accept any responsibility for her part in the end of our friendship – I’m wrong and she’s perfect in her eyes – she can never be wrong about anything. Of course I have things on which I need to improve – but so does she.
In her mean text she told me I lost all my friends, what 43-year-old woman says that? Yes I lost a few friends during my breakup, but I chose to cut off relationships with anyone who supported my ex and my ex-acquaintance dating immediately after we broke up or knew he had lined her up or think I deserved this. These people are now inconsequential to me and were never really my friends.
You find out exactly who your friends are in a situation like this, and I am thankful that this happened. Anyone who would even say such a thing is a quintessential mean girl.
She referred to what happened to me as the “downfall of my life.” It was not.
While it was painful because of the abruptness and meanness, breaking off friendships with women who were not supportive of me, enjoyed when I failed, didn’t respect me, gossiped about me and who were plotting behind my back – was a long time coming. Unfortunately I had to learn this the hard way, but better late than never.
So what do you do when a mean girl attacks you like this?
You do nothing. You disengage. You walk away. You block her from everything. You forget and act like she ever existed.
My friendship with this mean girl was on life support for a year. She will give you a laundry list of all of her grievances with me, some of which are valid and some of which are not. The ones that are not included vicious lies and half truths spread by another mean girl about me, which this friend chose to believe. At this point so much damage has been done, and I don’t care to set the record straight.
She also told me to accept responsibility for the decisions I made in my life, and I do wholeheartedly. Which is why I cut many people out of my life. For as much as she doesn’t want me in her life, I feel the exact same way. I distanced myself from her for the last year of our friendship because she was not good to me.
I don’t know why women turn on each other like this or why they decide one day they hate you. I can’t change her or how she feels, nor do I want to given all that has transpired. It’s disappointing given how close we were.
I’ve written about how when one woman turns against a woman then others follow suit, creating one common enemy. I never thought that enemy would be me.
This is someone with whom I used to celebrate holidays, with whom I went when her beloved dog down and shared countless cries with over mutual relationship angst. But people change. People meddle and lots of miscommunications ensue.
One of the hardest pills also for me to swallow is that some of my former friends didn’t give me the benefit of the doubt, they assumed the worst in me. And that’s how I knew that they were not really my friends.
Remember, you have no place for mean girls in your life at any age. What they think of you is not your reality. It’s shrouded in their agenda, narrow experience, viewpoint, jealousy, anger and insecurity or whatever limited information they have. And if you have ever been a mean girl yourself, vow to be a better person in the future, learn from the behavior and silence the noise of these women. We can and must do better.