I often wonder why some women are so mean to other women for no reason. Why do they see other women as a threat instead of lifting each other up?
For so long, many women in my professional and personal life have tried to sabotage me and undermine me without provocation.
I have been stabbed in the back more times than I can even count.
But I don’t let it get me down. I remove myself from toxic relationships and keep a much smaller circle.
I also educated myself about it, wrote about my experiences with mean girls and started Women Who Wow because I was tired of women seeing each other as adversaries and tearing each other down instead of lifting each other up.
They say that “haters gonna hate” so just keep doing your thing, and I try but it’s hard. As mean girls grow up they get even meaner.
But remember the issue is theirs. Something we do triggers feelings in them (likely jealousy and insecurity), which makes them feel badly about themselves and then they take it out on us. Ignore. Block. Delete.
What I’ve learned from every person who has bullied me or been rude to me is who I want to be.
I’ve learned to not make the same mistakes they do.
I’ve learned how to be a better person, better friend, better leader, better colleague and better mentor.
If we shift around the bad things that people have done to us and use them as teaching moments – looking for that silver lining even when it’s difficult to find it – we can become stronger in every aspect of our lives.
This also helps shift the unproductive narrative from being a victim to being in the driver’s seat where we don’t let how others treat us define us.
It’s important to realize that not everyone has your best intentions at heart. Cut those people out. It is also important to surround yourself with those who clap as loudly for you as you clap for them.
Be careful what you share with certain women because sometimes they pretend to be your friends when in fact they are rooting or plotting against you.
Be in tune with reactions others have to your successes – don’t tolerate jealousy, competitiveness or gossip.
Feel badly for anyone who has mistreated you and move on with the conviction that you deserve – and will be better – thanks to that experience.
One thing to keep in mind is that we all have mean girl tendencies at times and that doesn’t make us a bad person. We just have to recognize them and keep them in check. When you feel jealous or insecure, don’t let those feelings get the best of you, channel them towards something productive like writing an article, doing a webinar or taking an action that will benefit your professional development. If it involves your personal life, lift up another woman instead of cutting her down or just stay silent. Remember that old saying if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all? It really is a good one.
You can have great female relationships by surrounding yourself with women who inspire, encourage and challenge you and weeding out mean girls. I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to these kinds of people so join me in that.
Join my free Women Who Wow initiative if you are looking for a supportive group of women who do none of the above along with educational programs too.
You’ll find me at the Wolffer Wine Stand most weekends for the rest of the summer (where this photo was taken) enjoying the sunsets and some great music and rosé out east staying out of this kind of drama. Say hi if you’re also out east!