When I was younger, I used to run to my mom and tell her when other girls at school were being mean to me. Most of the pejoratives thrown my way were people calling me a "goody-goody" or "teacher's pet." She suggested that maybe these girls were just jealous of me. This might have been the case, although I doubt anyone was green with envy when I came to school with a sun blister on my face and got called "Bubble Chin" for the rest of the day. Or there was the time someone made fun of my hairy legs in 5th grade. I doubt anyone was secretly wishing they were Teen Wolf.
Now that I'm grown up, I assumed that "mean girl" mentality would fade away, but I've noticed lately that that's not entirely the case. I know a few grown women who are catty as can be, sometimes overtly, other times more concealed. Either way, I can't comprehend why some women still do this to other women - we deal with enough coming from men, so why turn on each other?
Most of the time, this "mean girl" stuff is just petty - a snarky comment, a text message with attitude, condescension. I refuse to play into it. That's just not my style. I stopped playing those games when I was in high school. I used to treat my friends more like "frenemies" - girls that I treated like friends to their faces, but behind their backs I trashed them like Joan Rivers. It wasn't until college when I finally opened my eyes to my own behavior - why was I competing against these girls who were my friends instead of rooting for them? Why was I secretly hoping to outdo them or appear superior? There was no good reason for it, so I decided to stop.
Unfortunately, I occasionally run into ladies who get pleasure in trying to bring other women down. These are people I either opt not to associate with or I just keep my distance. My closest friends are people I know have my back - they support me, and I support them. These "mean girls" don't really succeed in making me feel bad about myself. It's more of a reflection of their character rather than mine. And while I don't believe these people are actually jealous of me, I do think their attitudes reflect their own insecurities. A secure and confident person doesn't need to bring someone else down in order to feel good about themselves. That's more of an instant gratification than a solution to good self-esteem.
Of course, I'm not claiming to be perfect or holier than thou. I partake in cattiness here and there, I'll admit. Nevertheless, I generally try my best to avoid getting caught up in full-on drama. Sadly, sometimes the drama finds you.
I don't take it too personal though. Even the most angelic people are the target for mean girls - my mom, for example, got a nasty note written to her by a Filipina woman who thought my mom was stealing her husband (riiiiiiiiight). The woman left an anonymous note for my mom that said she was "a white trash." Gee, I wonder who would write such grammatically incorrect malarkey.
So basically, there's no way everyone we meet in this world will like us. But the least I can do is just ignore the mean girls and take the high road.