I just can't believe how catty grown women can be!
I was at an auction at my kid's school, volunteering at one of the booths. I thought I looked pretty cute -- I actually had five minutes to put myself together in nice jeans and a shirt (read: shirt that wasn't covered with crap, dog hair or both and jeans without a hole in them). Of course, I walk into the gym -- and everyone is decked out. Like cocktail dress decked out. That's the last time I ask my kid what the dress code is!
Anyhoo, I got over it and started manning my station. I was minding my own business when I look over and see four moms, in a circle, literally looking at me, giggling and pointing. They were THOSE moms -- you know. The homecoming queens. Their kids always wear designer clothes, and they never have a hair -- or hangnail -- out of place. Teachers love them ... other parents (like me) loathe them.
At first, I thought I was being paranoid -- but I soon figured it out. They were TALKING ABOUT ME! Apparently, my ensemble was an embarrassment. I wanted to DIE. I finished out the night and left in a rush with tears in my eyes -- with my kid wondering WTF was wrong with me.
As a mature adult, I don't want to burst into tears the next time this happens to me, so I asked clinical psychologist Dr. Michelle Golland how to deal with grown-up mean girls.
Dr. Golland: It is true there are mean moms who were most likely mean girls in high school and college. These women are insecure and feel very inadequate in other areas of their life, so they choose to feel powerful in inappropriate ways such as being a 'mean girl mom' which is really just bullying behavior. They enjoy gossiping and putting other mothers down. Worst of all, they often talk negatively about other women's children because they want to feel better about themselves.
Seek out women you genuinely like who hold similar values as you. The most important quality in adult female friendships is someone who will have your back when needed and truly wants goodness for you and your family. These are qualities the mommy mean girls simply don't posses.
Six Ways to Manage Mommy Mean Girls
1. If they gossip about someone in front of you, just remember that as soon as you walk away, you're next. Avoid that kind of person at all costs, or at least keep your guard up.
2. Ask what they were like in high school. If they talk about how they ruled the school or how "lame" the other students were, watch for the replay of that behavior. Once a mean girl, always a mean girl!
3. Try to widen your family's social circle and meet other moms you better connect with.
4. If you find yourself being "left out" and feeling bad about it, reflect on your own high school experience. Is this opening up some old wounds? Process some of those feelings with your spouse or a good girlfriend. Dealing with the past can help you move forward.
5. Indifference is your biggest weapon. Try not to care so much about what the mean moms think. They are so insecure, they want you to care. When you don't, you take away their power.
6. Always have integrity, grace and dignity. Never forget you are your child's role model for how to handle friends and bullies.
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