When college ended, I was relieved to be done with mean girls. You know, the ones at parties who made sure they weren’t going to talk to you and flat out ignored you in class because they were so “cool.” I thought this behavior was something people grew out of.
At the age of 40 though, I have found this to be untrue.
It’s amazing to watch women in a professional group become a pack of piranhas when jealousy and uncertainty are involved. Recently, I shared an achievement with a professional group that I was so excited about, that truthfully, I have wanted to achieve my whole life. A big milestone for me. The group as a whole was very excited and had kind words, but of course there was one person who wanted to know how I worked that deal. Instead of sharing congratulations on my achievement — one which I had worked so hard on — she was questioning how on earth I could have landed the deal without some special in. In this same profession, I have seen other women try to put others out of business, outright steal ideas and make them cry. And for what? None of that makes advances in one’s career.
At the practice field, I see moms who don’t welcome new moms that weren’t a part of the original team. Exclusion at school functions because they aren’t involved as they want to be because their job won’t let them. The worst mean girl behavior is when kids are involved and they get excluded from birthday parties and special events. Being exclusive doesn’t make you cool at any age and it doesn’t set an example for children either.
Being kind is free and we should spread kindness everywhere like confetti. Bullies at any age are unacceptable. So let’s make a promise to talk to those who are sitting alone in the stands at practice and school, encourage those in our professional circle and to lead by example.