Mean girls seem to be mean 24/7… all day… every day. It’s a fact, ever-so-often, teenage girls will square-off. The result? A mixture of cruelty, bruised egos, and embarrassment. Hurtful words are sent hurling, hitting harder than missiles. Then, like a spark of flame in a forest, a little disagreement spreads like wildfire into a heated argument. But the good news is that within a day or two, they don’t even remember what started the fight to begin with. On the other hand, mean girls are mean on purpose. And their anger seems to be permanent.
The act of social shunning is very hurtful and is often practiced by “The Popular Kids.” No one enjoys being ostracized—especially gregarious teens. But mean girls, instead of offering support, pride themselves in taking advantage of those they consider the outcasts. They expertly flaunt public insults wrapped in fake compliments. Additionally, they feel a sense of satisfaction when others are in pain, physically or emotionally. They’re even more ecstatic when others observe and laugh in agreement.
Though they may not realize, mean girls are merely bullies in dresses. Bullies are no longer only big, mean boys. But mean girls are included too. They’re no different than those macho, aggressive boys. These less than nice young ladies may enjoy being mean because they too want to belong. They may struggle with low self-esteem as well as with other problems outside of school and is just venting. Still, their reasons don’t justify their actions.
It can be very disheartening when a teenager’s developing character-strengths are effortlessly turned into flaws by mean girls. It’s also a stressful ordeal with lasting results when peers make fun of or belittle the way other teens dress or the interests they have. So, is it OK to accept these mean girls’ behavior with the hopes that “they’ll grow out of it?” Is adolescence ever an excuse for hurting others?
Well, it isn’t. Anything you do that involves hurting someone else as a solution, or to make you feel better about yourself, is never acceptable. Mean girls need to learn how to vent in non-toxic ways. More so, they need to practice treating themselves and others with respect. “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you…” (Matthew 7:12)
Mean girls, in the words of Elsa from the movie Frozen… “Let it go.”
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)