I was walking into a store recently and ran into a primary school classmate; a female I’ve known since I was five-years-old.
We exchanged pleasantries; hugged, hailed and kept it moving as I hustled to get inside. I chuckled to myself when someone in my party asked what was I laughing at. I didn’t hesitate to tell them that the same woman I greeted outside was so mean to me when we were younger.
I could literally go to school one day and be her best friend and the next, you could’ve sworn I stole her freshly sharpened No. 2 pencil and broke it in half. Some days we were BFFs, but some days she just hated my guts and I never knew why.
And she was an alpha female, too. If she was mad at me all the other girls (and some of the boys) were mad at me. If she was talking to me, then they too became my “friends.”
These were my first real introductions to female friendship and non-biological sisterhood and these awkward and sometimes painful experiences had me shook!
Thank God I had a sister and cousin attending the same school, who kept me entertained and wiped my tears (and encouraged me to put gum in their chairs) as I tried to figure out and understand this crazy relationship dynamic.
My tender little five-year-old heart was constantly broken and mended back together with Elmer’s glue.
I told my friends as we shopped that those see-saw interactions with my schoolmates really shaped my relationship with women on the whole.
These events happened (and have been forgiven) eons ago, but to this day, they’ve made me weary, observant, cautious, apprehensive and even scared of befriending other females.
But the childish snickering, brushing by me in the hallway, moving seats when I saw down next to them for lunch, gum in the chair (wait, that was me) and not inviting me to ring play during break is what mean girls do.
We were kids!
We had to learn what it meant to be a friend, to stand up for ourselves, to stand up for right, to figure out what loyalty is and how to get along.
Was it right?
But weird childhood friendships happen and are usually forgiven. The forgetting part (or lack thereof) is what shapes you as a woman.
I read somewhere once, though, that, “mean girls become mean women.”
I can’t swear by this statement but I do know that as a woman, we’ve all had our times, moments and days where humans just aren’t our favorite things.
Let me just say, I think we all can be mean women at some points. I know for sure I’ve been that woman; letting my annoyance, frustration or anger at someone or something make me lash out.
It happens, it’s a sucky and horrible thing to both experience and be but, once you tread that line you have to be prepared to suffer the consequences.
The main difference between a mean girl and a mean woman is that the mean girl’s actions can be forgiven, while…Mean woman actions don't blow over so easily Click To Tweet
Vile attacks on another woman’s character, career, family; intentionally excluding her from shared social experiences, vindictive snickering and snarky remarks as soon as she walks in the room, talking above, around and across her while ignoring her presence in a social setting, are things that just aren’t tolerated and forgiven on the fly.
A mean woman could literally ruin lives, where significant others, children and reputations are involved.
While the mean girl from primary school may have suffered detention and having to clean all the blackboards after school, the mean woman could possibly suffer career blacklisting, missed opportunities and a scarred reputation.
But the gag is, unlike a mean girl, a mean woman doesn’t HAVE to be tolerated. She likely doesn’t have the luxury of time on her side…or worse yet, someone waiting in the wings to forgive.
The reason is…Mean women don't realise that their victims are women too...grown women! Click To Tweet
These are women who probably have no time to even call them out on their bullyish ways and who would much rather ignore them.
These victims are women who’ve probably encountered (cried, been depressed, and questioned herself) when she experienced mean girls in her past and have no patience for women who try to make her relive a history she’s since moved on from.
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