Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Mean Girls Mentality

Boys run in packs, girls join cliques. The club is open - for a while - but slowly, slowly, slowly the door closes. Once the door is closed, it's almost impossible to enter. I know, I'm a girl.

And from there the "Mean Girls Mentality" commences. Mean girls are selfish and connive:  to get their own way, to get what they want.  Mean girls behavior is often  referred to as "relational aggression". (click here to find out more).  Common tactics include: gossip, rumor spreading, exclusion, ignoring, intimidation and alliance building. These are covert forms of aggression.  Like, how can you explain to a teacher that Susie/Mary/Bonnie's "looking" at you is hurtful?  How can you complain about someone saying "ew"?  Motivation for this behavior can vary but includes: Fear, Power, Control, Popularity, Security. Unfortunately, this is often an adolescent reality.  Time marches on and little girls usually grow up and leave behind unsuitable conduct.

BUT how do we survive when mean girls morph into mean women and invade the workplace and show-up as your line manager or the wannabe girl at the office who steps on everyone's ideas to get ahead?  And I ask myself - ahead of what or whom? This mean girls mentality is especially harmful in an environment where support and encouragement should be the tools of the trade.

It only takes one mean girl (or the perception of one mean girl) to set things into motion and transform the workplace into a catfight zone with claws unsheated and everyone hissing. Once that occurs the force of the dysfunction drives it forward on a course all its own.  There's no turning back then and all the members of the organization take a quantum leap back in time.  They resort to teenage behavior.  What a pity.

All I can say is that I hated being 14 when I was 14, I don't like it any better this time around.

I'm pulling out.

Meow . . .

1 comment:

Cristina Costa said...

Oh yeah

and they are like the plague only you seem to notice.
I hate it too.
I hated it back then and I hated it now.
Why do mean girls get where they are..that's what I don't know.

I want a world with reasonable people! is that too much to ask?... guess so!