They are among us. In the office. On the playgrounds. In the parking lots of our kids’ schools. They even pop up in social media. It’s just so easy to spat off judging comments from behind the screen.
Yes, we may be women with college degrees, picturesque families and resumes that suggest we are all grown up. But, we can also be so mean.
We criticize others’ choices.
“You fed your baby formula? Oh, that’s too bad.”
“You send your child to daycare? I could never do that!”
“You aren’t going to stay for the 6 p.m. meeting? You’re such a slacker!”
Why are we so hard on one another? Do we feel better about ourselves when we slam other’s differing styles or choices?
I too have come across my share of mean girls. I’m extremely fortunate that I work with an amazing group of women, and I usually feel very supported and celebrated by my female peers. But … I would be lying if I said I’ve never had a “mean girl” experience in the office.
A recent article in Women’s Health notes that office bullying by women often comes in the form of angry criticism, personal insults, sabotage, vicious gossip and/or taking credit for someone else’s work. Hmmm …
In social circles, I can tell you I grew apart from one friend when we made different life choices about work. I continued to advance my career as I had children. She elected to stay home. This alone didn’t cause the divide – I have several close stay-at-home-mom friends – but her constant remarks around “never being able to let someone else raise her kids” cut me the wrong way.
Perhaps pop culture antics like the Real Housewives’ series add fuel to the fire – yes, I watch that trash on occasion – and I have to say those women take “cruel and unusual punishment” to a whole new level.
But, I have faith!
This week, as I enjoyed my day in the sun as SITS’ featured blogger, I was taken aback by all of the supportive comments, kind words and encouragement to keep charging ahead. Complete strangers took a peek into my life and didn’t judge (or at the very least they didn’t leave judging comments). They read. They were kind. They made my day with the sweetest compliments.
I feel like I discovered some new friends, and I hope we will continue to get to know one another in the weeks, months and years ahead. To those of you who have started following me, thank you.
Yes, I still know a couple mean girls. But I know so many more women who simply rock! Never doubt the power of a kind word, a smile and a hug (even if it’s virtual).
Power to the sisterhood!