I wish I had written Mean Girls, yup Mean Girls. Ok it is neither literary genius nor Academy Award winning material yet the subject matter is one we all know … and fear.
My older Sister called me today and told me how she had gone to bed crying after she was snubbed by her supposed group at a funeral (yes a funeral!). Her longest and best-est school friend’s grandmother had died and as my Sister and Mother approached her group before the ceremony a few girls (women) in the group turned around or made excuses to walk away. The same few ignored my Sister during the wake.
It made no sense. My Sister told me that she felt so uncomfortable that she could not go back to her best friends house after the wake as even though only four girls were ignoring her it felt as though a hundred were. As she left, the Brother of her Best Friend begged her to stay telling her that she had as much right to be there as any of the others, confirming that there was indeed something going on within the group and that the strange behaviour was visible to others.
I understood, we all understand, Mean Girls at play. We have all been there. As I sat and listened to my Sister I was brought back to my own story within the group. Same tale different story.
My Sister’s group are a mish-mash like most groups centred around her best friend. My Sister and her best friend are childhood mates, the others were introduced over time adding and subtracting their own friends but the core six-eight girls remained. They have shared years of friendship, numerous nights out and annual holidays together. Although my Sister’s best friend had started the group she was not by any means the ‘leader’.
Are you the leader in your group? How do you become the leader, and what traits do leaders share? I often wonder what the ‘leaders’ of group think about themselves or if they even understand their powers of influence and the strange feelings of reverence that cannot be explained?
I want to sound fair and unbiased here but fear I cannot. I have never been the leader but I have however been the Boss! The two things are not the same I know, my management skills are nothing if I cannot bring out the best in others, the group leader however goes in confidence that others will follow.
I always find that the lead Mean Girl wether she wants to or not blends friendship, gossip and jesting. the jesting is what keeps the group momentum – is she joking or being mean? There is never a trueness to the lead Mean Girl as she periodically is your best friend then next week another. The lead girl suggest what you and the group need and puts up a convincing argument but it only happens when she wants it. She is unapologetic, she is in control and if things do not go her way she will put it to the group that they can decide already knowing that she will work on you individually until her original idea goes forward even if only a roundabout way.
How does she get away with it? Why we let her of course.
The group did not all individually decide to snub my Sister. How it came that my Sister was ignored by girls she had spoken to only weeks before is a mystery, we do know that someone said something. Two weeks before the burial my Sister and her best friend became closer as my Sister supported her friend through this tough time; they spoke daily as their children are best friends and their partners are friends. One member of the group (presumably the leader) decided that my Sister was monopolising their mutual friend and decided to do something, she (presumably) voiced her opinion to the other members of the group that were being left out and thus blaming my sister for the lack of calls/tears/help asked for from my Sisters best friend. The rest of the group (presumably) felt animosity to my sister and on the day of the funeral decided not to talk or make eye contact.
In my case a girl who was NOT the leader forced me out of the group. This girl was my acquaintance, introduced to my group by me. She was not pleasant to my friends and they did not like her. Over five years she generally ignored my friends (made one cry) and bad mouthed the rest. I felt guilty at introducing her but as I was not a central character to the group I told them not to worry about her as she was not a very nice person and she was only the girlfriend to one of the groups husband’s friends.
The biggest lie ever told about me was told by her and she flat outright denied it. Most of the group knew the truth, most believed me, but I am no longer in the group. This Mean Girl although not the leader is actually the secret leader.
The Mean Girl is your husbands’ friends girlfriend. This means that in his company you must be civil. This means that you will interact with her more times than I will, she now is more Your friend than mine. Despite making another friend cry she is inducted to the group. You deduce that actually she is not that bad, you forget about the times she spoke about you behind your back, you forget all the things YOU said about her behind her back – sure thats what friends do, jest, joke, gossip.
When it is exposed that someone has been wronged by the Mean Girl what do you do? well is it actually true?, who knows who the longest? who is who’s best-best friend? All this hassle because you won’t let it go, you won’t just brush it under the carpet, she used to make such and such cry and now look they are great mates …. The group allow the Mean Girl to be mean to you because she is NOT being mean to them. And so, she gets away with it.
Why do people behave like this in groups? why must there be heirachy, ownership and concealed hurt feelings. Must one trample upon another to get to the top? Must we suppress our own happiness in order to have friends?… or maybe I have this completely wrong?
I doubt very much that I am as the first group that we are ever in is that of our own families. Feel free to comment below if within your family their are no secrets, no hidden scandal, no animosity or worse no challenges for power – it is where we learn the group code.
I could bring all kinds of socio-psycho reasoning into the discussion but I work from the heart and my heart only cries ‘why can’t we all just get along?’. We all are snubbed at one time or another be it at work, at play or at home and it hurts the same regardless of situation.
As a spiritual being I aim to be one with God and my fellow man, to help each other along our journey, to help you learn and know Love. I challenge you and you challenge me and there is a lesson to be learnt here. I carry no hate to the Mean Girls. I wish them peace and love and hope that they learn a lesson with my absence. I told my Sister the same that I tell you now – I have no friends but I have two Sisters. I welcome all to be my friend if they desire what I desire, to live, learn and grow as spiritual beings and if not there will be conflict between us – but I have learnt my lesson already, the hard way, the only way.
Love & Light