“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” -Harvey Fierstein
I have wanted to write about this for awhile; it’s important to me because it’s something to which I have been a victim: Mean Girls.
It was a difficult time in my life, the days prior to my choice to enter into recovery, and I had this friend who came along and was there for me. However, as I entered into recovery and began finding the strength within myself I began noticing a change in this friend: every time I took a step forward (either personally or relating to work), she would try to push me back. She would either bully me with sly comments covered with a slight smile (though condescension rang in her tone) or she would manipulate me with unsolicited advice said: “in my best interest”. In typical “Mean Girl” fashion, things were always said in a way that would go undetected by others, and, often, even undetected by me until it was too late and the words had already sunk in and done their damage.
At first, I thought that her manipulation was new, but then I realized her treatment of me had always been like that; I just wasn’t strong enough to realize it before. But as I got stronger, I began realizing how I was being treated and eventually, I got the strength to do something about it.
Still considering her a friend, I felt the best way to handle the situation was to approach her when she said something hurtful. There were several occasions where I did this and each time the end result was me apologizing to her – the fault somehow always got turned around to me and I always left feeling weaker than when I arrived.
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That’s the thing about Mean Girls – they need control. And they are threatened by strength. And when they feel threatened, they attack. So one might say ‘but when you were weak she was there for you,’ and this is true, but that is because she did not feel threatened by me – I wasn’t able to control my own life and therefore submitted willingly to someone else’s control. As I got stronger, she began to feel threatened and that’s when the attacks began.
And I know it’s hard to stand up for yourself sometimes and you may even feel like you are being ungrateful because this person was there for you when you needed someone. But you need to realize that in life (and especially in recovery) these relationships are toxic and you need to leave.
See, there are the friends who are there for you when you can’t stand on your own and who help you get up on your feet, and then there are the friends who would rather you stay on the ground or in the shadows – making them feel taller and shine brighter. Some people simply need to be needed.
This world is full of Blaire Waldorfs and Regina Georges. And they will spend their lives pushing others down to get to the top. And they will make it to the top. What you need to do is learn to be OK with this and don’t let it eat you up inside. Because it can. It can run through you like a poison and you will feel enraged, jealous, upset, confused, de-motivated, and hurt – I have felt all these things, and they bleed you dry. Just remember, people only have the amount of power and control over you that you will allow them.
And there is no point measuring your success against someone whose means you would never use anyways – all it does is tempt you to go against your own moral grounding.
Focus on what you want to do and how you want to do it and you will have success, success that is not measured by the number of views you have on your blog or how many magazines and posters your face appears on, but by the person that you are.
It’s time to detach yourself from the Mean Girls and to embrace healthy, supportive friendships. Don’t be pushed down into someone else’s shadow, you have two legs of your own – stand tall.
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The opinions and information shared in this article may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process.