Why Some Girls Are Mean

The reality is that many people—not only girls—can act mean, cold and thoughtless at times.  All of us have probably behaved that way.  So why do girls have a reputation for being mean?  The answer is simply because they act mean.

Often girls are not direct in their communication and have been taught that negative emotions are not feminine.  This can be a cause for their behavior.   A girl who has a reputation for being mean has probably earned it.  Rather than spending too much time figuring out why someone is or acts mean, I think it is more beneficial to address how to respond when mean behavior occurs.

Girls struggle so much in this area.  Many girls are taught to be kind, forgiving and understanding to everyone. This can be a confusing message to a girl.  I do believe that we should be kind to others but I also believe in boundaries and setting limits.  This means that it is never okay for someone to be mistreated.  A girl has options in how she views a situation or friendship and how she responds.  This alone is a confidence-building tool.  Helping a girl explore her thoughts and options in any situation gives her a sense of control in her world and she is less likely to feel like a victim.  Never tell a girl that she should not be upset when she clearly is upset.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Empower a girl to address mean behavior whenever possible such as coming up with short phrases including “Wow!” or “Why would you say that to me?”
  • Empower a girl to validate her feelings and understand them
  • Teach a girl that she can choose her friends rather than being chosen
  • Teach a girl how to set limits and boundaries

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