I posted a question on social media asking for help writing this article on Mean Girls and, within an hour, I had over 35 comments not to mention the likes that came as a part of each comment.
Mean girls have existed since man’s time on earth began because sin entered the world. Along with sin came selfishness, jealousy, revenge, pain and just plain hurt. The rapid response to my questions made me keenly aware that there are many hurting people all around. Some may never say a word, but their wounds run deep. Many responded by recounting their experience and all but naming the one who had caused their pain.
As I read each response, I wondered how many of their offenders really knew they were offending. How many intended to inflict wounds? How many did it without even knowing they had offended even though what they did was absolutely offensive.? I also pondered how a Christ follower can hurt people all the while knowing they are offending.
Sin and pride are at the root of ungodly behavior–no matter what form it takes.
When looking for the seed that produces anger, hate, envy or just plain meanness it all goes back to sin. Ephesians 6 tells us our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of darkness. Yet, it is the flesh and blood that we see with our eyes.
Are You a Mean Girl?
If I were to ask, “Are you a Mean Girl?” your response would probably immediately be NO! Yet others may not feel the same way. Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you are a mean girl.
* Have I used words carelessly to hurt others (even if it was unintentional)?
* Have I been jealous and used words to tear down others?
*Does my humor include making fun of others?
* Have I been negative about someone’s looks, their choices, their situation?
*Have I said or done anything to someone else that tore them down?
* Have I written anything on social media that has hurt someone?
* Do I use words to leverage power over people?
*Do I tear others down so people will like me?
Being a mean girl can start very young as a child learns her words have power. “I hate you!” “You are ugly.” When a young child says these things, she sees the toll it can take on others and either she feels guilt and knows it is wrong or she feels empowered and it feeds a fire of selfishness within. The art of meanness can be sharpened and intensified as girls become school age and use their words to make other students feel unwanted, unloved, or even hated.
The digital age has brought a whole new realm of mean into play as girls bully or demean using written form and then it is publicized far and wide. Beaten down victims have gone as far as to kill themselves because of the opinions of others.
As the mean girl grows up, she can see the hurt she is causing and realize it is tearing apart her friendships or she can use it as a tool to get what she wants. The young career woman can use her words to tear down someone vying for the same job. She can tear down others who can’t dress like she does or have the nice car or home she has. Mean girls may be mothers who tear down other children to make her children look better to others.
Reality television has fed the beast of meanness in the way people talk to each other, lie, undermine. We could go on and on, but the reality is that mean girls exist everwhere. The casualties they leave around them are numerous which is why so many people responded so quickly to my question. Hurt, pain, anger–these are just a few of the words that were used. Several respondents to my question wrote, “Wounded people wound others.” There is a lot of truth to that statement.
Making Wrong Right
My hope is if you review the questions mentioned before and realize you have been a mean girl at some time–or are one now–that you will do a couple of things.
*Confess what you have done before God. Ask Him to forgive you and help you change.
*Go back and as best you can apologize and make right the relationships you have broken.
*Choose to start new and check every word that comes from your mouth.
*Go back to your digital media and if there are things you have put out that are demeaning or unkind, remove them.
We’ve All Been Mean
I would not consider myself to be a Mean Girl, but I know that I have said things that have unintentionally hurt others. I have gone back and tried to make them right. Even while writing this article, I have thought back on statements I have made about people I don’t know. I have confessed those things to God and asked Him to help me do better and make me aware when my words could be perceived to hurt others.
Having a tender heart and asking God to reveal sin when it happens is a great place to start. You may be thinking, Well some things need to be said. A good rule of thumb is Ephesians 4:15 “Speak the truth in love.” If what you are saying is not in love, check your motives. If your motives are pure then carry on, but observe your listener because how you say it can be just as important as what you say. If your motives are not right, practice Job 13:5, “Shut up and let that be your wisdom.”
Mean Girl Turnaround
Last evening I was speaking to a young woman who would define herself as a Mean Girl. She was talking about how she is not as mean any more. I asked what was making a difference in her? She said, “I am not angry any more.” I wonder how many of the women we see who take pride in their mean girl image are just women who are themselves torn by anger, pride, and feelings of being lost.
If you are a mean girl, dig deep. Look within to see what it is that makes you feel you need to control others. When you get to the root of your anger, you may find you want to be set free from the prison within.
When thinking about writing this article my purpose was to just write one all inclusive article, but after researching and praying I am led to write two more that cover dealing with mean girls and then how to deal with pain from being hurt.
My prayer is that whether you are a mean girl or have been hurt by one, we will all find healing and walk right with God and others.
*Affilate links included.