Thursday, March 7, 2013

Why Are Girls So Mean To Each Other?

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Have you seen the movie Mean Girls?  Or for some us of  who were teens in the 80s, the movie Heathers?
Hearing reports from about stuff that happens at junior highs and high schools around the country often raises my momma hackles.  Reading stories on the internet about the extremes that tween and teen girls go to just to taunt, criticize, bully, and threaten other girls is just beyond comprehension. 
I've just recently found out that there is an actual name for this behavior.  And no, it's not bitchiness...  It's called relational aggression... these are the behaviors that are meant to hurt other teens by "deliberate manipulation of their social standing and relationships." {source} 
But why? 
Why Are Girls So Mean To Each Other?
What Teens Say
Preteens might be mean to each other because in junior high, everything is changing.  Not only their surroundings and peers, but themselves as well.  So there's the need to be in control of the situation no matter what it is. Teenagers, though, can be mean just to challenge one another and have the need to feel power and feel better about themselves. --Piper {17 yrs}
Because they're allowed to. Everyone says, 'oh, girls are vicious!' Like that makes it ok, just a phase. But it's bullying and they don't treat that the same. If it's not allowed at home, at school, on the computer, then it will stop. But no one ever stops them. --P 12.5 yrs
To try to make themselves look better. -- M {12 yrs}
It has to do with power. Girls who feel powerless over their own lives will try to gain control by making others feel powerless as well. --Big Sis 14 yrs from Sense of Wonder

Preteens and teenage girls are so mean to each other because maybe someone is bullying them, so they bully a different girl to feel like they have control and power. --Cass {16 yrs}
Because they are bored or just don't have skills to make and keep friends and being nasty is way easier than being nice. --A 13 yrs
What Women Say
Because they have something that they are insecure about and if the direct attention to others then they won't be a target.  -Krys

I think girls do this because of jealousy of others. --April

I feel that girls are mean to other girls because they are insecure. By being mean, it gives them some kind of unfounded idea that others will think they are cool, and therefore like them. I can't imagine anything worse than being a teenage girl again. --Sheri

It can come from jealousy or wanting to break someone down. It makes them feel powerful. Kids need guidance because as we all know, as adults, we have more perspective. --Vicky
Girls bring 'weaker' girls down in order to build up their own confidence. --Holly

Kids are built up by their parents or teachers.  Then, as we all get older, kids are confronted by jealousy, insecurity, or scrutiny, and they don't know how to deal with it.  As a confused, hurt child, it's easiest to mimic the people they look up to, whether it is people in media, parents, or friends.  --Ash
I think its more than teen girls....and is girls and women in general.... --Christy

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