You may think that girls grow out of that catty, jealous and vindictive stage during high school. However, all girls don’t learn this lesson. These girls enter the real world as mean women. 

Mean women spread gossip in places of worship. They’re the ones making snide comments at family gatherings. They intentionally terrorize children in schools. They try to undermine you at work. If you find yourself dealing with a grown up mean girl, here are some ways you can arm yourself against her vitriol. 

Call Out Bad Behavior

In professional settings, experts may warn you to go high and ignore the mean-spirited, back-biting comments grown up mean girls may spread. However, sometimes, ignoring an issue only causes it to fester. Whether this mean girl is your coworker, teacher, fellow congregant or family member, there are appropriate and respectful ways to address an issue. There’s always a way to politely let someone know that their comment was hurtful.

Keep Notes

This strategy is particularly helpful in professional settings. Workplace bullies are a real thing, and without proper documentation, it can be hard to find any recourse for their unprofessional actions. Note any interactions, along with accounts from other witnesses, so that you can trace back the exact moments. When you get the opportunity to share your grievances, you’ll have the sufficient proof.

Don’t Take it Personally

If you find yourself in a position where you’ve taken every course of action available and can’t do much else, know that your mean girl’s behavior is her problem. Her behavior may be directed toward you, but it’s a reflection of their own inner turmoil. If you’ve been racking your brain try to understand this behavior and what you’ve done to deserve it, know that the answer is nothing.

Don’t Settle

You may find yourself in an environment where being mean and nasty is the standard. It’s easy for standards to slip when you’re immersed in a problematic space. However, it is essential to remember who you are. You don’t have to let the negative behavior of others infiltrate your spirit. You don’t have to befriend grown up mean girls simply because those are your only options at the moment.

Do Something Different

You not only should avoid mean girls no matter where you are, but also make sure that you actively fight against it. If you have any power in that environment, set a different standard. When people come to you with gossip or negativity, tell them you’re not participating. If you become a person with authority in the space, let others know that certain behaviors won’t be tolerated. Make space to hear someone else’s story. Chances are other people also have been struggling with this toxic environment. Your decision to move differently could spark permanent change.