Anna Wootton

Quiet Your Inner Mean Girl to Achieve Inner Peace

A few weeks ago I was getting some work done in a Starbucks and I was constantly distracted by a particularly loud group of three women catching up over coffee…or so I thought.

My first response was, Oh, that’s nice, they’re having a major catch-up session because they were literally so loud (they were on the opposite side of a large Starbucks cafe to me and even with all the blending, grinding and background noise of a cafe, I could hear every word they were saying).

It quickly became clear to me, though, that this wasn’t a catch-up session. This was…well, there’s no other word for it, unfortunately. This was a bitching session. These girls were not happy – with each other, but especially not with a fourth friend who was, sadly for her, absent and unable to defend herself. One girl in particular had decided that she was the victim in this situation and took it in turn to blame the two girls next to her but especially the one who wasn’t around.

The other two girls were much quieter in comparison and sat, trying to take deep breaths and calm this girl down by acknowledging her feelings but offering their viewpoint. I was trying hard to concentrate on my work so I’m not even sure what the argument was about – I had a feeling two of them were sisters, and it was something to do with a living situation or roommate issues, but I don’t really know. All I knew was that their energy was starting to affect me.

I was just sitting, minding my business and trying to work but the unavoidable negativity that was emanating from their table had made it across the cafe to where I was sitting and was really messing up my mojo with regards to getting any kind of work done. I just kept feeling sorry for the fourth girl, who had no idea what these people were saying behind her back. I didn’t know the full story and perhaps she was as guilty as they claimed, but I knew that I certainly wouldn’t want to be friends with people who spoke so terribly about me when I wasn’t around.

It really got me thinking about the old but still relevant idea of ‘mean girls’ and how women treat each other, in general. There’s a lot to be said about women tearing each other down rather than building each other up, and much has been written on this subject. There’s no need for me to reinvent the wheel. However, I do believe that most of this jealousy, competitiveness etc. comes from a place of insecurity. Women so often feel threatened by other women because they perceive these ‘other women’ to have qualities they believe they themselves lack. Whether or not this is true doesn’t matter – the perception is there, and it sticks.

And yet, as mean as we can be to other women, I think that often, the one we are hardest on is ourselves.

Consider how you talk to yourself, how you treat yourself. Is this how you would treat a best friend? It’s time to start acting like your own best friend, and quieting your inner mean girl. Share it!