Mean Girls. Every barn has ’em.
If you haven’t encountered a mean girl in your life, consider yourself lucky. You can find them whispering in the break-room at work, sitting it front of you in class, chatting on their phone at the grocery store, shaking hands with you at church (gasp!), and unfortunately some of the biggest mean girls can be found lurking in barn aisles.
I’d like to think my barn is an exception, but lets be real. Mean girls exist everywhere. I have to be honest, I thought this problem would drift away as I got older! It didn’t. They come in all shapes and sizes. Mean girls can be seven years old, or 70 years old. There are no limits.
Here’s my take on mean horse girls and how to deal with them. But first, let’s go over how to spot a mean girl.
- Mean girls dig at other women.
- Mean girls morph depending on who’s around.
- Mean girls always seek out attention.
- Mean girls gossip.
- Mean girls exclude other women.
I’ve studied the book of Esther twice now, and apparently mean girls were around even back in Bible times. Go figure! Esther is packed with lessons on morality and natural consequences, and Beth Moore’s Esther study opened my eyes particularly on how to deal with mean girls. Beth makes excellent points that have forever changed how I think about these women in my life. Whether you’re a Christian, or not, there are truths found in this book of the Bible that can help create a moral compass for our lives. So, if you’re not a Christ-follower, still hear me out!
Mean girls have hard outer shells, but don’t be deceived. Here are the important points I learned from Esther:
- Mean girls perceive a threat.
- The primary underlying reason girls become mean is that they feel like you (or someone close to you) is a threat to them and their status. They may not even recognize you as a rival, but for some reason or another, you are! Whether you wanted to be, or not. If you have a mean girl in your life, examine the circumstances, and you’re bound to find something you have and they don’t. Thus, making you a threat. This can be anything from a nice horse, a loving family, or even your positive attitude.
- Mean girls are usually insecure.
- This parallels the first point. The only reason a mean girl would care to notice that you might be a threat to them, is they’re insecure. We’re all insecure in some way, but mean girls use your pain to lift them up.
- Mean girls are hurting.
- There’s a reason why mean girls are so insecure. There’s a reason why they feel the need to hurt you in order to make themselves feel better, albeit temporary and superficial. They’re hurting! You may not know why, but I can assure you, no one hates a mean girl more than herself.
Maybe you thought the same thing I did, “That doesn’t give them the right to hurt me!” Nope, it doesn’t! But, changing the way you see them, and how you perceive their actions makes all the difference in the world. It did for me! Now, when I spot a mean girl (in or out of the barn), instead of feeling insulted, excluded, or inadequate I think of what might be going on inside her heart. A little empathy goes a long way. Then, I follow these steps:
- I remove myself from the relationship.
- I forgive her. (over and over and over)
- I repay her meanness with kindness.
- I forget about it.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s not your issue, it’s theirs. Tough skin, soft heart, my friends.
How do you deal with mean girls at the barn?