Why you gotta be so mean?

The breaking point:

After years of dealing with a clique of mean girls on and off again, my daughter Bee has finally reached the point of no return. She is a senior in high school and has had the unfortunate experience of being targeted and ostracized by this unpleasant group of girls.

Why was my daughter targeted?

Simple. She’s not a follower. She is very confident. She is not a passive bystander. She takes corrective action when needed to right a wrong. These are not qualities valued by cliques.

Here is the final bit of drama that capped off Bee’s senior year:

Bee’s group of girls became friendly with a group of boys from another school. One of the boys is very wealthy and offered his large beach house free of charge to the girls for senior beach week. The boys, of course, would get to go with them.

This boy asked Bee to his school’s prom (she said yes), but he soon began ignoring her and being rude to her. Bee decided she didn’t want to go to prom with him because she felt like she was being used, both by her friends and by the guy. Her friends were desperate for her to keep the date so they wouldn’t lose out on the beach house and the guy wanted to go to prom with a pretty girl. After over a week of him not texting or contacting her, she finally told him that she did not want to go. He was sad, but accepted it.

This would have been the end of it had it not been for the large group chat with 20 people between their two groups. The boys started subtly laying into Bee by texting about her in this chat. They later became bolder and continuously referred to her as “Butch Bee” and other assorted names. Bee decided not to respond because she knew they only wanted to make her mad.

The worst part for her was not having any of her supposed friends stand up for her or even text her privately to make sure she was ok. They didn’t care about her more than the free beach week house and it was suddenly very clear.

Bee decided not to go to her own school’s prom which she would have attended with this group of girls. In the process, she lost all of her friends who weren’t really friends at all, and is now awaiting graduation when she never has to see these hateful, mean girls again.

 

The main cast of characters involved in Bee’s senior year drama:

(Names have all been changed)

The Ringleader: Zoe

Bee’s Violation:  My daughter called Zoe out on the drama she was causing within the group. This drama  included twitter fights, subtweets, ostracizing various members of the group,  backstabbing and gossip.

The Punishment: Zoe launched a string of attacks using various tactics before fully and finally freezing her out of the group.

Methods:  There is power in the pack and Zoe never worked alone. She lined up her followers, planned her attack and marched forward knowing that there would be strength in numbers.

Weapons: Twitter, Instagram, group texts and ostracism

  • Twitterwas used to spread rumors, say unkind things and generally fuel the fires of Bee’s refusal to toe the clique’s line.
    • Actual tweet: Definitely not excited about econ with the real bitch. And it’s funny how you say you hate drama, but you always start it, hypocrite.
  • Instagram was used to upload fun pictures of the group doing things together without Bee.
  • Group texts were used to chat about plans the group was making for fun events together. If they were out bowling together, they could group text while there making it obvious that not everyone had been invited. It was also used as a way to subtly (or not so subtly) talk about other her while she was right there.
  • Ostracism is pretty obvious, but was heavily used by Zoe. She planned sleepovers, picnics, and other events excluding Bee. Most of the time my daughter found out via social media that she had been left out. On two occasions, Zoe told her point blank that she was not invited.

Second in Command: Lena

Role: Lena is the off and on again best friend of Zoe. She feeds Zoe information about other group members (true or not true), which often causes drama to start. People in the group are annoyed by and afraid of Lena. She holds a lot of power.

Bee’s Violation: Lena and my daughter have never gotten along very well. Bee thinks she is mean and often calls her out on her cattiness. Obviously this does not go over well.

Methods:  One way Lena backs Zoe up is by starting fake twitter fights with her. This stirs up drama within the group and is a great way to test the loyalty of members. Zoe and Lena think it’s funny to watch people text both of them with empathetic, ‘idiotic’ texts in the aftermath of the fake fights.

The Bystander: Roxie

Role: One of my daughter’s best friends throughout high school and also a member of the clique.

Bee’s Violation: Getting on the wrong side of the clique’s leader, thus endangering Roxie’s standing within the group.

Methods: Roxie has no courage. She watches silently from the sidelines and never takes a stand when she sees her friend being mistreated. If there is a get together and Bee is left out, Roxie will choose the clique every time. When negative group texts are sent, Roxie doesn’t participate in the negativity, but she won’t stand up for Bee either.

The Damage: By passively accepting the actions of the clique, members of the group feel validated since Bee’s trusted friend isn’t willing to stand up for her.

The Henchmen:  The Rest of the Girls in the Clique

Role: Followers. These girls do whatever the leader expects of them. They are friendly when it’s ok with Zoe and freeze Bee out when the word is given.

Survival

Dealing with this nasty pack and others throughout high school has been character building for Bee, but of course, the experience has not been without pain. This last push by Zoe and her group has been irritating, uncomfortable and hurtful.

Here are some of the ways Bee has shown grace, courage, and intelligence in dealing with the meanies:

  • Don’t retaliate. Bee has not resorted to the same tactics as these girls. I’ve asked her why and she doesn’t think it would change her situation. Additionally, it would make her feel bad about herself to spread rumors, gossip, or get into twitter fights with these girls.
  • Be proud of who you are. Remain confident despite backstabbing and gossip. Their words don’t define you, only them. Bee remains one of the most confident people I know.
  • Don’t keep it bottled up inside. Bee has been very open about her difficulties with this group of girls. She hates advice, but loves to be listened to.
  • Get some new friends. Bee is very much looking forward to July 2, the day she signs in to West Point. She knows there will be mean girls and cliques there, but looks forward to a fresh start.
  • Practice compassion. Bee actually says nice things about these girls sometimes. She feels sorry for them because many of them are trapped in this clique or have low self-esteem. This empathy she displays has helped her cope with her situation.

 

Bee’s Favorite Quote

I’m very proud of Bee for the way in which she has dealt with this lousy cast of characters. I’m certain that the future will bring her close friends who will love, appreciate, and protect her.

24 thoughts on “Why you gotta be so mean?

  1. Wow. My first thought was, I’m having flashbacks! And I’m so glad there wasn’t twitter/subtweets and group texts when I was in high school. It makes it so hard on kids these days. Your daughter sounds awesome and like she handled this all flawlessly and with class. She’s the one who comes out on top!

    • Yes, she’s definitely a winner. Sorry to have brought your flashbacks, I was having a few myself. I agree with you about being thankful for the lack of social media in our day. It can be incredibly destructive and hurtful. The only way to avoid is to simply unplug. Thanks for reading and for your nice comment! 🙂

  2. My daughter had the same problem in Jr High. I considered getting her therapy because it caused her so much pain. I wanted to strangle them! She went to a high school that just a few of these girls attended. What made these girls popular in jr high made them losers I’m high school. Your daughter will encounter more mature people at West Point and life will be better for her.

    • It is hard for a parent to watch because there is nothing you can do except be supportive. I’m glad your daughter’s situation changed in high school. Bee is on to bigger and better, and hopefully, more mature people at West Point. As an adult though, I have seen that maturity does not always guarantee an escape from the mean girls! Thanks for your thoughtful comment! 🙂

      • I have found clique children come from parents that do the same thing. Who needs them? There are so many more lovely people out there for us to call friends! Good luck Bee. You will be a rock star by learning how to handle these people effectively as you have done.

  3. I really love the way you have written this post, nailing each character perfectly and the system of hierarchy and interplay between each person. You have raised a wonderfully smart daughter with good self esteem. I wish I was more like her when I was at school as I too was ostracized in high school and eventually found another group of people. I know its better to “turn a blind eye” but if you ever need collective support Bee, we are here to help kick some seriously awesome blogging butt!!! 😉

    • Thanks! That would be awesome to band together and kick some butt…a mother’s fantasy!! Bee has way more courage than I did in high school too. She has handled herself very well and most importantly, has stayed true to herself and her values. I’m really proud of her. Thanks for your awesome comment! 🙂

  4. Good for Bee. It is nice to hear a girl standing up for herself. Now you know you have nothing to worry about when she goes off. She can handle herself! Also, best thing an older friend told me when I was having trouble in school was, “These are NOT the best years of your life. Trust me.” (1) That changed my whole attitude about high school and “those” girls. I decided I was going to be me. (2) She was totally right.

    • Wow…that is amazing advice. Whoever said high school years are the best is a nut. Wouldn’t that stink if our best years were over when we were only 18?

      I’ll share your friend’s words of wisdom with her. Thanks!! 🙂

  5. Ugh… I’m so sorry Bee has had to go through this. My daughter (who just turned 20) went through high school pretty unscathed. I’m thankful for that.

    The sweetest revenge she’ll have is the success she creates after high school.

    Blessings, love and light to her, you and yours.

  6. Ugh. My son went to high school after being homeschooled, and had a good social experience. My daughter had a much harder time. In fact, she partially homeschooled her senior year (some classes at school, some through independent study and an internship) because she was so worn out from the social stuff. She even had a hard time her sophomore year in college, with her female roommates this time. Now she’s going to be a senior at a different school in a different state and so far things are going well, with friends and coworkers and roommates. Knock on wood.
    It’s hard being female 😦 I love women and have been blessed with many wonderful female friendships, but I’ve seen plenty of mean girl behavior too, continuing well into adulthood. I hope your daughter has a much better time in college.

    • Yes, I hope things are better in college. Figuring out who the mean girls are and trying to minimize contact with them is important. I’m at a place in my life now where I can finally do that. When you are younger, school and college, you can’t always do that so figuring out a way to deal with these people definitely becomes important. Good luck to your daughter and thank for your heartfelt comment! 🙂

  7. Your daughter is an amazing girl! She is strong and she will pull through and I think what she has gone through will just make her transition and dealing with West Point easier.

  8. I’m sorry for your daughter’s experience, and happy that by building her resilience now, she’ll always have it when she needs it. High school is so hard! I’ve told my daughter that college is easier in many ways. Now, West Point? Maybe easier in different ways. Have you checked out the book “The Great Disconnect”? You don’t need it as a mom now that your kids are big, but I find it interesting as a teacher. Congratulations to Bee on her graduation and moving on!

  9. Your daughter is obviously brave and wise beyond her years. It’s a shame that it’s the girls who can see through all the mean girl garbage that are the ones who are subjected to the worst drama. You have raised a strong, confident young adult.

    • Thanks! Sometimes I wonder whether it’s a blessing or a curse being able to see through their garbage. Once you can see what’s going on, it is so hard to ignore. Hopefully West Point will be better. Thanks for you comment! 🙂

  10. Pingback: Sunday Sweets & Smiles: Dream | Wax's World

  11. Aww that’s so sad! I went to a really small high school and I was fortunate that everyone was super nice. We didn’t really have any “mean girls” so it’s hard for me to relate 😦 I hope Bee can hang in there!

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