When Mean Girls Strike
A sweet thing that sometimes babysits my kids was struggling last week. It seems she was smack-dab in the crosshairs of some mean girls at her school. Their weapon of choice was gossip, and they were making her life miserable by spreading rumors that were untrue. Understandably, she was sad, anxious, and a little shaken.
My heart broke for her because I have so been there and done that.
I have a hunch that almost all of us have. I polled our little staff of writers for this blog to see if they have any mean girl stories. Almost all of us did, with the exception of Lindsey who said, "I honestly can't say that I've ever experienced girl drama. My friendships with girls have been really blessed!" I think she hit the girl friendship jackpot, don't you? Most of us don't get through female friendships so unscathed.
So what can you do when a mean girl (or a pack of mean girls) attack? Here are four strategies, straight from God's Word.
Kill Her With Kindness
Romans 12:20–21 says, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
These words apply well to enemies and frenemies alike. Don't return mean girl stuff with mean girl stuff. Don't give drama for drama. Instead make an effort to be kind to those girls who are unkind to you. Pray for opportunities to overcome the bitterness, jealousy, anger, etc., in their hearts with God's deep love.
Don't Defend Yourself
Just before Paul urges us to show kindness to our enemies in the passage above, he writes these words:
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord" (Rom. 12:19).
"Never avenge yourselves ..."
In other words, don't get back at that girl for talking about you by talking about her. Don't repay her mean looks with more mean looks. Don't look for ways to get back at, get even, or punish her. Let God handle it.
Psalm 18:2 says, "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold" (emphasis added).
Is someone saying something about you that isn't true?
God is your defender.
Is someone pitting a group of girls against you?
God is your defender.
Is someone determined to make your life miserable?
God is your defender.
You don't have to claw your way out of a bad situation. God can send the rescue chopper for you. You don't have to come up with an answer for every lie ever told about you. If you defend yourself, it will likely just add fuel to the fire. Instead, let the big guns handle it and know that God will fight for you.
Choose Friends Wisely
Some girls thrive on drama, but drama doesn't have to be a part of the equation with your female friendships. (Remember Lindsey's story?) While we are encouraged to show love to everyone, even those that mistreat us, we don't have to let mean girls inside our inner circle.
Proverbs 13:20 gives this warning about friendships: "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm."
If you've got a friend (or frenemy) who has a track record of gossip, jealousy, and mean girl shenanigans, it's okay to defriend her. You don't have to tell her that's what you're doing. You sure don't have to announce it to other girls (that's gossip too!), but you don't have to put yourself in her sights to be targeted either. Simply move on, and choose wiser friends.
Remember Who You Can Count On
Middle school and high school tend to be seasons when girl drama is at its peak. Take it from someone whose school days are gone, it's not always gonna be this intense, but that doesn't mean that relationships will always be smooth sailing. No matter what stage of life you're in or who your friends are, relationships will always be complicated.
That's why it's wise to memorize this little nugget of truth.
For my father and mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in (Ps. 27:10).
When others walk out, He walks in.
When others give up, He cheers us on.
When others abandon, He promises He never will.
When others want to kick us to the curb, God will take us in.
No matter what others do, you can always, always, always count on God.
How do you cope with girl drama? Leave us a comment below to tell us about it.
Psst ... be sure to check out tomorrow's post where I'll fess up about what it's like to be the mean girl. Hint: It's not as much fun as it seems!