03 Apr Confessions of a Former Mean Girl
I have a confession to make: I used to be a mean girl. Quoting Katy Perry’s latest tweet, I was the epitome of “Regina George in a sheep’s clothing.” In my young mind, I wasn’t the mean one, but rather the victim. A victim of bullying at an early age (although not as bad as some of the cases I hear of today), I transformed myself into someone who could no longer be bullied – tough and with a quick mouth to show for. So what I was doing then was in defense of the years I’ve experienced on the other end of the stick.
To be clear, I have never done things that were outwardly mean such as physical altercations or even name-calling. I was a good student with good grades and often hid behind the premise of being the “good one”. Just like Regina George, I was more stealthily, often gossiping about people, pointing out their mistakes, and making sure that people knew I was the good by highlighting the faults of others. I am not proud of myself, however, at that time, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. It was a long process of introspection, painful truths from people who truly cared about me, and facing my own faults that led me to realize the mistakes of my past. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it is one that I am proud of.
It was through that journey that I have realized that the words we speak of others are often a reflection of what we feel about ourselves. Also, speaking ill of others did not put the other person in a bad light, but spoke greatly about my character.
Fast-forward to nearly ten years later and I have come to realize that even at 26, bullies exist. Just like the bullies of our younger years, adult bullies are still the same high school bullies they once were and still on the prowl to leech on energy from those they perceive are above them. Bullies to this day still try to yield their power around, in whatever form, shape, or size. Due to social media, bullies have a new way to “flaunt” their powers and surprisingly so, people are still magnetized to their sweet yet deceptive ways.
My new mindset refuses to let in any of this toxic drama to be let in in my life. I try, as much as possible, to surround myself with people who are kind, positive, and most importantly, real. There is no longer room in my life for people who gain power by tearing down another. And while it is a noble cause, dealings with bullies are still widely inevitable. When I was younger, I used to think that bullies got the best of me when they treated me badly but at 26 and by the wonderful grace of God, I have come to realize that their bad behavior only reflects upon themselves and how unhappy they truly are in life.
Morrie Schwartz once said that, “people are only mean when they are threatened.” Bullies, who snap at people for no reason, and point out others mistakes, have deeper issues that I truly pray they resolve in time. No normal, happy human being wakes up in the morning with a mission to destroy. No matter how one tries to hide it, inner demons come to play. I know this because I went through it.
It takes a lot of prayer, a lot of wise and truthful feedback from people who love you, and humility to accept our faults to truly overcome being a bully. In fact, we never truly get it right 100% of the time, but we have to always go after peace: peace in ourselves, peace in others, and peace in the life that we have been given.
My greatest realization was that my former mean girl ways were fueled by the fear that everyone else were getting more than I was in life and I didn’t like it. Moving away from this mentality and realizing that everyone deserves a good life and no one is getting “better” out of life than anyone allowed me to finally be kinder and actually be happy with another’s success.
The world and all of its 6 billion people are not out to get me, in fact, just like me they are making the most of what this world has to offer and the least I can do is to mince my words and offer a smile instead.