We all knew at least one Mean Girl at school, right? The ones who could make us feel bad about ourselves with a look or a snigger or a bitchy comment. The ones who the boys seemed to like anyway. Although, let’s be honest, most boys were pretty stupid at that age, so it’s perhaps not so surprising. They usually hunted in packs and we all breathed a sigh of relief when we went our separate ways. Twenty five years have passed since school and I am happy to say that I don’t have Mean Girls in my life anymore. Anyone who makes me feel bad about myself doesn’t last very long in my social circle. Or have I….?
As I listened to an excellent episode of the Let it Be podcast the other day, I learned that there is one set of Mean Girls that are much harder to shake off than those horrid girls at school. The Inner Mean Girl. Do you have one? You may actually have a whole gang.
My Inner Mean Girls are still going strong and jabbering away to me, in a way that I wouldn’t allow any other, actual, person to do. Mine sound something like this…..
Oh, you really have to say yes to that extra school fundraising commitment, because if you don’t then who will and it’s really selfish of you to say no and when you do say yes, it will entirely be your fault if the event doesn’t go really well and isn’t well supported. It means you haven’t done enough to get people interested. Mind you, it won’t be surprising really. I know you won’t be able to do it. It’s going to be really stressful and you’re going to worry about it each step of the way.
While we’re talking about you, I see you had your best month ever on your blog. I bet you’re really pleased about that. It won’t last, you know? You’ll run out of ideas and anyway who wants to hear what you’ve got to say. It’s mainly quite boring. Oh, don’t you feel like writing anymore? What a surprise! Never mind, you could concentrate on getting your house in order. It’s a bit of a mess. You really should be able to keep things going better, you know. Why do you find it so hard to keep things organised and ticking along? It can’t be that hard. You really should be a better person than this……..
And on it goes. This isn’t intended as some vote for sympathy. I am pretty sure that most of us have Inner Mean Girls. Let me introduce you to yours? They may not necessarily be telling us we’re not good enough, although, I suspect many of them are. They might be telling us to be good, or people won’t like us and therefore we must say yes to everything. They may be telling us that we don’t deserve to sit down and do nothing, we should be productive all the time. They may be persuading us that we should be striving for perfection or comparing ourselves to others. In fact when we fall down that trap of comparing our lives to those we see on social media and get ourselves all angry at what and how others choose to share their lives, I am absolutely sure that it is our own Inner Mean Girls that are to blame. They are the ones whispering in our ears that we are not up to the mark. It’s more about us than the Instagram feed we’re looking at.
We talk trash to ourselves all the time and our Inner Mean Girls seem to be able to drown out our Inner Cheerleaders (It gets pretty crowded in those brains of ours, huh?) I think it’s about time the Inner Mean Girl was told to shut the hell up and let us get on with being fabulous. We ran a mile from Mean Girls after school finished, so why have we let them take up residence in our psyche?
I have started by recognising when my Mean Girls are piping up and suddenly their voices aren’t as loud. Just thinking of my negativ thoughts as you Inner Mean Girl, makes it easier for me to ignore them. For example, I’ve written this blog post, even though my Mean Girl would probably say I shouldn’t, because frankly it makes me sound a bit nuts.
If you want more information to identify your own Mean Girl, go to the Inner Mean Girl Reform School website. I bet you find yourself nodding to at least one of the descriptions or have a listen to Let It Be, Episode 7. We need to start being as kind to ourselves as we are to others. No more listening to the bully in our head.
I think I might call mine Stacey and make her put on at least a stone in weight. See how she likes that! Oh, and my Inner Mean Girl thinks that posting selfies is juvenile and self involved, so………