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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?      Home login  
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 larissan04
Joined: 8/11/2011
Msg: 1
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?Page 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
I recently came across this interesting article about Relational Aggression, i.e., the way women use covert, or passive aggressive behaviors to bully other women. If you have ever suddenly found that your female friends are giving you the cold shoulder, or have been in a situation where you are the new girl and not accepted by the group, then you know what this is. The article asserts that the Mean Girls never out grow this behavior, and instead they exhibit the same maliciousness in adulthood, thereby carrying it into the workplace.

Have you ever been the victim of Relational Aggression? If so, how have you handled it? Have you ever participated in it, and do you do this now?

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=1195438&page=1
 bwena
Joined: 2/5/2012
Msg: 2
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 12:13:45 AM
It is alive and well in grown adult women, especially in the workplace. My guess is that it comes from competition for men and/or resources. If they feel threatened by some women, they become competitive and nasty. I have been a victim of it many times in school and work. I just avoid those women as much as possible. They are immature and have low self esteem. I do my own thing and trust in my own abilities. No need for competition when you have good self worth and a positive attitude. :)
 lotustemple
Joined: 10/23/2011
Msg: 3
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 1:42:44 AM
You really can't negotiate with passive aggressives other than to threaten one. The work place is the easiest place to deal with them, as there is always a mediator aka supervisor of some sort. You don't waste a minute once the m.o. has surfaced by reporting immediately actions that slow down production and jeopardize the best interest of the company. If it doesn't stop, they go or I go, is what I've said refusing to work in a non-productive environment. Worked very well for me.
 flaneur001
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 4
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Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 4:41:24 AM
I'm 54 and I've never women like this.....until a few days ago on the forum. Do you remember the thread by the 'ball buster' from New Jersey. Wow, at 45 she was the epitomy of relational aggression. It was fascinating to see this thread unfold, the more critical posts were of her, the happier and more vile she became.
 notatowniegirl
Joined: 4/18/2006
Msg: 5
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 5:11:13 AM
I think the lady who said it's competition are right. Woman aren't supposed to be overtly aggressive like men or they get knocked hard. Stealthy and sneaky looks to be the easiest option after that.

A friend of mine recently split with her fiance. She's 43, overweight and while she isn't butt ugly she's pretty masculine looking and is feeling down right now. I tried to cheer her up by inviting her places like clubs and parties to get out of the house. The claws are really coming out now though. I'm 5'11 and 125 pounds but suddenly everything I wear (even the stuff I've had since I've known her) makes me look like my ass is huge compared to my waist. The bikini I wore last year makes me look flat-chested. My hair is too long and it's not shaped right for my face... and so on and so on. I went home with a pocket full of numbers from men last weekend and she said " Men give numbers to women like you hoping to get laid. They give numbers to women like me because they want a wife". She's really been ramping it up too. I suddenly can't even get my makeup right, because the way I do my makeup on a night out makes my eyes look so big that I look like an alien.

Just last night I told her to cool it with the unwanted opinions unless she wants me to start in on her, that I had a long list of things she needs to improve to meet my standards, and that every time she makes a crack about me I'll find one worse about her to bring up. I also told her that since she's going through a hard time I'll give her a break, but that I have an extremely low bullshite tolerance and friends like her are easily replaced. I'll have to see how it goes.

Edit:
I dunno what happened to one of the paragraphs I wrote...

But she also approached several men who showed interest in me and told them that I have a crazy ex who'll cause trouble for them. She danced with one man that I'd turned down and told him that I'm high-maintenance anyway. He told his friends, one of whom I'd been having a conversation with and who stopped showing interest suddenly. At the store I couldn't decide which snacks to buy to nibble on while getting ready, and she called me a "typical female who can't make up her mind". At the grocery store a chubby remarked that I had all healthy food in my cart and that she should eat more food like that. My "friend" told her that my weight is pretty much a result of a fruit and starvation diet. And finally, I found out from a guy who decided to not date me anymore that she had been making sexual remarks to him and that she told him that we've "shared men" before and to come over. He thought it was a weird situation and decided to stay away from it altogether instead of talking to me. I asked her about it, and she said she was joking and he was an idiot for taking him seriously. It's a shame too, because I really liked him.
 PinkZombies
Joined: 12/20/2011
Msg: 6
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 6:28:04 AM
Yes, I have encountered mean girls in the workplace. I agree, they use EXACTLY the same behaviors and techniques learned in childhood to psychologically torture their "victims" at work. Here's the thing- they don't mess with me anymore. I am thinking of our current Drama Queen and her little toadie-diva. First of all, everyone is aware of their manipulations and the place starts buzzing whenever they try to make a move. Secondly I made it clear (after a first incident) that I don't tolerate bullies in the workplace. I said it to their faces. Lastly, I have a reputation of being kindly, skilled, and well-liked; to hurt me doesn't serve them well. A couple of years ago they went after a brilliant new employee from China who, due to cultural and language barriers, was relatively defenseless at the time. I am proud to say we (that is- most of us) got together to put a stop to this injustice. The new employee also did an amazing job standing up for herself. Let me tell you, the harassment problem went to HR- it got that bad. That employee is now a valued member of our crew. The mean girls expected a different outcome. They were trying to get her fired.

Treat everyone with kindness and respect, stay professional, don't bring problems from home.
 lightbrownsuga2luv
Joined: 12/1/2011
Msg: 7
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 6:32:38 AM
It's really sad that some woman are this way. Yes, i have experienced it before, high school and work. How i handled it was got a tough and ignored some.
However, it's somewhat hard when that person is a team lead whome you have to go to for everything, I learned her ways, found out what made her tick, and we were cool after three years of her bulls-----. She didn't mess with me again.

Funny thing I found out was she, this type of behavior was dished out to her at the same work place before I came there.
 Blah_User_Name
Joined: 8/27/2011
Msg: 8
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 7:11:43 AM
I've experienced these women although thankfully not often. There's one right here on the forums who posts as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth but if you look closely at her postings and compare it to her profile, she pays lips service to the qualities she thinks are appealing but doesn't follow through with her forum behavior.

I put it down to insecurity. They feel threatened by those who they perceive to possess the qualities they wish they had and rather then striving to be that way, they try and intimidate the perceived threat. They advertise/brag to those around them about actions they have taken to fit in with their peers and appear cool but when called on the action, if it was inappropriate, they adopt underhand measures to try and hide what they did.

People like this are both shallow and cowardly. They hold those around them to the standard they would like to portray but seem unable or unwilling to attempt to rise to the same standard themselves. It's pitiful and sad really as they rarely understand they are selling themselves short and they rarely keep people of quality in their lives.

I suspect, when this behavior comes from a grown woman, that these were the school bullies at school. The girls who wanted to be part of the cool clique and knew they didn't belong there so took on the henchman type role in order to be admitted. Sad to think that throughout their lives they've conformed in the worst way in order to feel worthy of acceptance. Truly broken people who normally end up bitter and resentful at the world.

And maybe more sadly, people you cannot help because they refuse to see for themselves that they are often the cause of their own misery.
 larissan04
Joined: 8/11/2011
Msg: 9
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 8:41:07 AM
lotustemple~

"You really can't negotiate with passive aggressives other than to threaten one. The work place is the easiest place to deal with them, as there is always a mediator aka supervisor of some sort. You don't waste a minute once the m.o. has surfaced by reporting immediately actions that slow down production and jeopardize the best interest of the company. If it doesn't stop, they go or I go, is what I've said refusing to work in a non-productive environment. Worked very well for me."

I think you are right. I have often ignored the behavior, but it seldom, if ever stops. Then it usually progresses to several people joining in, which I suppose is the way women deal with someone they don't "like" - get allies. On the other hand, when one goes to a supervisor, they have to be careful because it may backfire. Sometimes the victim ends up looking bad or ends up being accused of not being able to "work well with others" or "get along" even though the victim is not the problem.
 larissan04
Joined: 8/11/2011
Msg: 10
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 8:50:01 AM
Pink Zombies~

"The new employee also did an amazing job standing up for herself. Let me tell you, the harassment problem went to HR- it got that bad. That employee is now a valued member of our crew. The mean girls expected a different outcome. They were trying to get her fired. Treat everyone with kindness and respect, stay professional, don't bring problems from home."

I think your story about the new employee was really sad. It also begs the question: why are these women still employed at your place of business. I often see the Mean Girls getting away with this sort of crap. When I once managed a marketing program, I had a team of about 30 young women working for me at any given time. On more then one occasion I had to deal with a bunch of drama, and I discovered that the people that I thought were the problem were not the problem. More often then not, it was the girls that had really gone out of their way to suck up to me as the boss that were creating havoc with new people that we brought on. In the end I learned a valuable lesson, and I also learned how to keep a professional distance from people that worked under me. This has helped me maintain better objectivity when dealing with workplace issues. It also makes it easier to fire people that bring down the productivity. These Mean Girls at work should either be moved to different departments in order to separate the dysfunctional group dynamic, or fired. When HR puts up with this sort of behavior in the workplace, it creates a very unhealthy environment for everyone.
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 11
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 9:02:25 AM
I met a LOT of women like that when I worked for a major financial institution.
Thank God I left them behind and can now pick and choose my clients.
Which I do.
 stargazin53
Joined: 11/9/2010
Msg: 12
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Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 9:31:36 AM
Ugly stuff like this shows up, is a complete waste of time and energy and ALWAYS disappointing. In the past I would bumble around for a bit, trying to figure out what, exactly, was going on with these people because when you don't operate that way yourself it can be hard to recognize at first. Ha-nowadays, I knows it when I sees it :) ---hit it hard and direct in the workplace and let it be known there will be none of that ( when we, as nurses, are caring for others there's no time for petty crap getting in the way). In my personal life....I don't waste time with folks who choose to live in that kind of drama because AFTER the part where they irritate the heck out of me, they are just boring.
 larissan04
Joined: 8/11/2011
Msg: 13
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 9:57:39 AM
Stargazin

Interesting that you mention nursing, because the fields of education and nursing seem to have a high incidence of relational aggression. i do think it is because they are female dominated fields, and yes, it is absolutely a waste of time. when i am in the ER i don't want to have to worry that some petty spat between two nurses is going to interfere with my care. when i send my kids to school, i shouldnt have to worry that some petty spat between two teachers is going to interfere with my child getting an education.

i have often heard it said that if women ran the world there would be fewer wars. i don't think this is true. i think we'd have wars just getting started for different reasons, like one ruler having larger breasts then another, or having better shoes or something.
 trinity818
Joined: 9/1/2006
Msg: 14
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Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 10:10:11 AM
I think a big part of the problem is their egos. They are insecure and thoughtless individuals who don't really care about other people. These women are seriously lacking in compassion.

Women aren't generally taught about working together as a team. (At least not when I was growing up.) They often view each other as adversaries instead of recognizing the importance of female friendship and teamwork.

I have to admit...I am much more compassionate and considerate towards women than I am towards men.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 15
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Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 10:33:36 AM

I have to admit...I am much more compassionate and considerate towards women than I am towards men.


That just shows you're a logical person. There's no sense wasting those feelings on creatures they mean nothing to. Might as well feel compassion and consideration for an earthworm.
 trinity818
Joined: 9/1/2006
Msg: 16
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Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 10:36:36 AM
I knew as soon as I hit the "post" button that I was going to get in trouble for that statement. I didn't mean to imply that I had NO compassion or consideration for men. I meant that I had more empathy towards females.

Some of my closest friends are male. I care about them.
 onlydateIF
Joined: 11/15/2011
Msg: 17
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 10:37:32 AM
Jealousy and insecurity. I've dealt with this here and there throughout my life. It's really too bad because I think of all women as my sisters and see no valid reason we shouldn't all just get along. I have had 'friends' even surprise me with the 'Oh if I was only like you' talk. Now that I've learned to recognize the green monster when I hear it, I skedaddle from those types. No matter what I say when I hear the jealousy to point out the other female's strong points, she usually continues on in self- pity tirade mode. I know self-esteem is an inside job and there's nothing I can do to boost them now. I've even had married women with fabulous husbands jealous of me! It's so ridiculous! And speaking of men, I wish more of them would understand this one...Women can be very cruel to those they feel are more attractive, successful or whatever than themselves, no matter how humble or down to earth the other woman actually is.Once they've concocted a story in their own head, you get to be unwillingly cast in their 'why I'm less than you' movie without even knowing it! I wish those jealous women would know that the loss of yet another potential friend over irrational jealousy makes me a bit sad. :(. Women need to join together in sisterhood and quit declaring each other 'enemies' just bc of the way they look IMO.
PS-OP, I think I remember seeing your pic on here. I bet you get faced with this a lot, AND I can also understand why you took it off this site-some of us get tired of certain kinds of attention ;)
 lotustemple
Joined: 10/23/2011
Msg: 18
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 11:17:59 AM
i have often heard it said that if women ran the world there would be fewer wars. i don't think this is true.


I don't think either unilateral approach works too well.....a nice blend of male and female design would be my vote.

This whole topic of behavior is a carry over dinosaur from the day women had no power due to male dominance. Think the****Van Dyke show. Womens job back then was to cater to men and they learned how to manipulate to get what they needed and wanted for themelves and their children. Passive aggressive is the most successful and preferred method of manipulation. And with all negative behaviors it has lingered and morphed into the workplace and other arenas. These women learned from their mothers who learned from their mothers that they were not powerful enough or good enough, so they scramble to crawl up from the self imposed bottom tiers of existence regardless of their current status.
 ThusSpokeZarathustra
Joined: 4/24/2012
Msg: 19
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 11:54:05 AM

Some of my closest friends are male. I care about them.

Yes, and some of my friends are black too.

Empathy and compassion are two different things altogether.
I wonder why someone's gender would play a role in how much compassion a person would have for them.
 ThusSpokeZarathustra
Joined: 4/24/2012
Msg: 20
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 12:01:18 PM

i think we'd have wars just getting started for different reasons, like one ruler having larger breasts then another,

Finally, a war worth fighting. Sign me up. Queen Boadiliciouscea, scourge of the Romans.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 21
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Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 12:41:48 PM
Empathy and compassion are two different things altogether.


This is where I get lost. Those concepts are so vague, and what people understand them to be varies so much, that I can never be sure just what a person means by them. I'm sure kindness involves caring enough about being fair to put yourself in another person's shoes. But the details of how a particular person does that are never clear.

As for being mean to people without provocation, I suspect it usually comes from wanting to gain at their expense. It happens when the reasons to compete with someone seem better than to cooperate with them. I've seen enough conniving and maneuvering among men in the workplace to know it's not confined to women. When some people pat you on the back, you know they're just trying to find the soft spot.


i think we'd have wars just getting started for different reasons, like one ruler having larger breasts then another, or having better shoes or something.


I notice how often things women focus on as making them more desirable are far less important than things they don't pay so much attention to. I like pretty women a lot, but there's a lot more to attraction and sexiness than appearance. The small things women do--a look, a laugh, a tone of voice, a smile out of nowhere, a moment of acting silly, a show of being a good sport, a little favor, playful affection toward a child or an animal, a show of concern, an offer to help--the things I'm sure they often think are not that significant--do a lot to make me want to put my arms around a woman and kiss her.
 trinity818
Joined: 9/1/2006
Msg: 22
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Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 12:55:10 PM

I wonder why someone's gender would play a role in how much compassion a person would have for them.


I wonder why I've been treated with less compassion from men than women. You tell me. Why do men in general demonstrate less compassion towards me?
 fillyphilly
Joined: 5/12/2012
Msg: 23
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 12:59:43 PM
I never experienced it in real life, not growing up nor in my career. Maybe I've been lucky. Women have always been my greatest support.
 mrcs84
Joined: 12/9/2008
Msg: 24
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Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 1:18:23 PM

I wonder why I've been treated with less compassion from men than women. You tell me. Why do men in general demonstrate less compassion towards me?


Perhaps in your little world. Society as a whole most certainly has more compassion for women than for men.
 ThusSpokeZarathustra
Joined: 4/24/2012
Msg: 25
Why Are Women So Mean to Other Women?
Posted: 5/19/2012 1:29:30 PM

I wonder why I've been treated with less compassion from men than women. You tell me. Why do men in general demonstrate less compassion towards me?

Hard to say since I'm not sure what you mean by compassion.
However, I'm not sure why you'd expect any different since you clearly dole out your compassion based on a person's gender rather than on their situation.
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