The last time I was holding my stomach trying not to throw up I was so upset and hurt by words of mean girls was in high school. Sure, there have little jabs from girls who don't dig me since then, but for the most part, the waters have been smooth.
Until they weren't. Recently, I got to enjoy (jk) what it feels like to be put through the ringer again, incase you forgot, it's not fun.
As lies were being spread, and my feelings were hurt—the pit in my stomach grew and I began to feel uneasy.
What is this mess? I thought. The words these people were saying weren't true, not even one ounce of truth in what they were saying.
Maybe it was the betrayal that I felt penetrate every fiber in my being. When those you love/ed, purposely try and hurt you—I mean, that hurts man.
So I sat with it.
In high school I didn't know what to do when hurtful words came my way, so I let it consume me. I let the words of others break me so much that It would take years to rebuild myself.
I'm not in high school anymore (and thank god for that, am I right or what?). Actually, being bullied in HS is what led me to start my business, Strong Chicks Rock (more about that HERE). So as feelings that hadn't been home in my body for years began to bubble, I thought of how I would coach my clients in this situation.
Which was hard, I'm not going to pretend like it wasn't. When you're sad, and have been lied to, lied about and feel the utmost disappointment in someone you cared so deeply about—how do you navigate that level headed?
I talked with my dad, because you know dads are always right. He hurts because I'm hurt. We were both torn if we should confront the people who spreading nasty rumors, because their words weren't only hurtful—they were affecting my life, my sons life, and my career.
We asked, what would be the benefit of talking to them? Do we just want them to feel bad? No matter how zen I'd like to think I am, for a few seconds I thought about egging their houses. JK. Not really (I'm kidding). The answer is no—talking it out with them isn't an option ( I tried that). I don't want them to feel bad, maybe they do or don't, I don't know. What I do know is that seeking out hurt or anger upon them doesn't help me heal. And I don't want to think about them, I don't want their words to infest my brain, or heart anymore than they have.
So if I'm not going to go all "Kill Bill" on them, and stoop to their level of hurt, or egg someones house (I can't give up glorious fat out of anger #eattheyolkdon'twasteitonbullies)—what do I do? What do you do?
Have you been in, or are currently in a situation where you're hurt because of something someone did or said? It feels like shit, huh? I want to guide you through it so you can stop overthinking what they said or did, and move through it.
This isn't about them, I'm not going to tell you talk, or fight it out, I want to give you tools to work through what's happening in your body if you're experiencing the same kind of mean girl/boy hurt that I was feeling. Because it probably doesn't feel too good, it hurts and you want it gone.
What To Do When Mean Girls (and boys) Attack
1. Breathe. I understand how silly this sounds and I know if you're in the middle of a mean girl/boy storm right now you may want a sexier answer. We get so stressed and anxious that our shoulders are living up in our ears and we are giving ourselves headaches and belly aches—sick over what's consuming us. We can rewire our brain and calm our central nervous system with a quick and simple breathing pattern that can be done anywhere.
With one hand on your belly and the other on your heart, breathe in through your nose, letting your belly fill first (not your chest). Breathing out through the mouth.
In through the nose, belly fills, out through the mouth, belly falls.
Do 5-10 here to regain a sense of calm in your body.
2. Move your body. I know you want to hibernate and not come out, but sometimes we can change a mindset by moving a muscle. So if you need to dance it out Meredith Grey style, workout, box, walk or whatever makes you move—do it. Our feelings are energy in motion, and your hurt or sadness literally just wants to be acknowledged so it can pass through your body.
3. Journal. There may be so much traveling through your brain right now that you can't think straight. I know that you want to feel better and you want your hurt to vacate the premises, so think of journaling as a word dump. Don't know where to start? Use one of these prompts on a blank page:
- What would it look like if getting over this was easy?
- What do I need to forgive this person for doing/saying________?
- Feel your sadness, shut your eyes and physically feel where it is in the body: write down what where it is and what it feels like. Again, sometimes your feelings just want to be acknowledged.
- Write the event that happened from another perspective. This is hard but has helped me work through a lot of hardships. Can you think for a minute why this person was acting out or said what they did? What kind of pain or hurt might they have been carrying that made them lash out? Write about it!
- Free write or raw write. Don't think here. This doesn't have to make sense, just write whatever comes as it comes and you can choose to read it back latter or burn it. Think of this as a pure brain dump. Don't write what you think I want to hear or you think you should write, just get it out.
When the mean girls/boys attack verbally, you don't have to stoop to their level, hibernate or egg their house—try and use some of the above methods to work on what's happening inside of you. You can heal your hurt, I promise.