I'm Coming Out!
I will no longer be bullied. I will no longer be pushed around by whispering, talking behind my back or name calling. I'm coming out & I'm shining a light on an ugly situation.
iMOM's Expresso Minute was from God today. I read an interesting article on Relational Aggression & have decided to order the book, Mean Girls Grow Up. It seems some women choose to bully through gossip, slander & lying about other women. It's so passive aggressive & I can't stand it! We leave junior high for a reason girls...
What is Relational Aggression?
It happens when you least expect it: the sudden, painful sting that hurts deeply, because you thought you were in a safe place, with other women and immune from harm. A word, a gesture, or some other seemingly innocuous behavior can be all it takes to wound in a way that hurts more than any physical blow. This is female relational aggression (RA): the subtle art of emotional devastation that takes place every day at home, at work, or in community settings. Unlike openly aggressive men, women learn early on to go undercover with these assaults, often catching their victims unaware. Many carry this behavior into adulthood.
RA is the use of relationships to hurt another, a way of verbal violence in which words rather than fists inflict damage. RA seems to peak in the early teen years when girls use a variety of behaviors that wound without ever pulling a punch. Word wars are often dismissed as "just the way girls are," or "she's just jealous." Whether or not you're a mother, you probably understand these scenarios intuitively: the girl who gets excluded from a crowd she previously belonged to; the newcomer who fails to be accepted by other girls no matter what she does; the girl who is somehow different and targeted for that reason; or the popular Queen Bee, who buzzes from place to place spreading discomfort and manipulating others with her words. Sounds pretty juvenile, doesn't it?
Unfortunately, some women never outgrow these behaviors, turning into adults who slay with a smile and wound with a word. The mean girls of middle school may change into grown-up "shrews," "witches," "prima donnas," but underneath, the same game that started in grade school is still being played. In and out of the workplace, as individuals and in groups, these women continue to interact in aggressive ways reminiscent of high school hallways where girls jockeyed for social status.After encounters with such women, you walk away wondering exactly what happened, and, sometimes, why you care so much. In a search for answers, you may even reflect back on your adolescent years, when behaviors such as jealousy, gossip, and forming cliques were the modus operandi. You may remember the moments when you sighed thankfully, thinking it was all behind you. The end result, when you discover it isn't, is feelings of confusion, hurt, and even fear.
Social scientists and psychologists have recently invented a new classification of bullying that reflects the above perspective on aggression. They call it relational aggression. Interpretations of current research attach the label of relational aggressor almost exclusively to women. However, I believe the label applies as well to men.
Socially and culturally, we vastly underestimate the type of aggressive behavior characterized as relational aggression because it has a more elusive and indirect outcome than the easily observed physical aggression normally associated with the behavior of men.
Relational aggression takes form as verbal threats and abuse. Relational bullies exercise their negative intent by directing hurtful statements to their victims and, of greater significance, talking about their victims to others.
This type of aggression uses the threat of social isolation to hurt the victim. The bully's advantage resides in the value the victim places on belonging to a family, school, workplace or other group.
Ironically, the most powerful advantage comes not from the bully but from the victim: the pro-social constraint of the victim, the universal yearning for relationship, provides all the advantage the bully ever needs.
This does not absolve the bully. The susceptibility of the victim may have its enticements, but the behavior belongs solely to the bully.
Once a potential victim exhibits social constraint, or responsibility, the bully knows he or she can safely maneuver the situation to the very brink of disgrace. Counting on the integrity of the victim's constraints to keep them both from tumbling over, the bully stands on the crumbling edges of socially acceptable behavior and demands that the victim either jump or submit.To learn more visit these sights:
Relational Aggression- Every Day or No Way?
Mean Girls Grow Up
Relational Aggression Blog - interestingly enough this is written by a home school mom!
Beth Moore teaches about mean girls in her Bible Study, Esther- It's Tough Being a Woman.
She teaches how to turn around situations where you have ever felt inadequate, pushed around or threatened. When you are in the tight fist of fear remember these verses:
When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people:
"Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses."
"Blessed are you, O Israel;
Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD,
Who is the shield of your help
And the sword of your majesty!
So your enemies will cringe before you,
And you will tread upon their high places."
"Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me."
Deep breath, Sigh, here it goes....
If I speak to you about someone in a negative way or gossip, please call me out. Refer me to that person directly, church leadership & the Lord.
I am no longer going to submit or play the victim in this situation. It has to stop. It's hurtful, divisive & just plain wrong. I live in a small town. Women here fellowship at the same places, worship at the same churches & backbiting kills. Satan wants women at odds.
I do not want to raise my daughters with women who quote scripture & then do the exact opposite in their personal lives.
It stops w/me.
It would kill me to know my daughters were being hurt in this way or that I was the example that showed them it is ok to act w/relational aggression.
"People Fear Christians before they Fear Jesus" - Anonymous
I don't want to be one of those Christians.
I'm coming out publicly to say I want to live in peace.
I'm releasing this situation to the Lord knowing that He's got it.
1 Tim 1:18,19
1 Peter 5:7