How To Spot A Mean Girl And Beat Her At Her Own Game

Mean girls aren’t just those nasty kids on the playground. They’re sometimes smart, interesting women at work or in your BFF circle that you trust even though you shouldn’t. Here’s how to spot a mean girl so you don’t allow her to mess with your head or happiness.

  1. She’s insecure AF. Sure, the mean girl seems strong and super-confident, but honestly, she’s a little insecure girl trapped in an adult’s body. The sad thing is that instead of dealing with her issues, she’ll use her own insecurities as weapons to hurt others. She’ll hint that you should watch what you eat when she’s the one with body insecurities, for instance. The best thing is not to let her insecurities become yours. She’s the one with the problem.
  2. She hates being ignored. She loves being in the spotlight and craves attention from everyone—she almost expects it. I had a mean friend and one day we were hanging out when a guy came over and said one of us was wearing lovely perfume. She assumed it was her and thanked him, only for him to turn around and say it was mine. She looked pissed off because mean girls always have to be the best. Geez. But the situation revealed an interesting tactic for dealing with a mean girl: ignore her and it’ll drive her crazy!
  3. She’s a control freak. She loves being in control of people and situations, which is why she’ll tell you to make reservations for eight at your favorite restaurant without even asking nicely. It’s like she’s the queen bee and everyone has to do what she says. How to deal? Tell her you’re busy and don’t be guilted for saying “no” to requests. She needs to know that you’re not at her beck and call.
  4. She’s always green. You might think that since the mean girl in your group of friends is hot and successful AF, she’s not jealous of anyone, but she most definitely is. Look, people who are mean to others are always in competition with them, and sadly their egos come before their friendships. Don’t be surprised if you share news about your fantastic travel plans or work promotion and the mean girl breaks you down or tries to make you doubt your decisions. The best thing is to stop sharing details about your life so she can’t get to you.
  5. People are just toys to her. I once knew a mean girl who used to hang out with friends only when it suited her but then speak badly about them to the rest of us when they weren’t around. Dodgy AF. Mean girls are two-faced and unafraid to use people for their own goals. Be aware of their manipulative tactics by noticing how they deal with other people. If the mean girl’s nice to others when it’s convenient for her, be warned she’s doing the same thing to you.
  6. She can’t define loyalty. At first she might appear to be a great friend, but she’s not. A classic example is how she’ll gossip behind people’s backs and even start rumors about them. She might make you feel like you’re one of her besties ’cause she confides in you about other people’s secrets and issues, but she’s breaking her loyalty to them! Stop confiding in her or gossiping with her, unless you want your life to be broadcast to everyone or your reputation to go down the drain.
  7. She’ll insult you without flinching. You’re at a party when the mean girl pipes up and says something nasty about you, either directly or in conversation with other people. It happens so quickly and she doesn’t even flinch, causing you to feel shocked. She might even continue the conversation as though nothing happened. WTF? If you confront her about it, she might say she was just playing around. No—she’s cruel. Don’t let her treat you like that. Ask her what’s up and if everything’s okay between you. Sometimes that’s all a mean girl needs to know you’re onto her and to stop her insulting behavior.
  8. She blows hot and cold. You never really know where you stand with the mean girl. One minute, she’s loving you and the next, she’s completely freezing you out of social gatherings and conversations. WTF? Don’t fall into her trap by wondering why she’s being this way – she wants you to think about her and worry about your friendship. Play it cool and show her you can make other connections. She doesn’t deserve your attention.
  9. She makes you want to be her friend. Why are you friends with the mean girl? She has a way of reeling you in and making you want to be around her, perhaps because she’s so popular, fun, or whatever. If you want to keep your mean girlfriend around because of some of her great qualities, make sure you set limits for your friendship so that you can enjoy her in some situations, but prevent yourself from getting hurt in others.
  10. She sends out a weird vibe. You can’t help but feel weird when you’re around her, like something’s just off. Maybe it’s a feeling that you’re not good enough, being judged the whole time, or you leave outings with your friend feeling really drained. You should listen to your feeling because it’s showing you that there’s something going on behind the scenes with your so-called friend. Seriously consider ending the friendship or at least adding more space to it – you shouldn’t be around anyone who makes you feel crap.
  11. She doesn’t care about anyone but herself.  Mean girls only care about themselves. They use their kindness to get things from people, so they don’t appreciate the real kindness others – like you – give them. In fact, they’ll probably mock you for it or not see the value in things you do for them. It’s messed up. Call her a mean girl, but honestly, she’s much more poisonous than that—she’s a toxic bully.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.