Mean Girls Outgrow Bitchy .... Usually

Cooperation works better in the workplace, adulthood
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2011 3:44 AM CST
Mean Girls Outgrow Bitchy .... Usually
Run for your lives .. it's the Mean Girls from the 2004 movie.   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Michael Gibson)

Alpha "mean girls" from high school turn into get-along "gamma women" by the time they hit their 20s ... in most cases, according to experts. "Relational aggression" involving catty gossip, public digs and humiliating pranks tends to decline with age, with bullying plummeting in college, observers say. College seniors "outgrow this behavior or at least have the ability to recognize it as juvenile," noted a counselor. Teens love to follow the jaw-dropping antics of high school mean girls, whom one expert compares to "gladiators." But "it's no longer appropriate" in college, notes Liz Fund, author of Supergirls Speak Out. "Most mean girls grow up to be normal," she tells the Washington Post.

The exception to that trend can be found in sororities, which tend to encourage a pecking order among girls. But most eventually learn that cooperation works best in the workplace and adulthood, a perspective nurtured by girls' increasing participation in team sports. One self-described reformed mean girl boasts that her group was always "sassy and snappy." But "you lose some of the cattiness as you get older and more secure," she adds. "Gradually, you're able to put yourself in someone else's shoes." (Read more alpha females stories.)

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