MEAN GIRLS GROWN UP

Adult Women Who Are Still Queen Bees, Middle Bees, and Afraid-to-Bees

Cheryl Dellasega

Most women have experienced female aggression in one way or another, either as victim, aggressor, or bystander. In Mean Girls Grown Up, Cheryl Dellasega explores why women are often their own worst enemies, offering practical advice for dealing with aggressive behaviors in a variety of situations and for building healthy, positive relationships with other women.

Drawing upon extensive research and interviews, Dellasega shares stories from women around the world who have experienced relational aggression as well as the knowledge of experts have helped women over­come the bullying dynamic. From the PTA clique to the neighborhood carpool,

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Most women have experienced female aggression in one way or another, either as victim, aggressor, or bystander. In Mean Girls Grown Up, Cheryl Dellasega explores why women are often their own worst enemies, offering practical advice for dealing with aggressive behaviors in a variety of situations and for building healthy, positive relationships with other women.

Drawing upon extensive research and interviews, Dellasega shares stories from women around the world who have experienced relational aggression as well as the knowledge of experts have helped women over­come the bullying dynamic. From the PTA clique to the neighborhood carpool, from the gym to the boardroom, every woman know someone who is suffering from the devastating dynamic of relational aggression.

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  • John Wiley & Sons
  • Paperback
  • October 2007
  • 256 Pages
  • 9780470168752

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$24.95

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About Cheryl Dellasega

Cheryl Dellasega, Ph.D., is a professor in the College of Medicine and Department of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. She lectures frequently on the subject of relational aggression and is the author of three previous books.

Praise

“Dr. Dellasega enlightens us about the sources of women’s aggression towards each other and she provides us with extremely valuable tools for how to overcome our various roles in the hierarchy and learn more con­structive and compassionate means to relate to other women.”—Debra Mandel, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Healing the Sensitive Heart

 

Discussion Questions

Discuss relational aggression (RA). Is RA learned or “hard-wired?” Do women differ from men in the ways they express aggression? What motivations typically drive a woman to exhibit RA behavior? Is it possible to completely eliminate RA from your relationships?

What issues discussed in the book (i.e. the “PTA Clique,” “Bully Boss,” etc.) were especially relevant in your life?

What are the characteristics of Queen Bees you have known? Why might it be hard for a woman to admit to bullying Queen Bee behav­iors? Ask yourself if you have been a Queen Bee (or are you still?). If so, how did (does) it make you feel to admit to this?

Who is more malicious—an overt Queen Bee or a behind-the-scenes Middle Bee? Who has more power? What advice might you have for women who find themselves in a bystander position but want to tact­fully disengage from the Middle Bee role?

Have you ever been the target of false gossip? If so, describe how it impacted you. How did you respond?

The Afraid-to-Bee is the victim of other women’s aggression. If you know an Afraid-to-Bee, what kind of advice can you give her so that her life is not completely derailed by a Queen Bee?

Are women tougher on female coworkers than male? If yes, why? Does an all-female working environment usually encourage or discour­age the aggressor-victim dynamic? What other situations can you think of that spark competition among women? What can you do when your boss is Queen Bee?

The author offers numerous pointers in healing residual RA, such as confronting your aggressor, talking to a therapist, deciding to forgive, choosing compassion for your aggressor, and many more. What heal­ing tools would work best for you and why? Does facing the past or present aggression really help someome to move on and create new, healthier relationships?

Think about some of today’s most popular TV shows and movies. Do the media play a role in encouraging or discouraging RA between women? What do popular shows like The Bachelor and the plethora of reality shows—which draw viewers in with dramatic catfights and backstabbing – tell us about the way women are depicted in our culture?