Synopses & Reviews
At one time or another, almost every woman has been involved in bullying. Whether her role was that of victim, aggressor, or bystander, the pain of relational aggression (female bullying) lasts long after the incident has passed. For those who get stuck in the mean girl role, the emotional warfare of high school can continue. As adults, these women hone their skills in verbal sabotage and behavioral put-downs. From the PTA clique to the carpool, from the gym to the boardroom, every woman knows someone who is suffering from the devastating dynamic of relational aggression.
In Mean Girls Grown Up, Cheryl Dellasega explores why women are often their own worst enemies, offering practical advice for a variety of situations. She introduces you to the "bees" of grade school who, as adults, are still involved in the same harmful dynamic: the Queen Bee, a bully who buzzes from place to place undermining and manipulating others; the Middle Bee, a go-between who spreads gossip or stands by as others do so; and the Afraid-to-Bee who retreats into passivity and is a target for aggression.
Drawing upon extensive research and interviews, Dellasega shares stories from women who have encountered these bees as well as the knowledge of experts who have helped women overcome the negative effects of aggression. You'll hear how adult women can be just as competitive and callous as their younger counterparts, using backstabbing, betrayal, harassment, misrepresentation, and exclusion to wound others.
You'll also discover:
- Why women often deal with conflicts differently from the way men do
- Strategies for dealing with women who use relationships to inflict hurt or prevent you from achieving your goals
- How to protect yourself from being involved in deception, bullying, and other harmful behaviors
Dellasega outlines how women can change their behavior successfully by shifting away from aggression and embracing a spirit of cooperation in interactions with others. Even if bee-type behaviors have plagued you since adolescence, Mean Girls Grown Up will help you let go of aggression or passivity, move on, and create relationships that are healthier and happier for you and the women around you.
"We all know how frustrating the battle between the sexes can be. But who would have thought that the war among members of the same genderyes, us galscould be so vicious? Thankfully, 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
"The mean girls of our youth don't fade away. They become poisonous women. The stories in Cheryl Dellasega's powerful new book about grown-up mean girls will chill you. Luckily, Dellasega offers strategies for us to protect ourselves from the sting of adult queen bees and their minions. She shows how misunderstandings feed conflicts and aggression. She even suggests ways for bullies to transform their hurtful behavior and find happier relations with other women. Practice the advice in this helpful book and all women win."
Marla Paul, author of The Friendship Crisis: Finding, Making, and Keeping Friends When You're Not a Kid Anymore
"There is no longer an excuse for tolerating the sting of Queen Bees and their enablers. Dellasega has provided a guide for sizing up and changing our own behaviors that get in the way of constructive communication in our personal and professional lives. This is an insightful, practical guide to recognizing and responding to the Queen Bee syndrome."
Diana J. Mason, R.N., Ph.D., editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Nursing
Almost every woman has experienced bullying. Whether her role was that of victim, aggressor, or bystander, the pain of relational aggression (female bullying) lasts long after the incident has passed. In Mean Girls Grown Up, Cheryl Dellasega explores why women are often their own worst enemies, offering practical advice for a variety of situations. Drawing upon extensive research and interviews, she shares real-life stories from women as well as the knowledge of experts who have helped women overcome the negative effects of aggression. Readers will hear how adult women can be just as vicious as their younger counterparts, learn strategies for dealing with adult bullies, how to avoid being involved in relational aggression, and more. Dellasega outlines how women can change their behavior successfully by shifting away from aggression and embracing a spirit of cooperation in interactions with others.
About the Author
CHERYL DELLASEGA, Ph.D., is a professor in the College of Medicine and Department of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. In addition to having written more than fifty academic publications, she is the author of three books: Surviving Ophelia, Girl Wars, and The Starving Family. Dellasega lectures frequently on the topics of relational aggression and mother-daughter relationships.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: Relational Aggression 201: The Who, What, and Why of RA.
1. All Grown Up and Ready to Sting: Adult Female Aggression.
2. Why Women Aren’t More Like Men.
3. Big Bullies and Other Aggressive Types: The Queen Bee.
4. From Mild to Bad and In Between: The Middle Bee.
5. Blindsided, Backstabbed, and Bruised: The Afraid-to-Bee.
6. Weapons of Choice.
PART TWO: Our Own Worst Enemies: Aggression at Work, at Home, and at Play.
7. Women at Work 81
8. Sharing Space: Ages and Stages of Aggression 97
9. Forced to Be Family: The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly of Female In-Laws.
10. Mrs. Popularity and the Mom Clique.
11. Relational Aggression Where You Least Expect It.
PART THREE: Recognize, Revise, and Internalize: Changing the RA Way of Life.
12. Who Are You in the Bee Dynamic?: A Relational Aggression Assessment.
13. Healing Residual Relation Aggression: Overcoming the Past.
14. The Power of Forgiveness.
15. The Won’t Bee.
16. A New Relational You.
17. Don’t Stop with Yourself.
APPENDIX A: Communication That Counts: Connecting through Words.
APPENDIX B: Talking to Yourself in Ways That Help.
APPENDIX C: Netiquette Tips.
APPENDIX D: Mentoring Resources.