Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gossipy Girls: Are They Undercover Bullies?

Bethany sure has a juicy tidbit to share with her office-mate. Only Marie is not happy about this little "secret". Perhaps Bethany is quite pleased with Marie's anger--this is the emotion she was going for! And Bethany cannot wait to see how Marie takes out her wrath. Who will be the unlucky person?

But weren't they supposed to have outgrown this middle school nonsense by now? Not so, according to Cheryl Dellasega's book Mean Girls Grown Up: Adult Women Who are Still Queen Bees, Middle Bees and Afraid-to-Bees.(see my review of the book on the sidebar). The Queen Bee and Afraid-to-Bee are easy to see in our adult world ,but the Middle Bee is more elusive. She can be much more than the bystander than I described in my last post--more like a bystander with a fire lit beneath her feet.

Dellasega says that the Middle Bee is the information controller of the group. She flits between the Queen Bee and Afraid-to Bees, gleefully collecting and dumping the juicy gossip of the day. If she is malicious enough, she will dig deeper into the rumor well, or even fabricate facts about her co-workers into order to incite the Queen.

Does any of this sound familiar? I certainly have dived headfirst into the gossip mill, though I don't consider myself a "right hand to the Queen" kind of girl. But by participating in the gossip, I have unwittingly slipped into a Middle Bee role. Resisting the latest "scoop" is so hard though! But by controlling my curiosity, I can contribute to a more harmonious group environment.

If you have any Middle Bee stories, please share them! Maybe if the Middle Bees band together and stop the catty nonsense coming from Queen Bee's stinger, she will retreat to her hive!

Keep kicking those bullies!

Source: Dellasega, Cheryl (2005). Mean Girls Grown Up: Adult Women Who are Still Queen Bees, Middle Bees, and Afraid-to-Bees. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

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