Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mean Girls Aren't Just in High School

Sometimes, even though high school and the associated cliques are long ago memories, you feel like you are fighting the same battles about what is the right thing to do or wear based on others in your sphere of influence. In her insightful book Mean Girls Grown Up, Dr. Cheryl Dellasega describes how these same relational agression (RA) issue still confound adult women. Using the imagery of queen bees, middle bees, and afraid-to-bees, Dellasega share real life stories from women across the country who have dealt with these situations as adults. The scenarios depict a variety of situations ranging from the office, the playground or play group, and even religious institutions. For example, the bees depicted range from bullying bosses, the office mate who tells stories about everyone but always edited to present herself in the best light, and the mean moms who exclude moms who don't fit their social club. There is some discussion on how mean moms may use the children as pawns to hurt other mothers as well.

In addition to the wealth of stories which will have you nodding in agreement and identifying various bees in your own life, Dellasega utilizes a variety of quizzes to help you decide if you are a bee and what kind. But she does not stop there. Over half of the book focuses on helping readers build the necessary skills to deal with the queen bees and middle bees in their own lives in a relationally healthy manner. She also encourages women to take the higher road and not fit into any of the bee roles but focus on mentoring and encouraging other women. Many readers will find they resonate with many of the stories shared and that some hit awfully close to home.

Although published in 2005, Mean Girls Grown Up is highly recommended to all women. Readers will find the real-life examples included allow you to read the book quickly. This book would be an excellent choice for book clubs and for young women to read. This book is not from a religious publisher and the stories included have not been sanitized for a specific audience. However, I can not recall any objectionable content. Someone who is wishing for a Christian perspective on this issue may wish to consider Hayley DiMarco's published in 2005 by Revell/Fleming. I am unable to comment specifically on this book as I have not read it. Regardless, I wish Mean Girls Grown Up had been available to me about 20 years ago when first entering the work force.

Disclaimer: I am writing a review on this book because I happened across it and thought it sounded interesting. After reading it, I felt others might enjoy and benefit from this book as well.

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