4 Ways to Deal With Mean Girls (and Guys)

by | March 7, 2013 at 2:12 PM | Relationships

(iStockphoto)

By Dina Gachman, Forbes.com Contributor

If you’ve been on your laptop or checked your iPhone over the last twenty-four hours, you know that Taylor Swift has declared Tina Fey and Amy Poehler her mortal enemies. The crime? Fey and Poehler’s Golden Globes quip about Swift staying away from Michael J. Fox’s son. A simple awards show joke has suddenly become the cause of a serious beef – a beef that’s no doubt been exaggerated due to the endless online chatter it has inspired.

RELATED: Top-Earning Funny People

It’s hard to see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as the “mean girls” in this situation. None of this would be any of our business except for the fact that Swift told writer Nancy Jo Sales in an upcoming Vanity Fair profile that she was upset that the Golden Globes hosts mocked her much-publicized love life. “You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people,” she told Sales. “Because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved, that said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’” Nobody likes to have his or her love life mocked, but that statement seems a little intense. “There’s a special place in hell…”? It’s not like they said they’d kidnap Swift’s firstborn or anything. Hasn’t she learned to laugh things off yet?

We’ve all dealt with criticism, whether that’s in the lunchroom, the boardroom, or at brunch. It’s a little strange to see how the media is creating these rifts between famous women, and pegging some women as the cool “BFF” (Jennifer Lawrence, Mila Kunis) and others as annoying demon spawn (Anne Hathaway, Taylor Swift). Who knows what the truth is, since these superstars exist far away from the rest of us in a land of Oscars, magazine covers, and swag bags filled with La Mer moisturizer. Whatever the case, Swift’s handling of her bruised ego in this situation brings to mind some Southern wisdom that helps when you’re dealing with haters.

RELATED: What To Do When A Co-Worker Is Trying To Sabotage Your Career

Poehler seems to understand these tactics. She replied to Swift’s declaration that she and Fey are going to hell with a light touch: “Aw, I feel bad if she was upset. I am a feminist, and she is a young and talented girl. That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff. ” If you ever feel yourself start to seethe because someone bruises your ego, here are four pieces of Southern wisdom to help you through.

1. Laugh It Off: OK, this one might be universal rather than just Southern. This is the number one rule when dealing with critics. Being humorless is such a bore. Life is short – if you can’t laugh off the haters you’re going to waste a lot of precious time feeling pouty.

2. Kill Them With Kindness: If the Southern U.S. states had a separate Constitution, “Kill Them With Kindness” would definitely be on it. Swift is a country pop singer who got her start in Nashville so you would think she’d be well aware of this mantra. It’s much better to kill them with kindness than to whine and scream about how hurt you are. It makes you feel stronger and it definitely irks your enemy, which – let’s be real – is kind of fun.

RELATED: The 13 Most Frustrating Coworker Types And How To Deal With Them

3. Remember That There Will Always Be Someone Prettier, Smarter, and Taller Than You: This one sounds harsh but it’s actually really powerful advice. If you’re feeling down, if you don’t get the Oscar or the best parking spot at the office, or if someone says there’s a “special place in hell” for you, don’t despair. Remember that there will always be someone smarter, richer, and better looking than you and for some odd reason you will feel a lot better. Basically this translates to: Stop pouting and get on with life.

4. If All Else Fails, Take a Walk: Simple but true. Say you’re sitting there stewing because someone sabotaged you at work or you weren’t named Employee of the Month even though you worked seven days a week for the last month. Get up, shake it off, and go walk through the woods or walk around the perimeter of your office building until you feel calm again. Walk fast, stroll at a turtle’s pace – whatever works for you is great. When you go back inside chances are you’ll feel a lot less irate, and you’ll be able to kill them with kindness while laughing it off.

There you have it. Four simple tricks to calm yourself when the mean girls (and guys) rear their heads. You can also just follow Amy Poehler’s lead. She seems to have all of this down. Taylor Swift? Not so much.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.