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How to Handle Mean Girls in the Creative Industry

from my Instagram Live on 4.30, the movie Mean Girls 15-year Anniversary

How to Handle Mean Girls in the Creative Industry by Katie O. Selvidge |

In celebration of one of the most culturally-impactful movies of all time Mean Girls (kidding, kind of), at least to my college-aged self, I hosted an Instagram Live on the three ways to best handle mean girls in the creative industry.

Regardless of what industry you are in, there are going to be amazing, powerful, encouraging and wonderful women you will be proud to work alongside with who inspire you and who in turn respect you. I cannot express how grateful I am for the tribe of friends I’ve made in this industry who are powerful and inspiring, and how we can have honest conversations free from comparison, gossip or any of those immature feelings.

One such friend, Katie of Ponderosa & Thyme, once shared a great quote (please tell me the credits if you know it) on her Instagram that reminds me of those friends.

Be the kind of woman who fixes another woman’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.

And then, there are going to be the few people who for some reason or another—insecurity, mismanaged pain, unresolved self-work—give corners of the creative world a bad rap. And no matter what your business is, where you live, how you work or who you surround yourself with—at some point, you’re going to encounter a mean girl.

And, I want to help you navigate those unfortunate situations as gracefully as you can.

There was a video for this post, but….

Two puppies got lost in our backyard halfway through my Instagram Live so I got really distracted, sorry! I’ve got my notes below for you instead!

3 Ways to Handle Mean Girls, Gracefully

  1. Do not give them power. When someone is being unkind, slandering your name, stealing from you, copying your work, do not give them any power. Do not let them occupy your mind, your heart or your words. Most of the time a mean girl is looking for attention and will get off knowing she hurt you or perhaps created a stumbling block in your path. Do not respond to fire with fire. Instead, provide a cool, diplomatic response…only if a response is needed.
  2. Hold them accountable, when appropriate. Not every rude action needs a response or needs to be called out. I honestly don’t have the time nor the brain capacity to care or respond to every bully or copying situation. Only respond to situations that need addressing, meaning your business or reputation truly may be compromised if you do not take action. Then, take action quietly, without gossiping. When they go low, we go high, right?
  3. Move on to greater things. Mean girl situations can be life-sucking, or you can see them as a sharpening opportunity for you to grow and do even better. Let it be a positive challenge for you to grow in emotional maturity, refine your relationships, and dig even deeper to create even better work that is not so easily knocked down.

Don’t have time to read this now? Pin the image below so you can come back to it!

How to Handle Mean Girls in the Creative Industry by Katie O. Selvidge, Business Editor™ to Discerning Creatives |


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I help creative entrepreneurs simplify their businesses, make real money and move on to greater things in work & life. Please stay tuned as I am updating my website by joining my email newsletter below!

Katie O. Selvidge

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