TODAY   |  April 09, 2013

Dealing with mean girls after high school

Psychiatrist Janet Taylor, former newscaster Carole Sullivan, journalist Heather Kahn, and anchor Lynda Lopez chat about some of the issues affecting women every day, including how to deal with the mean girls and gossip that sometimes persist even after high school is over.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on today's woman a grouch ladies ready to dish on everything from marriage to mommy mayhem. we have dr. taylor, carol sullivan, heather kahn and linda lopez . ladies, great to have you all with us. let's get our discussion started. let's talk first, i know i have been invited to these parties and you have been guilted into these jewelry candle kitchen ware parties. these home parties apparently are bringing in some major dough, $25 billion in sales. so, is this a good thing or is this a guilt trip, are many of us kind of have to go along and end up buying?

>> i blocked this out. my mom sold tupperware when i was very little. because of child care issues i went along with her to different parties and i think i probably had more than most people experience in their lifetime of those kinds of parties.

>> my mom still has tupperware from those tupperware parties.

>> those parties feel like you're scamming your friends, pressuring your friends into -- that's the whole point. the host gets a lot of stuff. i paid a friend i told her i would give you 20 bucks so i don't have to go.

>> i disagree. at any time if i can get together with my friends so what if you have to spend a few bucks it's all about the company. and the wine helps too.

>> if it's a very good friend and if she's peddling some wares that i'm not interested in and it's a $40 glass of wine i'll go support a friend. if it's an acquaintance i don't know well i'll have to pick and choose. it's usually on a week night. you' you're taking yourself away from the family.

>> for moms work from home this is a good way for them to make money on the side.

>> it speaks to the entrepreneur. like the ultimate sign of you support your friend. sometimes supporting your friend is more than being the girl on the other end of the phone.

>> some can just drain you. one i went to a neighbor party i did it solely because my kids had terrorized the neighborhood. $100 might make a friendship.

>> did it work?

>> did it, actually.

>> there you go.

>> truth be told when i get those inactivities i dread them.

>> you have to pick and choose carefully and maybe also go knowing you'll spend a little bit of money. next topic, sexless marriage . sexless marriage apparently is defined as couples who only have sex ten times a year or less. some women apparently say it's okay to live in a sexless marriage . dr. janet do you think they are telling the truth, i'm fine?

>> i think they are not telling the truth. because if you're in a marriage in a relationship physical intimacy is important. it doesn't necessarily have to be sexual intercourse but you need someone to rub me on the back and say how are you doing to have that ability to care four. women say they rather sleep than have sex.

>> but it doesn't mean there's no love?

>> intimacy is a different thing than sex. sometimes sex can be a barometer and if it isn't happening maybe it isn't because you don't love your spouse or who you live but because of other stresses in your life and i think people do tell the truth. they say i can go without.

>> i say it's a team building activity. as a mother of five and as a mother of one young child no matter what i don't like when people complain to me it's tough. i only have two i can't complain i'm tired. we're all tired.

>> you're a single mom it takes on a different meaning.

>> agree. you talk about sometimes what we can live with as opposed to what we want and what we need. i think a lot of women can live like that. for me it was making a choice about am i happy? whom am i with. are they making me hope. that's looking deep down and knowing what makes you happy. your happiness is your kids happiness and your sadness is your kids sadness.

>> and whether or not women are happy what are some things they should do to improve?

>> focus on the relationship and understand it's not the quantity of sex but the quality of the relationship. at all times try to minimize conflict, find something nice to say to your partner and ask for what you need. don't be afraid to ask for what you need.

>> sometimes it takes a first step and not both being stubborn. maybe you had an argument or stressful day. we can be childish as couples and you need to extend the olive branch . what i always say is, as tired as you are, if you can reach out and you have a loving night and i think it's called making love you're creating' reminding each other about the love you have. it's not called that for no reason. it does seem to follow good feelings follow and a good cycle and a good pattern follows. we get into a rut but we sometimes have to help each other get out of it.

>>> back now with our panel. let's talk about mean girls existing after high school . new research explains mean girls doesn't dissolve when you graduate from high school it goes on into college. it continues even now as we're adults. have you all experience this and janet you both have four daughters each. so i imagine your girls have experience this somewhat.

>> one of my daughters who entered the workplace and told me one. bosses who targeted her on the weekend. she never did a good job. that protective side of me imagine when she was 6 jumped out. i wanted to confront the person, i couldn't. you have to support your child or daughter and teach them when they are adults they can choose what to listen to and figure out a way to make it work. that feeling of despair never goes away.

>> do i have four daughters and even the little one she said something to me that was so telling the other day. she said fancy girls are mean. sometimes the fancy girls are mean. i said you know you can't judge from the outside. but she felt sometimes a little bit, she's a little quieter, felt left out on the playground by the bigger personals and at that age they can't welcome people in.

>> sometimes it continues.

>> it's that theme when you recognize somebody feeling left out why pour acid on that. if we can learn as women to lift each other up and as corny as it sounds share a sisterhood we can change the world because it starts with us in our homes.

>> the reality is it still hurts. as adults and women my group of friends who isn't nice or always complains we drop them.

>> you need to find your support.

>> sometimes women want to be social and that's our nature and we just want to get into a circle . maybe evaluate the circle. some can be dangerous. the thing about mean girls they implode. one woman i know targeted another and almost ate her alive and sure enough she implode, took about two years but her life and her rottenness went right down the drain.

>> competitive workplace situations. do you see more of that mean girl come out? we have all experienced somewhere on our way up?

>> we've all done news and all surprised about how going into your first news experience if you just got your first anchor job or the first big break you were surprised that there were all these women around who were not nice to you or --

>> then you get the one or two.

>> you know what else? i'm sorry. i didn't mean to cut you off but this is so important. if you look at why people are mean i think it comes from insecurities within themselves, maybe jealousy. instead of hating them back we feel empathy. kill them with kindness .

>> women can be assertive and sometimes we have to be careful. people will label someone mean when in fact they may be assertive they may know what they want. that label follows them. you have to look at each situation individually and see what can you learn from it.

>> women are judgy and catty.

>> ladies let's keep this discussion going for next time. great to have you all here. thank you.