Queen bee syndrome is a concept that, although not used in clinical settings and not referring to a disorder, is used by some people to refer to a pattern of social behavior that is harmful. In particular, one that has to do with envy and competition between women.

In this article we will see what the queen bee syndrome is , the way it is expressed through personal relationships, and why it is harmful.

What is queen bee syndrome?

It would seem logical that, given that there are both female and male genders, people associated with each would feel more comfortable relating to their peers most of the time. However, for many women this is not the case, and they prefer the usual company of men. This phenomenon is a consequence of what we call queen bee syndrome.

And what is queen bee syndrome? Basically, it is a relational dynamic that leads some women to think that, by default, the rest of the females are their rivals or people to be dominated . Besides, this competitive and individualistic logic does not have to be the reflection of the personality of the woman in question, as it does not apply to the treatment she gives to men.

Examples: the confrontations and rivalries it produces

To better understand what queen bee syndrome is, let’s look at some typical examples that occur in many contexts.

1. Spread negative rumors

Making a person get a bad name by speaking ill of him behind his back is relatively easy, and the consequences can be very painful . It is not even necessary to have reliable information: the gnawing at stories of immorality and ambiguity can lead to the creation of a totally invented or highly exaggerated story.

Moreover, the influence of sexism and machismo has meant that there are many reasons to criticize a woman: she is questioned about aspects of her life that would be meaningless to criticize in the case of men.

2. Striving to excel at all costs

Some women with queen bee syndrome who have an expansive personality feel bad if it is not clear that they are the ones who stand out from their peers. That is why, for example, when a new colleague arrives at work, she is sometimes received with a cold hostility and certain passive-aggressive attitudes .

In extreme cases, it is possible to try to get the partner fired, since it is understood that for the simple fact of being a woman, if there is a vacancy to be promoted, the competition will be between people of the same sex.

3. Criticisms of physical appearance

The physical aspect is the great flank through which women are constantly attacked. It is something visible to everyone that can give rise to all kinds of understandable comments without the need to know the personal context of the person being judged. As women have been valued for centuries basically for their reproductive properties, mockeries related to their attractiveness have the capacity to be especially humiliating .

The opposite of sorority

Queen bee syndrome causes women to view others as potential enemies for no apparent reason. Thus, those who devote themselves body and soul to harming their partners do not need an excuse to distrust others or to launch “preventive attacks”.

But what makes queen bee syndrome more rare is that, considering that women have been disadvantaged for millennia (and today, to a large extent, they still are in many ways and in most countries), it would be expected that non-cooperation among them would be severely punished and would be so unhelpful that it would disappear. In the end, in hard situations, ways of life tend to ally themselves to move forward.

That is why sorority, which is the female equivalent of brotherhood , is something that totally clashes with the queen bee syndrome. The existence of envy, rivalries and all kinds of quarrels between women because of the type of being women fragments a collective that is already damaged.

That is why this behavioural and social phenomenon is seen as not only an individual problem (the woman who gets used to relating to other women in this way creates discomfort in them), but also a social one (unity is a force, and attacking it with bad excuses is negative).