Overhearing a group of teens talking cruelly would invoke an eye roll at best from most of us.
But for one mum, she felt moved to speak up when she found herself privy to a group of nasty high school girls, and has shared her words of wisdom online.
Michelle Icard, from North Carolina, was at a local Starbucks when she overheard a table of girls making fun of their peers and whinging about disappointing gifts they'd received.
They laughed at a "weird" classmate who sang about being lonely in a school talent show and made fun of a "friend" who was presumably being pushed out of their circle.
Rather than turning away from the catty conversation, Icard decided to offer some advice, which she went on to share online.
And while social media is awash with open letters to strangers, Icard also ensured the Starbucks bullies realised she was talking to them.
"I fantasized about turning to them and telling them to stop. But instead I hemmed and hawed, hoping at any moment one of them would say something nice and redeem themselves, supposing maybe I was misunderstanding them," Icard said in a piece she wrote for Today.com.
Initially she left the coffee shop and went to do some shopping. But she couldn't stop thinking about the nasty trio.
As she drove home, past the Starbucks, she noticed the girls still sitting there. She decided to pen a note to them then ordered three Frappuchinos on the Starbucks app on her phone.
Reentering the coffee shop she approached the girls and handed them the note saying, "Hi girls. You don't know me but it looks like you're here studying and I wrote you a note of encouragement." The drinks she ordred were also eventually delivered to the girls.
The note read:
"Hi girls! I sat near you today in Starbucks and listened as you talked. You three are obviously pretty and hard-working. I wish your kindness matched your pretty exteriors. "I heard you talk about a girl who sang a song about being lonely in the talent show - and you laughed. About a girl who couldn't be lead singer because you got all the votes, about crappy presents other people have given you...and you sounded so mean and petty."You are smart and you are pretty. It would take nothing from you to also be kind."M.
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Icard acknowledged it was likely the teens tossed the note.
"Perhaps it's true that I overstepped my bounds, but I have to believe that there is still room in our village for lessons from strangers with good intentions in their heart,"
Comments have been supportive, many stating Icard "handled it perfectly".