Mean Girls: Why Girls Bully and How to Stop Them

When I was in seventh grade, Helen came to my small New England town. We locals have never seen anyone like her. She comes from a cheap jersey wholesaler. She wore skinny bell bottoms, knew sexy line dancing, smoked, and actually kissed a boy.

She is mean too. She initially befriended me – maybe because I lived next door and she needed a friend. But once she realized I was a shy nerd, she dumped me. Then she laughed at my clothes (in person) and started rumoring me (behind my back).

Eventually I learned to ignore her. But the pain of her rejection haunted me for years. It even made me doubt about “girl groups” in adulthood.

The topic of girl bullying is not new. Dozens of lay books and academic journals have explored the ways in which “relationship aggression – tactics such as ostracism, spreading rumors and Internet harassment – can damage girls’ self-esteem. But only recently have researchers begun to study the effects of bullying on women. Bullying yourself. Bad news.

The impact of bullying

In the short term, girl bullies are often rejected by their peers and lack meaningful relationships, notes Dr. Charisse Nixon, Co-author of Girl Wars: 12 Strategies That Will End Female Bullying and an assistant professor of developmental psychology at Penn State University in Erie.

In the long run, “these girls learn to act like chess pieces Manipulating others,” Nixon said. “Unfortunately, it compromises their ability to build meaningful relationships and successful careers. “

Some of the hallmarks of girl bullies are jealousy, superiority, poor impulse control, and a lack of empathy. Nixon believed that girls bully “ABCs, and me” needs in their base-accepting( self), belonging (and others), control and meaningful existence—are hindered. “These needs apply to everyone,” she notes, “children and adults. “People will do what they need to do to meet those needs.

Bullying Prevention

Whatever the cause of bullying, researchers are now focusing on prevention—including Counseling to solve problems. Root causes of bullying needed; teaching healthy communication skills; and launching a school-wide anti-bullying program.

What should you do if your daughter is accused of being a bully Do? Psychologist Dr. Charisse Nixon offers these tips and recommends seeking counseling if the behavior persists.

Discuss perspectives.“During development, adolescents Often they don’t know how their actions hurt others. “

Handle conflict in a healthy way.“As adults, we often don’t realize the ways in which we bully ourselves, such as when we’re behind other people’s backs way of gossip. But girls accept all of that,” Nixon said.

Make sure her basic needs are met. These include acceptance and belonging. “If she’s not getting what she needs, , she will find a destructive way to deal with it. “

There is no anti-bullying program — not even a caring adult — that can help my torturer Helen, and I realize she’s been sad for herself. She just moved to a new school , her parents are divorced. There is no doubt that she let me down in order to improve her own social status. Too bad she has no better way.