Mean Girls

  • Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC
  • Series: Dear Rosa

The psychological term for mean girls is relational aggression, which is covert bullying using emotionally abusive tactics, psychological control, and manipulation. The added kicker is that not only you as an individual are attacked, but your peer relationships and social status are undermined. Relational aggression occurs more among girls than boys. What can parents/teachers/concerned adults do? Recognize it starts as early as four years old-much earlier than people think. Often this behavior is hidden from others; a “let’s not play with so and so” is covered with a layer of pretended sweetness in the company of adults. Watch for it. Put a verbal and behavioral stop to it immediately and as often as it occurs.