What are common mean-girl tactics?

Michele Borba
Relational aggression begins in earnest around third and fourth grade and is at its peak around those middle school years. The latest research shows that girls, as young as four, are bullying, threatening, and shunning out other girls from playgroups.

Younger girls commonly use more overt mean exclusion tactics, such as saying, “You can’t play,” or “I don’t want you here,” or even “Don’t let her into our game!”

Older girls are more prone to use the ‘under the radar backstabbing approach’ to inflict pain.

Methods for older girls are more covert such as spreading vicious rumors or scandalous gossip, lies and rumors, threatening to withdraw friendship, deliberately excluding another girl, manipulating affection of friendship, building alliances to exclude others, using betrayal or the “silent treatment” or other indirect means for revenge. And it can also involve using physical threats or extortion.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.