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While much of bullying research and statistics focus on the ways in which boys bully each other, girls bully girls as well, and their methods can be just as damaging, if not more so, than the methods boys typically use. Unlike boys, who tend to be more physical in their bullying, girls often bully girls in verbal and non-verbal ways that can lead to a young girl being ostracized, alienated, threatened, or otherwise harassed. Girls tend to bully in groups, and their motives generally focus on obtaining a sense of power, or battling insecurity. Adults are much slower to recognize when girls bully girls and quicker to recognize boys bullying each other because the methods girls use tend to be understated and quiet.
Harassment through verbal attacks, pranks, phone calls, and more recently, cyber attacks such as e-mails, text messaging, and social networking are all common tactics used when girls bully girls. Verbal harassment is most common; name calling and teasing occur frequently, and usually several girls gang up on one or two specific girls. The verbal abuse may take place directly to the girl being bullied, or it may take place behind her back. Such verbal abuse often leads to the victim becoming ostracized; girls will ignore the victim or otherwise stay away from her to communicate disdain.
Cyber bullying has become one of the most common ways girls bully girls. Text messages and e-mails can be sent to the victim, either threatening her or otherwise verbally abusing her. The intent is to confuse, frighten, or intimidate the victim through any means of communication. Cyber bullying might be considered an extension of verbal bullying, especially considering the traditional form of communication, besides face to face communication, has been telephone conversations. Girls often call the victim and either verbally abuse her or simply confuse and anger her by hanging up and calling again, then hanging up. The cycle becomes frustrating and even frightening for the victim.
Threats are a common way girls bully girls without being tactically overt. One girl may threaten the victim with the retreat of her friendship, or she may threaten the victim with the spreading of a rumor or secret. In many cases, a girl may threaten the victim with physical violence, but more often the punishment is cerebral rather than physical. Victims may display signs of depression or anxiety when being bullied, and the victim's self-esteem — not to mention her grades — may suffer as a result of bullying.
I just need to get this off my chest. About 30 years ago, I met this guy whom I instantly liked. He was in a relationship, but somehow we ended up having an affair, which went off and on for over five years. During this time I got to know his partner, who was also not totally committed to him. Anyhow, they eventually married, and then I did too. I remained friends with his now wife for many years and we walked together and went out as sort of friends, but were never close. She is not someone I can share anything with, just a friend, although through her I have met some other people who have turned out to
be very special friends.
I now have two kids and she has one, and she always felt that she could tell my kids off if they were not doing what she wants, and finally I started to stand up to her and tell her that this is not O.K. She is a sociopath, and loves having a million friends, but not too many are close. About two years ago, my oldest son became quite depressed and we found out that he was being bullied at school and then became anorexic, which turned into a huge battle for our family, yet this so-called friend could only send me text messages hassling me for not being involved in P&C activities, etc., etc. And then she told me that I wasn't allowed to see her friends because she knew them before I did.
So I have felt very lonely and lost. I stopped speaking to her and concentrated on our son's recovery. Now, 18 months on, my other friends have stayed in touch with me and they know what she said, yet have never broached it with her. Last weekend she celebrated her 50th birthday and invited everyone but me, which is fine, but also went as far as inviting my neighbours, etc., etc.
I feel so lost, lonely, hurt and quite depressed. She makes me so mad, but what makes me more mad is that her partner hasn't tried to help sort anything out. I miss seeing him, but I know it is over. How can I cheer myself up? My husband knows about everything, but he just doesn't understand how sad I am.
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