How To Identify Relational Aggression, The Type Of Emotional Bullying That Affects Younger Girls

How To Identify Relational Aggression, The Type Of Emotional Bullying That Affects Younger Girls

Emotional bullying may not be something you knew about. But, if you have a young daughter, sister, or friend, have you ever experienced her coming home from school feeling both confused and upset?

Through some careful questions, you may have discerned that she’s being bullied. And not by a stranger but someone she considered a good friend.

It’s not uncommon for young girls to experience having a close friend suddenly decide to ignore them and talk about them behind their backs. Sometimes, those so-called friends will act nice to the victim but suddenly shift gears when around other peers.

As a result, your daughter is the target of jokes made at her expense, which greatly impacts her self-esteem and mental health.

This type of “emotional bullying” is known as relational aggression.

Physical bullying mainly relies on physical violence. But, this type of bullying involves relationships, the core of what every girl wants and needs to feel safe and secure in her world.

Emotional bullying is when the bully uses relationships, words, and gestures to target the victim. They are also verbally aggressive.

And, sometimes, you decide not to overreact to the situation because it may seem like your daughter is being “too sensitive.”

However, you suddenly realize that your daughter spends less time with friends and no longer wants to go to school.

As a parent, you want to assist and even protect your daughter but, perhaps, you are unsure how best to proceed. It’s especially difficult knowing how to proceed if there are no clear-cut threats to her safety.

Instead, the threat is subtle.

What are some common behaviors among emotional bullies?

  • Spreading rumors about the victim.
  • Using social media sites (such as Snapchat) to post a humiliating post about the victim.
  • Asking other girls to make anonymous posts pertaining to hurtful thoughts about the victim — most often, the posts will include mean and hurtful statements about the victim.
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