Girls can bully, too. What to look for

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The Times-Union

The stereotypical bully is a large boy who uses his size and physical presence to intimidate and cow his victims. But the kind of bullying that girls do can be just as traumatic and needs to be taken just as seriously by adults, experts say.

Eleven-year-old Julianna Peery knows all about that. From the third grade on, Peery says she was often ostracized and verbally bullied in elementary school.

“They tell me that I’m ugly and fat and not pretty,” Peery said, adding that kids would call her names, often using vulgar slurs not usually aimed at children.

Carol Wintle, a licensed mental health counselor and author of “Empowering Children to Help Stop Bullying at School,” which is scheduled to be released next month, says that girls are more likely to use indirect and subtle ways to bully than boys.

Wintle says these more indirect behaviors include gossip, rumors, lies, dirty looks, talking behind another girl’s back, giving a girl the silent treatment and excluding a girl from a group or activity. Wintle also says that girls tend to bully girls. The reason? “A relationship is terribly important to girls and the loss of a relationship can be devastating,” she says.

Girls can gain and lose power through relationships. If a girl is trying to get an upper hand, she might do so by trying to take another girl’s friends or boyfriend away, explains Wintle….

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