Secrets of a Girl Bully
There is a recent rise in girl-on-girl physical violence, but most girl bullies use smack talk to intimidate their victims -- and they even take their smear campaigns online for widespread humiliation.
Here, we point out a bully’s weak spots so you can see straight through that plastic Queen of Mean mask she’s hiding behind.
Secret No. 1: “I don’t like myself nearly as much as I pretend to.”
A bully seems to be rocking so much confidence, but the truth is that she doesn’t feel so great about herself. “Bullies empower themselves by picking on others because they actually may have low self-esteem,” says Kelsey Ann Jackson, 17, founder of Mean Girls Aren’t Cool, a female bullying education and prevention program.
Secret No. 2: “Often, I pick on the girls I envy the most.”
Kelsey was bullied from 9 to 14 years old. “They called me names and started rumors. I never got to eat at the same lunch table or go to sleepover parties. They excluded me, and I think they were jealous. I’m a singer, so maybe they were jealous that I got to sing and go to places where they couldn’t go.”
Secret No. 3: “There’s probably something icky in my life you don’t know about.”
Many girls who bully might have issues at home that cause them to lash out. Says Kelsey: “The main girl who bullied me -- I call her the ‘queen bee’ -- was a popular girl with money and good grades and nice clothes. But maybe she just didn’t really feel special, because she came from a family with a lot of girls, and she was the middle child. I don’t think she should resort to treating other girls the way she did.”
Secret No. 4: “I feel better about my behavior when others girls go along with it.”
“The ‘queen bee’ always got other girls to do her dirty work for her,” says Kelsey. “There were about five of them, and they followed her lead because they wanted to be in the popular clique.” But just as mean girls band together, so can the nice girls. “If you see a friend being bullied, stick up for her,” advises Kelsey. “Put the bully in the spotlight, and make someone aware of what’s going on. Tell a parent or teacher and get help.”