The typical girl who bullies is popular, well-liked by adults, does well in school, and can even be friends with the girls she bullies. She doesn't get into fist fights, although some girls who bully do. Instead, she spreads rumors, gossips, excludes others, shares secrets, and teases girls about their hair, weight, intelligence, and athletic ability. She usually bullies in a group and others join in or pressure her to bully.

Bestselling author and girl advocate Rachel Simmons (2010) explains that in the culture of young girls, social norms dictate that conflict cannot be waged directly. While on the surface, this "no sticks or stones" policy can create a desirable level of civility, it is critical to understand that just beneath the seemingly placid surface often lies an unbelievably cruel layer of planned exclusion, whispered gossip, cyber-sent rumors, and hidden hostility that pierce a young girl's developing psyche. When bullying is disguised as friendship, and friendship is used as a weapon (Whitson, 2011), kids are left feeling confused, frustrated, humiliated and unsure of how to cope. Meanwhile, frenemies like remain free and clear to carry out their hidden aggression time and time again.

There is no one single reason to explain why young people bully each other, nor is there a definitive profile of what kind of kid will become a bully, but experts agree that social status is often a prime motivator of this behavior among girls. Girls who are overly concerned with popularity often engage in behaviors in which they try to increase their own social status by publicly putting others down. 

  • Eye rolling
  • Ignoring
  • Building alliances
  • Teasing and put downs
  • Spreading rumors and gossip
  • Forming exclusive cliques
  • Cyberbullying