KindnessMattersWHAT IT IS:

Relational aggression is a form of bullying that mostly involves girls. In relational aggression, the aggressor uses the “group” as a weapon to damage another girl’s reputation, relationships, and social status. In relational aggression, socially skilled females manipulate others into committing various acts of psychological (social or emotional) aggression.



  • Rumors and gossip – Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, Snapchat and other social media apps are a popular avenue for this
  • Exclusion from parties, lunch table, clubs
  • Verbal insults
  • Negative body language – mean looks, eye rolling, signs, turning away, pretending not to see someone
  • Alliance building – telling others not to associate with another person as a means of retaliation
  • Manipulative friendships
  • Ignoring someone



  • Damages self-esteem
  • Distracts from learning and leads to poor school performance
  • Can cause emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders
  • Can cause difficulties in adult relationships
  • Can lead to suicide



  • Name it when it happens – don’t brush it off as “girls will be girls”
  • Talk about friendships and the importance of them for everyone
  • Encourage the expression of all feelings – both positive and negative
  • Foster self-esteem in girls by encouraging involvement in a variety of activities such as sports, clubs, church, music, art, and volunteer projects
  • Teach assertiveness
  • Do not tell the victim “just to ignore it”
  • Elicit help from others such as school counselors, deans, teachers, principals, therapists