Can’t we all just get along? The answer seems to be, “no,” especially among adolescent girls. We have all heard that girls are meaner than boys, but some studies report that girls are simply more “aggressive” indirectly. Psychiatrists call it “indirect aggression.”

What is indirect aggression?

Indirect aggression is also called “social” aggression. When closely analyzed, this type of aggression can be a social manipulation where the aggressor manipulates another person to attack a targeted individual. Adolescent girls are known to use manipulative social tactics to assert indirect aggression to gain power, position and emotional satisfaction among their peers.

Jada Collins, MA explains in this article and in the below interview.

Indirect aggression includes the following behavior:

•Rejecting others from the group,
•Spreading spiteful rumors about others
•Breaking trust and confidences
•Using code names to talk about others
•Leading others to dislike a person
•Ignoring to exclude from the group
•Prank calls
•Non-verbal aggression

How can parents help kids deal with social relationships?

Parents can help children by discussing the following:

•Keep in mind that almost all kids have trouble with friendships at some time.
•Realize that it’s okay to get mad. Talk to a teacher or guidance counselor about how to express your anger calmly.
•Think before you act
•Talk to the person one-on-one
•Express what you do not like
•Ask for an apology if necessary
•If you are being ignored by a friend, create a list of what a “true” friend means to you.
•If you are not invited to a party, plan to do something fun for yourself

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