In recent years, female aggression has become a hot-button issue among many psychologists and school officials. Although female bullies don't usually steal lunch money or leave black eyes, they use subtle methods to inflict emotional pain on the girls around them. Although being aware of the common signs of female aggression can help to raise awareness, it can still be extremely difficult to identify female bullies due to their high social acumen.
High Social Status
Unlike male bullies, female bullies are usually attractive, popular, successful in school and involved in numerous extra-curricular activities. These girls do not use their physical strength or size to bully, but instead rely on their social influence.
Female bullies are usually extremely socially adept. This means that they know how to bully in such a way that they won't get caught or ruin their reputation. If questioned about their treatment of another, they know just what to say to avoid getting in trouble. They also know how to gain control over other girls and prompt them to engage in bullying with them.
Subtle manipulation is a trademark of the female bully. Backhanded compliments, guilt tripping, the silent treatment, arbitrarily revoked friendships and cruel tricks are all common methods of manipulation. Intentional social isolation and blatant rejection of their victims are also typical of female bullies. For example, she might hold a party and intentionally let her victim know that she is not invited. She might also prompt other girls to rub this in the victim's face.
Abusive to Friends
Due to her strong social skills and popularity, a female bully frequently has a tight knit group of female friends. Acting as the ringleader, female bullies make their friends feel dependent by subtly undermining their self-esteem. She might also threaten to revoke her friendship from anyone who questions her authority. In addition to emotionally or verbally abusing her friends, a female bully often prompts others to cooperate and participate in bullying.
Whereas males bully in a pattern based on specific physical encounters, female bullies seek the constant torment of their victim. By spreading rumors, encouraging others to bully and severely undermining their victim's self-esteem, female bullies perpetuate a cycle of abuse that can last for years because it does not rely on their actual physical presence.
Despite their confident appearances, female bullies have extremely low self-esteem. They undermine those around them to elevate themselves to feel a sense of worth. In their relationships with men, female bullies might allow themselves to be used because they are desperate to feel desirable and attractive. They might also manipulate and use men to ensure their continued devotion, which the female bully idealizes and uses to make herself feel good.