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How to Deal With Girls Using Friendship as a Weapon

How to Deal With Girls Using Friendship as a Weapon


Rachel Simmons, co-founder of Girls Leadership, an organization that teaches girls how to empower themselves and cope with various challenges women face, answers a question submitted to Girls Leadership concerning relational aggression between elementary school friends, and what to do when girls use friendship as a weapon against each other.

Developing friendships is exciting for young children, and young girls have no shortage of challenges when it comes to choosing the right friends, learning how to respect themselves and others, and find a balance within their friend groups.

In this video, co-founder of Girls Leadership, Rachel Simmons, answers a reader submitted question from their Dear Girls Leadership section: "Dear Girls Leadership," the letter opens, "My daughter has a friend who gets very upset with her when she won't play with her at recess. The friend says 'I won't be your friend anymore if you don't play with me, and then runs off crying.' My daughter is distraught. She's afraid to play with anyone else. What can I do?"

Simmons, author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence, then offers her expert insight on relational aggression, or, the use of friendship as a weapon. Here's how you can recognize and manage relational aggresion when girls use frienship against each other.




Simmons plays devil's advocate for the reader, and even mentions that the girl displaying relational aggression might not be all that bad. "Unless her head spins around all the way," Simmons says, with a cheeky nod to The Exorcist, "she's probably not that bad, I mean she's a good kid who is making bad choices."

Both relatable and insightful, Simmons then gives the reader, and the Girls Leadership network, tips and tools for how girls like the reader's daughter, can effectively overcome a friendship that's being used more as a weapon.

Learn more about empowering girls in friendships, schoolwork, and home life at Girls Leadership.

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