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A girl standing aloof from a group of other students.

What is a clique?

A clique is a group of friends who all dress and act a certain way. Cliques are also exclusive (that means that not everyone who would like to join a clique can join). Girls in a clique focus on their status and popularity. Girls in a clique do everything together: they eat at the same lunch table and go to the mall together. Girls in a clique seem to “rule the school.”

It’s okay to have a regular group of friends. This is different from a clique. A healthy group of friends will allow you to act like yourself. Do you play soccer instead of lacrosse, even though lacrosse players are “cooler” at your school? Do you hate wearing pink even though it’s all the rage? A healthy group of friends will be ok with that and will accept you for you.

What is “group-think?”

Girls in a clique are often mean, and sometime bully others. This is because these girls feel stronger surrounded by others who are doing the same thing as them. While everyone likes to feel that they “fit in,” girls in a clique leave their own ideas and opinions behind and adopt “group-think.” Girls in a clique do not have enough good self-esteem to stand behind their own ideas. They try to make themselves feel better by pushing other people down.

Why do cliques bully?

For most girls in a clique, bullying is a way to feel better about themselves, feel important, and control other people. Some girls also think they will be popular if they make fun of others and spread gossip. What they don’t know is that bullying is not cool!

Girls in a clique bully:

  • To get attention
  • To get what they want
  • To gain respect
  • To become more popular
  • To feel better about themselves
  • To punish people they are jealous of
  • Because they think it’s fun to hurt others’ feelings
  • Because others are doing it

Read “Coping with Cliques” to learn more about how to deal with cliques at your school!


Content last reviewed April 15, 2014
Page last updated October 31, 2013