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girl standing alone in front of lockers while others stand together excluding her.

Most of us like to hang out with people who care about the same things that we do, and we may have a group of friends we see a lot. But when a group is very strict about who can be in it, that is a clique. And when a clique is mean to others, that is bullying.

Here’s some inside info on groups that keep others out.

What is a clique? arrow. top

A clique is a group of friends that leaves out other people. It may have strict “rules” for who can belong.

Girls in a clique often dress and act alike. They may care a lot about their status and popularity. They may stick together a lot, eating lunch together, going to the mall together, and texting each other very often.

It’s okay to have a regular group of friends. That’s not a clique. A healthy group of friends doesn’t try to stop you from having other friends. A healthy group of friends allows you to act like yourself. A healthy group of friends accepts you for you.

The downsides of being in a clique arrow. top

Girls in a clique may be afraid to stand on their own, without a group to back them up. Of course, most people like to fit in. But girls in a clique often leave their own ideas and opinions behind. They just go along with the group.

Sometimes, people in a clique try to build up how they feel about themselves by putting other people down. Then the rest of the group may just follow along. People in a clique can be very worried that they will get thrown out of it.

Why do cliques bully? arrow. top

Girls in a clique may bully for a number of reasons:

  • To get attention
  • To get what they want
  • To try to gain respect
  • To become popular
  • To punish people they are jealous of
  • Because others are doing it
  • Because they are afraid to speak up

How to handle cliques arrow. top

Dealing with cliques can be tough. Here are some tips:

  • Follow your heart. It makes sense to be friends with people who really care about you and have similar values. In the end, it doesn’t feel great to be liked for who you really aren’t.
  • Get involved. Join a group that offers activities that you really like and that give you a chance to shine. That might be a sport, a club, or a volunteer group.
  • Be kind. Usually, people will like you a lot if you are considerate — and you will like yourself a lot, too!


Content last reviewed April 15,2014
Page last updated August 25, 2014