Exclusion is one of the top ways someone can be bullied. It is easily confused with the idea that everyone does not have to be friends. Exclusion is seen in both boys and girls, but more commonly girls. This creates an outlet for girls to use the term "clique". Cliques can also be known as, "our crew", "our clan", "our gang" or "our circle". Now what exactly is a "clique"? A clique a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them. Cliques are commonly found in high school, but they are also prevalent in middle school and even elementary school! I have experienced exclusion from several different cliques first hand. Sometimes exclusion is unintentional and people are simply afraid to branch out. Other times people intentionally leave if someone out because they are not "cool" enough or they are a "nerd". Sometimes if you are in a clique you do not realize that you are leaving others out. Here are a couple examples, if a group of people are at lunch and there are four people sitting at another table, then one of the clique members invites only three of the four people to eat with them. Another example of a clique would be if there are a group of girls that hang out, and they are all friends, but a select few get together exclusively without telling the others. Are you and your friends in a clique? Are you and your friends excluding others (intentionally or unintentionally)? These are a couple questions you and your friends should discuss and think about.
Stay strong and stay positive,
Courtney Jay 💜