“Mean girls” might be just as hurt by their own cruelty as the people they exclude, researchers say. Engaging in social bullying causes people to feel shame and guilt and makes them feel less connected to others, a new study shows.
“In real life and in academic studies, we tend to focus on the harm done to victims in cases of social aggression,” study researcher Richard Ryan, professor of clinical and social psychology at the University of Rochester, said in a statement. “This study shows that when people bend to pressure to exclude others, they also pay a steep personal cost. Their distress is different from the person excluded, but no less intense.”
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