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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Hi, I have a newly turned 14 year old daughter whom is pretty,

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Hi, I have a newly turned 14 year old daughter whom is pretty, successful in all sports, honor roll student and hard farm working girl. She is the youngest in the family, and comes from a hard, working farming/self-employed successful parents. She is popular in school etc. She plays on a AAA girls hockey team, this being her second year. She did many boys hockey camps this past summer and enjoyed them alot. The boys don't seem to judge her, they just like it that she can play at their level and are encouraging. This girls team has about 4-5 girls on it that seem to be at the top end of the team, are a captain and assistant and the rest are city girls. They never help out with the leadership jobs, eg, cleaning the dressing room, making sure players are ready on time for practice, music in the change room, etc. They worry about themselves only and my daughter picks up all of the baggage jobs. Andrea (my daughter) plays well, sometimes gets down on herself if she feels she had a bad shift or so, she knows to get over it and pick herself back up, which I encourage it and so does others on her team, she is a real try hard in everything she does. She is much more mature than most of the team, she gives positive feedback etc to them. One girl in particular likes to jump on Andrea the minute something goes wrong, like bossing Andrea around if she doesn't line change at the exact same time as her partner, the coaches don't say anything so it can't be a problem. It only happened once. Andrea feels if she gets close to being as "good" or better that this girl, she likes to chop Andrea down and make her feel bad, which must make her feel good I guess. Also Andrea is known to be the "tough" girl on the team and isn't scared to be aggresssive in hockey and other sports, the coaches generally love her. One game this past weekend Andrea had a great two periods then in the third got down after the one girl complained about the shift change and didn't play as well and fell down a few times which is abnormal for her. After the game, a mother whom I am friendly with and coffee together came up to me and says, Andrea will be tired after this game, she spend so much time picking herself up off of the ice. That really pissed me off, her daughter is not tough at all and falls alot, I never say anything to her. It's like the minute Andrea does something or has a bad moment, certain people like to jump on that and ram it down her or my throat. My question is what is the best way to deal with people like that? When you are generally a successful and well-liked person but have a few bad eggs that like to see you fail?n I tell Andrea to stay positive and ignore them, they are usually jealous and by knocking you down, they feel better.
Andrea is always chosen as a captain or assistant in sports, she is a very good leader, she just needs to find a way to get over these people and their comments. Any ideas? Thanks Judy.
Hello, I’d like to help you with your question.

I’m sorry that your daughter is going through this. It is part of society for people to feel threatened by those who they see as “better” than them or able to accomplish more than they can. And it seems your daughter has fallen into this role with her group of friends and their parents.

When someone is a bully, they are acting out insecurities they have about themselves. These feelings tend to come out strongly when they are confronted with someone who is confident and able to handle themselves in most situations. Their insecurities flair up and they begin to see this person as a threat because they feel bad in their presence, or even just thinking about that person.

Because of the cause of their behavior, it is typically hard to make a friend out of a bully. They usually respond to two things, someone who can stop their behavior such as an authority (for example a principal in a school) or being ignored. In your daughter’s case, the advice you gave her is exactly right. By ignoring these comments, she doesn’t give them any importance.

However, how she feels personally is another story. People who are mean can make you feel bad about yourself. In that case, your daughter can benefit from some different ways of thinking of this. She can tell herself that these comments from very insecure people. Picturing how badly these people feel about themselves can help as well. And knowing that any comments are not about her but are about the people saying them can help as well.

It also helps for your daughter to express her feelings about what happened. Writing out her feelings, talking to you and other family members and finding support from sympathetic friends can help a lot. Doing things that help her increase her self esteem after hearing these comments is helpful as well. Also, when someone says something to you or your daughter, a well placed “Sorry you feel that way” often tells the person that their comments are not welcome.

I hope this has helped you,
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