Glamour – Bridesmaid Bullying Is Real

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Photo: weheartit

Few bridesmaids haven’t felt the unreasonable pull of a bride and her expectations. Popular movies document the various dramas, and there is even a colloquial term to describe such selfish bride-to-be behavior: bridezilla. More importantly, how can a caring well-meaning friend handle such behavior? I was pleased to weigh in for Glamour about bridesmaid bullying and what you can do if it happens to you.

Licensed clinical psychologist Alicia Clark, Psy.D., agrees. “I have had more people really struggle to set limits with increasingly entitled and demanding brides,” she says.

That tends to create a competitive mentality with brides. “Pressure to be different, to be special, to be more memorable than others can create a backdrop of intense expectations, tempting brides to reach for higher and higher standards,” says Clark. “In a culture where so much credence is given to appearances, weddings give a socially sanctioned excuse to go all out, and make the best, most glamorous statement you can.”

Clark agrees. “As hard as it is to say no or describe your discomfort with a certain request, agreeing to requests or demands that feel unreasonable will make you feel miserable complying and ultimately strain your relationship for the worse,” she says. “Being true to yourself, and your limits, will help offset whatever strains might burden your relationship.”

Of course, it’s possible the bride just isn’t aware of what she’s doing. “She may not understand when she is being unreasonable—her lens is skewed by her own excitement and expectations, as well as the demands she feels,” says Clark.

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD