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What to do about problematic people?
Hi, I'm not sure if this is where I'm supposed to post something like this, but I can really use some insight on this situation!

I've been training Muay Thai for almost 6 months now. I love it, I've always had low self esteem (I also used to have depression and social anxiety) and been afraid to try new things things have been different ever since I started going to my gym. There's this other girl in my class who's been there at least twice as long as me and she hits too hard during light, technical sparring. I've sparred with literally all sorts of people in my time at my gym but she's the only one that goes too hard and aggressive. She acts really nice to me and strikes up small talk a bit before and after class and sometimes gives me tips while doing drills and if I ask questions. She also will approach me to spar together sometimes.

Even during really basic drills like the basic jab cross she punches really hard. And during kick drills she always has to throw in extra in-my-face jabs (other people throw in jabs too, but she hits harder than them and almost directly hits my face/forces through my gaurd a bit while others just hit lightly at my gloves).

Then during sparring today, she hardly let me get anything in. She was going too fast and hitting much harder than anyone else and she kept throwing combos with offensive front kicks that she knew I wouldn't be able to block. Light sparring never hurts except when I'm with her. We're both wearing shingaurds but my shins hurt a lot from just blocking her low kicks. And every teep she throws at me is way too much, even when I harden my abdominal muscles in time.

I'm ashamed to admit I actually almost starting crying in class. During body conditioning at the last part of class it was really hard fighting back tears. She spoke to me a bit in the girls change room and she might have noticed how red my eyes were, so maybe she knows she's making me feel this way. She didnt act like she noticed though. If she is getting kicks out of this, I'm even more ashamed she saw me almost crying. I did cry the whole walk home. I've been recovering from depression but now I feel like I'm garbage.

I'm also scared she might talk shit about me and make some of the other girls hate me if I get the coach involved. Nobody else is like her. This is the best gym in my city and everyone else is super nice. But she has her little posse of girls and I'm scared they'll passive aggressively bully me away. I love my gym and I don't want that.

I've tried sort of asking her to tone it down a bit (very passively), but it didn't help much. I really don't want to get the coach involved just yet.

Can someone help me come up with a way to tell her to stop that even in her BS have her listen? If not, can I have some other tips on how to deal with the situation? Be specific if you can.

Thank you and sorry for splaying out my sobstory!
Take it that you are trained to be a fighter and you have to undergo series of training of skills, techniques which could only be put into action perfectly through a self-discipline and utter obedience to the rules and regulations therein.

If you couldn't follow those things, sorry to tell you that you are in the wrong place for training. You are out of place so to speak. But if you insist, take note that bullying is a part of life. You should accept that fact of it and be able to overcome it by being strong and determined to surpass all those things. Be strong. Be firm and fight those weaknesess you have had like you low esteem. A good figther for that matter has a strong-willed and a high esteem. He could stand with his own two feet. I know you can do it unless you are not determined to be a true Muay Thai fighter.
I had the same problem and I only dealt with it by acting like my opponent. If he hits hard I hit hard, try also to learn her weaknesses and use her momentum against her.
Problematic people can be very difficult to deal with (in fact, most of the time they are), but whatever happens, dialogue will always be the best option and the best decision to make.

Obviously it's not an easy task because sometimes, a lot of problematic people seem to like to make things difficult, but dialogue is a very powerful weapon... As long as it can be properly used.

The dialogue leads to knowledge, and knowing the person better you can always help in the best way.
I guess there is malice in that girl’s subtle actuation against you. From what I understand in your story, the girl is trying to show that she is more superior than you are in the mat (during sparring) and that you think that is not the fact. Let’s admit that you are being bullied in a way. Perhaps that girl is trying to scare you and make you do something shameful like that reporting it to the coach. Or maybe some of her cohorts are also into it. Now, if I were you, I would do what she is doing. When I was a karate student, “control” in the sparring is a law and violating it would subject us to sanctions. And when we accidentally hit our sparring partner, we would signal a break and bow while uttering the words, “sorry, mama.” If that politeness in sparring is not observed in your training camp then I guess fight fire with fire. If she hits you hard then hit her harder. If there is a reaction from her or from her cohorts, apologize and make it appear unintentional.
Control is control. Discipline is discipline. That is the clear and unequivocal general definition of control and discipline as far as martial arts principle and practice is concerned.

Retaliation, revenge won't matter. If you do that your training means nothing. In living, humbleness is difficult to exemplify but it is possible for it is the greatest weapon to defeat all evils.

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