Maintaining Healthy Friendships as Young Women

As women, I feel there is a stigma that we’re two faced and  not trust worthy when it comes to friendships. ( I mean has anyone seen the movie Mean Girls??) We see many young girls switching around friends, especially between the ages 16-18. For me, at this age I was figuring out who I was as a person. Which resulted in multiple friendships until I really felt comfortable with myself and those I’m surrounded by. If you don’t fully know yourself as a person it’s going to be hard to have a healthy friendship. I struggled for many years when I was younger finding who I was and what I deserved in many relationships. This led to many “cat” fights and hard times. Looking back at these moments, I’m very thankful they happened. It taught me how to stand up for myself, how to treat others, and the definition of a true friend.

It has has taken me time to grasp what a true friend really means to me & I think it’s simply two words; loyalty and honesty. These two qualities are essential in any relationship. They define the meaning and the value of your relationship. If your friend is sometimes there for you when it benefits them or would lie to you and tell you your outfit doesn’t look good (I know we’ve all been there), then possibly your friendship isn’t as meaningful to them. For me, I need a friend that will be there for me at 2 am when I need them, make bad decisions with me, and tell me the truth when I need to hear it. Those are the characteristics I try to display as a friend and feel are returned from my friends. I have been fortunate over the years to really develop true friendships that maintain the qualities I value. I feel extra fortunate that some of these friendships have lasted since High School and College. There are friendships that I’ve had for years and we will go months without speaking (because life), but I know that if I were to call them out of the blue for something, they would be there. In the past, no communication would make feel insecure and concerned. Thoughts would go through my mind like, “Are we still friends?” Or “Have they stopped caring about this friendship?”. Silly questions to even ask myself but it allowed me to reflect on the relationship. Maybe those questions were true to some, but not to most. One thing I’ve come to terms with as I’ve gotten older is that friendships may dwindle with time, especially living in opposite cities. And that’s okay. As I said earlier, life happens and we get busy. You choose who you’re going to maintain in contact with consistently. Again, that doesn’t mean you can’t call them up for a favor in the middle of the night. Or maybe it even means that there needs to be some work done on your friendship. If they’re not willing to do that, then maybe it’s time the dwindling apart continues. Overall, you know who has your back and who doesn’t.

I think it’s important we, as women, make it known to our friends that we’re there for them no matter what. Put the cattiness aside and just enjoy each other. Work through your insecurities together, don’t tear each other down. With time I feel we’ve gotten better with this but I think it’s the key component in maintaining healthy friendships as young women. I’ve found my people by continuing this mindset, and I would love for you to all continue this action forward.

Friends are like family and you need them in your life. I can’t live without a brunch with my girls, a group chat of nonsense, and crazy (sometimes unspoken about) nights. We all have those treasured times so let’s maintain them by being honest, supportive, and loyal in our friendships.

 

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