Principles of Girl-Friend relationships
I believe that, for women, having a healthy set of female friends is key, and having multiple groups of girlfriends is even better. As long as I can remember I have been a girl magnet, I am a storyteller, a good listener, an advice dealer and a cheerleader. I discovered these gifts early on, in elementary school. I found myself on the phone listening to my friends as they spoke about other girls, family issues and boy troubles, of course. Listening and validating was my job and I took it seriously. I have always met women with extraordinary stories and lives. These women have helped me to become the woman that I am today by sharing their stories and by being themselves. Throughout the years, friendships have developed, they have fallen apart, they have been mended and some continue to stand the test of time without a pause.
Having healthy girl-friend relationships takes time, patience, practice and lots of trial and error. Part of the process is figuring out what kind of girl-friend you are.
How is it that I continue to have successful girl-friend relationships? It’s all about the girl-friend code, not to be confused with the “girl code”. The girlfriend code includes a few steps, tips and exercises that I have found helpful.
I have known a few women who have said things like “making friends is hard,” “girls are the worst,” “girls are too catty” or “I have more guy friends than girls.” And my mother, for example, is a true introvert and is hardly a subscriber to girl-friend relationships. For most of my youth, she didn’t have female friends and the idea of her going out with other women was highly unlikely. She had her thoughts about women which I’m sure stemmed from negative experiences in her past. My mother would ask, “How you one hav suh much friend?” (Translation: “Why do you have so many friends?”) I never had an answer for her but it was clear that our outlooks on girl-friends were very different. Now my mother is more open to having female-friend relationships, but you won’t find her on the phone for hours just yet. Having healthy girl-friend relationships takes time, patience, practice and lots of trial and error. Part of the process is figuring out what kind of girl-friend you are. Based on this, you become that friend and you step into that role with confidence. Mind you, you are never bound to be just one kind of friend but knowing where your strengths lie is important. This information will help to shape you and your friendships.
A girl-friend is a beautiful extension of yourself. They are not only there when you need them but they also help to shape and mold you into your best self. Girl-friend relationships are real-ass relationships. They go through similar waves as romantic relationship and can provide similar benefits, so girl-friends are kind of a big deal. Now when I say benefits, we are keeping it simple: a benefit of a girl-friend relationship could be that the two of you make each other laugh. With girl-friends the key is to have open communication, a big sense of humor (dirty jokes are a must), an understanding heart and respect. Similar to familial relationships, girl-friends become an addition. They should hold space in your heart, mind and life. It is also okay to have a variety of friends, each of whom cater to a different part of you. For example, you’ll probably have some friends from college, or the friends from [insert job], as well as those lifelong friends that have traveled the distance with you. They all speak to a part of you or a time in your life.
I like to think of my girl-friends as my sisters. My girl-friend relationships are so vast and different. This is what I love the most about them. No two friends are the same and no two relationships are the same. They come from all walks of life, with different experiences, ideas and cultures. They all give me the opportunity to be myself: they love me with their hearts, they laugh at my corny jokes and they sing along to the music in my head, cry with me, tell me off, disagree with me, educate me and uplift me. And in return I am ME, the girl-friend that they need when they need me to be. Girl-friend relationships are a must, but you knew that already.