A few weeks ago I held a conversation with my best friend of 20+ years over ½ priced margaritas at Mi Pueblo. We were discussing girl friendships. It was a carryover conversation from an email chat I had engaged in with my friend Lauren. Lauren and I were trying to figure out why girls who call themselves friends are constantly trying to one up you, or lie to you about how awesome their lives are when in reality they hate themselves… yada yada yada. Until my 20’s I didn’t know these types of friendships really existed. Ok maybe I’ exaggerating, I suppose I have had a few spats with one or two of my friends while in high school, but nothing to write home about…at least none that I remember. And as I sit here I can probably think of a couple girls from college who stopped being my friends, but they were roommates and it was more like living style clashes. AKA I don’t live like a pig and I don’t blast hardcore vegan punk music at 8:00a while my roommate is sleeping….anyway I digress…
So as I was drinking my frozen peach margarita I mentioned this conversation to Linzi, my best friend, and said “THANK GOD we do not have the ‘typical girl friendship’.” She agreed. See, I’m not quite sure how this occurred. Maybe it’s because we met at the young age of 5 and 6. Maybe it’s just that we love each other. Maybe it’s because she’s a Scorpio and I’m a Pisces and we are astrological soul mates. Maybe it was our upbringing. Maybe it’s all of the above? Regardless of the reason, for the past 20+ years we have maybe been in 5 fights. I’m picking a number at random, but whatever the actual number, it was small and more importantly these fights were not hardcore -I’m going to fling every insult in the book at you or use all of my best friend knowledge to dig into your insecurities- fights. These were slight, you’re kinda annoying me at this moment, someone change the subject type fights tiffs.
Maybe one of you out there knows why this weird and heinous dynamic between girls exists? Where is girl love? Where did the feminist bond go? Women have so much to go up against in this world. We should be supporting each other. Celebrating each other’s victories and consoling during each other’s defeats. We should not be keeping each other at arm’s length. Or hiding things from each other or flat-out lying to each other. We shouldn’t be tearing each other down so that we can get up. We should be providing support for each other so that we can all have a view from above.
I’ll admit that I am guilty of it too. I have few friends that drive me crazy, who I think make insane life choices and at times I have been known to vent my frustrations to my husband and few other select people. But I don’t wish ill will on these friends. I don’t hope they fail. If my friends need me they know, no matter what I would do ANYTHING for them. I really would. If they needed me I’d be there in a flash.
Ultimately I think in order to have a good friendship you need vulnerability. Incidentally, this is also what you need to have to have a lasting romantic relationship. You have to be vulnerable and you have to TRUST that the person will be sensitive to that vulnerability. You can’t be scared they are going to hurt you. You can’t be “suspicious” of them. If you create a culture of trust then, ideally they will follow suit. If they don’t, well maybe they have been hurt too many times before. Maybe they aren’t able to return those qualities. In that case, I guess you have to move on. Not everyone on the planet is going to be your friend. But deep down I think people want to find someone to be vulnerable with. Someone they can let into their world and who will not judge them and who will offer support. I know I am capable of these two qualities (vulnerability and trust). Going forward my hope is to make sure that I notice these qualities in other people and that I don’t take it for granted. There is nothing worse than opening up yourself to someone and having them walk around clueless about it.
I don’t have all the answers for this; well I don’t have all the answers for a lot of things, but especially this. I’ve been giving this some thought; I’ve been reading a few articles trying to see if I can make these changes in myself. See ,I have tasted what true friendship is and I prefer it. It is so much less stressful than fake friendships. Fake friendship or the “frenemy” is like bad Champagne, you have to add orange juice to choke it down. But then that’s not Champagne, is it? No, it’s a mimosa and while mimosa’s are a good way to enjoy bad Champagne they are not as satisfying as a nice crisp glass of Champagne. True friendship is like good Champagne, you don’t have to add a thing just pour and enjoy. Was that analogy successful?…
In any case, let’s get away from the negativity. Let strive for better. I had already made my New Resolutions and this wasn’t originally on it, but it’s being added right now. Let’s have 2010 be about creating closer more positive relationships with our friends.
Henrick Edberg has some excellent suggestions over at his blog, www.positivityblog.com. Here are the links to a few. Seriously they are worth a look. My favorite is how to break out of the victim mentality. Even if you don’t think that you “play the victim” you’d be surprised.