Female friendships are essential for your development and well-being as a woman. They can add colour to your life and serve as a support system that you may not otherwise have. Few things come close to the joy and comfort of camaraderie and community, and it takes deliberate effort to foster and maintain a healthy, supportive network of female friends. Here are some tips for building and maintaining enriching friendships:
Be the Kind of Friend You’d Like to Have:
One of the many joys of friendship is that they provide a safe space that we may not find elsewhere like with family or in romantic relationships. Friends are people who have chosen to love and be there for you sans obligation, so you must treat them with care and respect. Honesty, kindness, consideration and openness foster love, support and healthy relationships.
To build quality relationships, you have to be a quality friend yourself. Show up for your friends — to birthdays, milestone events, to disgrace a cheating boyfriend — you should be there for your friends and willing and ready to do whatever you can to make their lives better. Cry with them when it’s time for tears and help them snap out of it when they’re in a dark spot too long; your friends should be confident in the knowledge that you’re always on their team.
When your friends go wrong, be the kind of friend to correct them with love, so that they’ll help set your head straight when it’s needed too. Reciprocity is key to building and maintaining a healthy, supportive network of friends and friends can learn how to be better from one another.
Step Up Your Politics:
Your friends should be a safe space, and you should be able to share anything with them, and them with you. Nobody wants to be friends with a judgemental person, a patriarchy princess or a woman who slut-shames her friends. If you’re looking for quality friends who will take you as you are, then you must work on being non-judgemental and open to learning and evolving as well. Remember, we support women’s rights as well as their wrongs and even if you can’t share your wrongs with anyone, you should be able to share them with your friends.
Treat Your Female Friendships Like They’re Important, Not Like Fillers Until You Meet a Man:
Friendships are as important as romantic relationships and should be treated as such. Your community will be there for you in ways no one else will be and it is essential that you return the energy. Put in the effort, plan friendship dates, spend time together and don’t place men above your friendships. Don’t be the friend who abandons her friends the second she gets a man; not cute.
Find Shared Interests:
People can bond over a variety of things and these bonds can become pillars of friendship. A shared love of fashion, music, books, an artist etc can foster a friendship that develops in other ways. Take interest in the things your friends love that appeal to you.
Try New Things Together:
Nothing brings people together like shared experiences and memories. So try new things with your friends, even the worst experiences may turn into fond memories if they’re shared. Go out, have a blast, take lots of pictures, look out for one another, and at the end of the day, someone must launch into a drunken emotional speech about how great friendship is and how much you love each another, it’s only right.
All in all, be a girl’s girl, be confident and kind, and you’ll likely attract people who mirror your views and values. However, don’t forget to protect your space and be discerning. Female friendships are amazing, but like with all things, there may be exceptions. Take friendship red flags as seriously as you’d take relationship red flags and flee from all appearances of evil.