Group friendships as depicted on screen, appear to be a prerequisite for living your best life in your twenties. If like me, you spent your late teens binging chick flicks and sitcoms in anticipation of your twenties, then you must have seen how the media has magnified friend groups due to its entertainment value. We watched our favorite Tv friendship groups navigate the different stages of life together whether it be singlehood, marriage, a job loss, grief, family drama; and we saw how they were able to overcome these challenges and come out stronger as a unit. It seemed aspirational if you ask me, #FriendshipGoals.
Similarly, to other types of relationships, female friendship groups face a number of challenges. The high and low moments seem to balance themselves out and with the recent conversations on social media spotlighting group friendships, particularly female friendship groups, it seems like Gen Z’s and Millenials have recently developed a love/hate relationship with the idea of being in a female friend group. I asked seven women to share their overall opinions and past experiences on being in a female friend group. I believe we can learn a thing or two from their experiences.
Being in a female friend group was like having my own tribe and it felt great to have people you could depend on. It was a big group and I enjoyed having so many friends at once. They felt like my sisters. Unfortunately, I drifted away from the group because l ife threw me in a different direction. We still talk and check up on one another but the friendship just has not been the same for me as it was when we were in high school. However, I would recommend being in a female friend group a hundred percent. I do not recall there being any toxicity, just pure bliss. It is a top tier experience in my opinion.
I was once in a friend group with 4 other girls. We all met in uni but I was always closer to one more than the others. Despite that, we were all still the best of friends. At least that’s what I thought. One day, I had a major argument with one of them, and someone else took me off our group chat. Just like that. I was so shocked because no matter how serious the argument, I couldn’t understand why the next logical thing was to take me off a group chat we all shared together. And I was the only one taken out. After that, things became clearer to me – I was the friend the other friends usually gossiped about, even the one I was closest to, and get this – all the while, they had a separate group chat.
In my experience, being in a female friend group was great initially, until I was betrayed by my friends and had to put myself first and walk away from it. Female friend groups like any other relationship come with its challenges, but it was really great while it lasted. For now, I am navigating acceptance in friendships and also the loneliness that comes with finding my tribe. I miss my old friends and though I am open to making new friends, the hurt and pain I suffered scarred me.
I always felt excluded from the group. They would hang out without me and would share personal things about themselves when I was not there and would talk about things I was not involved in without filling me in when we would hangout. It made me feel like I was begging to be a part of the friendship.
I still think being in a friend group is great. I would advise being intentional about the friends you keep, make sure they support you and are honest with you. I will also say, when your friend hurts you, please communicate and work on yourself too otherwise it can lead to bitterness.
I have always loved being in a female friendship group with all my heart and thankfully, I am still loving it! It has been a journey truly but it is one I am learning to constantly show up for because I want my friendships to grow, bloom and flourish. We all share the same faith and I believe it has knitted our hearts together. I call them my sisters. Their friendship has been a means of healing for a lot of scars and past trauma I had experienced, some of which I didn’t even know I still carried in my heart.
I have a lot of conflicting emotions regarding female friendship groups. The reality you encounter in these friend groups seems to be very different from the expectations you have of being in a girl group with people who love and support you. I am aware that nobody is perfect, but you can only extend the benefit of the doubt to others for so long before you have to confront the facts and put yourself first.
I am currently in a female friend group and I have mentally checked out of the relationship. The lack of accountability when someone in the group has done something wrong, feeling excluded and constantly second-guessing your place in their lives is all too much for me. My individual relationships with some of the girls in the group are doing fine, but of what use is being in a group if all of us are not getting along and the animosity when we are together makes it hard to be your authentic self?
I am not entirely against being in a friendship group. I believe my tribe is out there and in due time we will find our way to each other. However, I have reached a point where I would rather be alone than settle for less than the love and respect I know I deserve.
I have been in several female friendship groups at different points in my life, but the one I am currently in? Amazing! We are all Nigerians in a college in the US, and it has been wonderful to be surrounded by people who understand you and can relate to your experiences. Whether it is the times we stay up to gist and laugh our heads off until the Resident Assistant has to tell us to keep our voices down, or the times we took turns caring for a friend with a broken ankle. These girls are my home away from home. I think every girl deserves to be in a female friendship group where they feel loved and supported.
The last time I was forming squad with a group of girls, it didn’t end well. It’s the fact that you can’t be in a group and have your own personality – people sort of pin you all together. That saying “birds of the same feather flock together” is false. Because we’re friends doesn’t necessarily mean we all share the same value and beliefs. I can be my own person and be friends with someone who is completely different from me. It’s not impossible.
I and my friends started to drift apart when I realized we wanted different things in life. When I got my first well paying job, they downplayed my accomplishment and didn’t even congratulate me. Then all of a sudden, I was the money bank. They asked to borrow money from me more times than I can count and whenever I would declined, they would make it seem like I was such a terrible friend. Whenever I tried to talk to them to try to better their lives in some way, they would call me judgemental and a hypocrite. It made me sad that we couldn’t all elevate together because that’s all I really wanted for us. Being called judgemental rubbed me off the wrong way because as your friend, it should be my duty to want what’s best for you, right? After a while, I hated being associated with them because they just weren’t growing or progressing in any way. Till today, we don’t talk and I’m sort of a lone ranger, which I’m fine with. I know one day, God will bless me with my own tribe of supportive, wholesome women.
*Some names have been changed
What’s your take on friendship groups? Share your thoughts in the comments!