That’s What She Said: Strong girlfriend relationships change everything

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My goal for 2014 is to be a better girlfriend.

Now, my goal is not to be a better significant other, but it is to be a better friend to my female friends. Female friendships can be fulfilling sources of support and love. However, I often see females tearing one another down instead of building one another up, and I believe a lot of that stems from the way we feel about ourselves.

Most women are familiar with the term “frenemy.” It’s someone who is a friend, but also an enemy. The frenemy tends to post gorgeous Facebook selfies that fill us with radiating jealousy. She’s the friend we roll our eyes at when she talks about feeling fat in her size 2 jeans. She may even be a friend who puts us down or is non-supportive.

The frenemy relationship brings forth more negative emotions than positive, and that’s why we should focus on being more of a friend and less of an enemy.

Maintaining negative friendships can be toxic.

It’s crucial to be constantly evaluating ourselves as a friend, but it’s even more crucial to be wise about who we let into our life. Friends who drag us down aren’t friends.

The way we feel about ourselves tends to reflect the way we treat others. 

I’ve found when I’m feeling insecure about a certain something, I’m more likely to criticize another woman for that certain something. So when I’m feeling bad about a little post-Christmas muffin top, I’m more likely to recognize and judge a friend for her weight. 

That is unhealthy and frankly unfair to other women and ourselves.

The source of the problem is the relationship we have with ourselves. If we are bullying ourselves, what’s to stop us from bullying others? 

We need to be more kind to ourselves. If we speak kindly and if we love ourselves, we are more likely to speak kindly and love our female friends.

It’s easier said than done, but we can start by stopping our self-bullying. When we start saying mean things to ourselves like, “My hairline is so weird. My pores are huge. My nail beds suck,” we need to redirect our thinking to something positive.

When we start getting all judgey-wudgey on our female friend, let’s ask ourselves why we’re judging her. And while we’re at it, let’s tell her we care about her or give her a genuine complement. Let’s be each other’s cheerleaders. 

There is nothing better than a good friend, and I am excited to see how many more friends I can gain this year if I focus on being a better, more supportive friend. After all, life can be enriched with good girlfriends by your side.