A Girl's Guide to Being Friends With Girls











{February 1, 2012}   Introducing: A Girl’s Guide to Being Friends With Girls

(This column originally appeared on Buzznet.com on November 30, 2011.  It has been reposted here with some slight changes)

“I don’t want to be friends with other girls, they’re all catty, stuck-up bitches.”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this or seen it online, I would never need to work another day in my life. It’s a scarily common sentiment with a lot of upsetting ideas.

Maybe it’s ridiculous to assume people need a guide to being friends with each other.  But the more and more I see of what I like to call “Toxic Girl Hate” or girls hating other girls BECAUSE they are girls/because they’re told they shouldn’t want to be friends with other girls, the more I feel like punching something.  The whole idea is pure crap.

So, I figured, hey, maybe the way to fight back against that kind of stuff is to write something a little more positive.  Because, hey, maybe in a world rife with bullying, relationships that occur solely over the Internet and being constantly buried in media, maybe we do need a guide to friendship.

Hence: A Girl’s Guide To Being Friends With Girls.

Let’s kick it off with a few BIG points:

There is no such thing as a “normal” girl.

The idea of a “normal” girl, who is into “normal” girl things and wears “normal” girl clothes and breathes “normal” girl air?  It’s a myth.  It’s something created in order to advertise things to women…those who feel a social pressure to conform will buy things in order to be “normal.”

But don’t think “counter-culture” escapes.  Because advertisers know that girls who don’t want to be “normal” can also be advertised to easily: “Buy this because ‘normal’ girls don’t like it.”

Don’t fall for it.  Banish the concept of “normal girls” completely.  Normal, abnormal, culture and counter-culture don’t matter in the long run.  You shouldn’t be able to put yourself or any other person, male or female, entirely under one simple label like that.  Be you who are.

And understand that other people will be who they are.

You might not LIKE who they are.  You might think they are total assholes.  But that has nothing to do with gender.

You ARE and you AREN’T like “other girls”…but why does that matter?

This is sort of an extension of the first point.  But all the time I see stuff about “Well, I’m not like OTHER girls.” Hell, I think I made the same statement when I was a teenager.  So, from someone who’s been there, take my advice: you are MUCH better off not judging you who are based on who other people are.

I see a ton of stuff about “Other girls wear high heels, I wear Converse sneakers!  Other girls wear short skirts, I wear jeans!  Other girls have crushes on Robert Pattinson, I have a crush on Alex Gaskarth!”  And all you’ve determined here is that you have different tastes from other people.  That’s a good thing.  If we all liked the same thing, it’d be boring.  But this doesn’t make you some kind of super special snowflake…it makes you YOU.

At the same time: there are plenty of other girls who like what you like and who do what you do.  Hell, maybe some of those “other” girls you’re writing off have some of the same tastes as you do, you just don’t know about it.  Looks and outward tastes can be really, really deceiving.

Basically, I’m assuming that nobody reading this wants to be stereotyped…so in turn, you should avoid stereotyping other people.  Worry about who you are above all else and the rest will follow.

Relationships Aren’t Easy (Including Friendships)

We spend so much time and money on romatic relationships, but I think we forget that even without romance, relationships can be difficult.  We get taught that being friends, including being best friends, should be something simple that just happens and sometimes there will be silly little fights that will blow over.

People are complicated.  This isn’t something you can avoid.  People interacting becomes even more complicated.  So, why don’t we all promise to take care of our friendships the same way we take care of our romantic entanglements?

Fight Toxic Girl Hate

I’ve already explained Toxic Girl Hate.  It sucks.  So, let’s fight against it.  Let’s take a stand against forces telling us that girls shouldn’t get along by doing our best to understand each other, to communicate with each other and *gasp* maybe even LIKE each other.

Let’s banish calling each other “sluts and whores” (in the immortal words of Tina Fey: “It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores.”).

When we feel jealous, let’s not give into the whole “women are supposed to be jealous of each other” and instead think about why we feel jealous and address our own insecurities, rather than acting on that jealousy.

Let’s take a good hard look at what the world tells us we should be and how we should act and think about why it’s often total BS.

These columns shouldn’t be taken as a 100% guide you must follow, but I’m hoping they do make you think a little more about how you think about yourself and other girls, and why you think that way.  Because I like to make you think.  I’m mean like that.

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