Okay, ladies: it's time we had a talk.
For many of us, we can tell when a significant other is not the one for us. They make us feel bad, they tell us what to do, how to dress, where to go; they don't like our other friends, they get jealous way too easy... all of these things are red flags, right? We're young, intelligent women – we know when someone is toxic for us. We recognize the person they make us isn't the person we want to be. So what do we do? We end it. (Side note, darlings, if you're reading this and the first person you think of is your current significant, this might be a sign to end it. Just a thought.)
It's hard to break off these relationships, however, unhealthy they are. During our heartbreaks, we can't imagine anything hurting worse than the pain we are experiencing right then. But there is something that hurts far worse than any pain a boy or significant other of any kind could put us through.
We've all had to do it, break up with a friend. Whether it was by our own choosing or theirs, it doesn't change the fact that it hurts just as much, if not more, than a break-up with your boyfriend, girlfriend, what have you.
When we become friends with people - best friends with people - we never anticipate that friendship coming to an end. Like I said, we're young; we think of ourselves as practically invincible which means our friendships should be virtually indestructible, too. But, like the glorious Tina Fey said in Mean Girls, there have been major girl on girl crimes in friendships today that have really started to bug me.
I have seen way too many of my fellow estrogen carriers get hurt - not because of some boy - and be devastatingly unhinged by their other girlfriends. Why? Because they allow their friends to treat them exactly like the toxic significant others I mentioned at the beginning.
Here are a few warning signs that your supposed "bestie for the restie" is just not for you:
-They don't have your best interest at heart
-They are there for you when it is convenient for them
-They take more than they give
-They put their needs and desires above yours
-They talk badly about you behind your back to other friends
-They always undermine things you're proud of
-They talk down to you to make themselves feel better
-They get jealous when you hang out with others and don't invite them to do things
If any of your "best friends" treats you that way, maybe it's time to find a new best friend.
Let me ask you another question: If you would not allow a boyfriend to treat you that way, why would you allow your friend to do it?
Think about it, it is exactly the same thing. It is a person who claims to care about you through thick and thin judging you, making you feel down about yourself, and betraying your trust. Who wants someone like that in their life?
Just like with a love relationship, you need a friendship that is mutually beneficial. Why? Because you deserve it. If being in any kind of relationship with someone causes you more tears and more heartache than smiles and laughter, then, according to logic, it is not a good relationship for you to be in. Just because we have dubbed them with the coveted title of "best friend" does not give them a free pass to treat you poorly. They don't get to decide who you hang out with, they don't get to decide what you do all the time, they don't get to determine the tone of your relationship. A friendship is an equal partnership, just like a relationship.
Again, this is one of the harder things we will have to do in our lives. But it is important to recognize and handle it before it gets out of hand. This means actually communicating with your friend to let them know their behavior bothers you. If they are truly your best friend, they will see the error of their ways, and hopefully apologize profusely so you can move on. However, if this is a repeated incident in which you are treated any of the ways I listed above more than once after you've told them it hurts you, then you need to move on. It is okay to break up with your friend for your best interest.
I'll say it again for the ladies in the back:
You need to move on!
Just like there are more fish in the sea for you to love and hold, there are plenty of other fine young ladies out there who will be a true friend to you. Take it from me, someone who has been there and done that long ago and seen many of her friends go through it as well: you will find people who will be the true definition of a friend to you. Maybe it's in high school, maybe it's in college. Maybe you found that one good friend in kindergarten. My hope for all you gals is that you find someone who is willing to stick their neck out for you just like you would for them.