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Psychology, Relationships, Women's Issues

The Trouble with Female Friendships

Ah the friendships that bestow women, when they are good they are heart warming but when they are bad they can literally vapourise any moving target within 100 metres.

Welcome to the fickle and volatile world of female friendships folks. Here today, gone tomorrow. Is there any other relationship more fragile, more unforgiving and more easily torn to shreds after one missed birthday than the female friendship?

As I have grown up and matured (OK it is debatable at 4am in a night club and I am showing no signs of drinking water yet), I have noted that for me friendship is more than just hanging out, shopping, exploring each others deepest, darkest feelings and partying together. Friendship for me needs to incorporate the following for the plane to take off the run way.

  • Trust
  • Sincerity
  • Fun

So let’s take a closer look at these desirable attributes that I have listed…

Trust
If we cant trust our girl friend 100 per cent, just like if we cant trust our husband 100 per cent then it is a no fly zone for me. I need to be 100 per cent comfortable in my mind that my friend will not be repeating my every word. Some women seem to have a frightening ability to spew your deepest feelings and concerns.

Sincerity
This is another big deal breaker in friendships and one I feel some women struggle with. Women are very quick (too quick perhaps) to show empathy and compassion to your face but they are likely to voice a very different stand when you are not around.
I also need friends who are actually pleased for me when I am happy and doing well in life. Friends who may smile and cheer for me but deep down the jealously is at boiling point or maybe they don’t even smile or cheer anymore as they are so corrupted by negative feelings and insecurities. Yikes. Step away, now run!

Fun
If we can’t laugh so hard we cry with our friends then we have not met our friends yet in life. If we can’t be ourselves, make a complete drunken fool of ourselves and our friends just giggle, all the while making sure you are safe and having a great time then move on. Friends are not supposed to reprimand, judge harshly or set rigid standards for behaviour. We are all human. No one is perfect. Real friends understand and allow us to be who we are meant to be.
They don’t suffocate us with unrealistic expectations.They allow us to grow. They encourage us to develop and enjoy our life to the full, to take risks and not be fearful. Real friends celebrate our uniqueness. They do not ask us to conform. There is no ‘fit in or ship out’ mentality. They enjoy and find great pleasure in your differences.

It took me a very long time I am sad to report to find such beautiful, flexible and accepting qualities in friends. I did stumble on gold and it was worth the wait. My ability to seek out warm hearted, genuine souls has certainly improved with age.

All too often women smile sweetly at each other but all the while gossiping and criticising their friend. Where is the acceptance and compassion?

All too often women harbour jealously, spite and excluding behaviours. Yet all the time kissing you on the cheek and asking you how you are doing. Where is the sincerity?
The Oscar winning performance for the woman who can pretend she likes you but really can’t stand you or anything you stand for goes too…

I must admit it is a complicated business these fickle relationships. One month they are like your long lost sister, the next you are forgotten. It has happened to me countless times as a young girl and young woman and every time I am bemused and quite surprised by the disloyalty, the harshness and amazing coldness from the fairer sex. One wrong word or the wrong pair of shoes and the friendship could be brutally over when you are a teenage girl. Unfortunately some women do not advance much and still behave rather like 14 year old school girls at 45.

My advice? If you do stumble upon a friendly soul who makes you feel warm inside, relaxed and loved then please do count your blessings. As the old saying goes, true friends are like diamonds – precious but rare. False friends are like Autumn leaves – found everywhere.

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About Alana Munro

Writer. Mama to three, wife to one. Red wine consumer.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “The Trouble with Female Friendships

  1. >Alana, I love this article! Really liked how you poke fun at how fickle females can be. Some girls change mates like their clothes.It can be ridiculous. I have some good, loyal mates now thank god!

    Posted by Anonymous | December 10, 2010, 10:06 pm
  2. >Great mates are priceless but they should never be allowed to define you. The old saying is true, some people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, but no matter how long they are here for they are just that a support, they are not you. Great friends are special beings in our lives that can make us believe in ourselves more than anything else. We are all unique individuals and should live our own lives according to our own journey. So treasure the friendships, ignore the crap that is out there, but most of all live your life according to you, after all a great friendship starts with great individuals. Love your work Mrs Munro x

    Posted by merrin wake | December 11, 2010, 4:17 am
  3. >Thanks for the input. Very insightful. Merrin, oh yes totally agree! We are unique beings, we should not be defined by our friends, just like we should not be defined by our jobs or our past. Thanks for sharing your thoughts ladies xx

    Posted by Alana | December 13, 2010, 2:30 am

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