When we think about the ideal friendship group, I don’t know about you, but my mind jumps to Sex In The City. The cliche girls group of friends with different careers, personalities and systems of beliefs apart from the few things which bring them all together- shopping, men and talking about sex. The sad truth of the show is that behind the picture-perfect friendships portrayed on the screen, in real life the actresses didn’t really like each other at all.
Is the strong, empowering friendship group we all dream about something that we will only ever see in the movies?
Well, no. But finding your tribe isn’t easy either. We seem to be under the illusion that if we don’t really like our friends, that it is OK? (It really isn’t). Just because you have been friends with someone since primary school, your mums expect you to be besties, or you’re clinging on to your university friends as they all move to new cities and start different careers. It doesn’t mean that those friendships have to last forever.
Like anything that comes into our lives, It is OK to say ‘this isn’t working out’ to your friends if you’re not getting out of them what a real friend should provide.
Good friends are those who support your physical, mental and spiritual growth- and you do the same right back to them. They should be honest and not afraid to call you on something, and likewise, you should feel the same way too. Friends should nurture you, lift you up and empower you.
Being able to be emotionally vulnerable and honest with your friends is key to building trust, and with trust comes a strong, lifelong friendship. It’s hard when you’re friends with someone and feel like they are your only friend, or that in some way, you owe it to them to stick around. But you need to be aware of toxic behaviors. Like you shouldn’t tolerate ghosting, emotional manipulation, degrading comments and guilt trips from your other haves, you absolutely should not tolerate it from your friends.
Being able to be yourself and still loved and respected is the most important aspect of true friends. How many times have you changed what you wanted to eat when you’re out having a meal. Or drank way more than you wanted to while going out for drinks, or felt pressured into doing something you really didn’t want to do. Real friends listen, understand, and respect your thoughts and feelings.
There is more to do with friends than meeting up for drinks (though it is a fun thing to do).
Being able to share each other’s hobbies as a way of supporting each other and trying out new things is a great sign of a strong friendship. Whether that’s snagging a 2 for 1 deal at the cinema or local theatre, testing your friendship in an escape room, attending a cookery class or doing yoga, hosting a dinner party or heading to a new Jazz club to try cocktail making and have a relaxing evening out. There is so much more you can do to spend time with someone.
Most importantly, friendship should be fun! When you surround yourself with women who share the same values as you, there is nothing stopping you from being able to build a solid relationship. It does take time and there is the effort required. Like in any relationship, but what you get out of it is more than a friend. It’s a best friend, a sister, an empowering words whisperer, and if you’re lucky, someone who will say ‘Tell me where the body is’ when you call them at 3 am…
Celebrate Friendship Day on July 30th with The City Girl Network! We are a friendship social enterprise all about bringing women together in their cities through free to attend events. To find flatmates, travel buddies, explore the cities they call home and most importantly- make friends for life! Find out if we are in your city here: City Girl Network, and make sure to follow us on Instagram . Also, join the womxn’s only City Girl Network Facebook Group here.
Written By Rachael Mole, with love! x