This is my very first time writing a guest post. Also, I am PMSing like a rage monster. (But I’m still cuter than Edward Norton, Eric Bana and Mark Ruffalo combined.)
*whewf* Now that THAT’S out of the way…
I feel the need to say that I love friendship.
I’m super cheesy that way. Finding — and then subsequently hanging out with — people that make you feel like you’re not the only weirdo on the planet is cash money. Men and Women in Community instead of Competition is powerful. As long as your common denominator isn’t bullying other people or loving the Biebs, then FRIENDSHIP HO!
However, I have a problem with the title “BFF,” Best Friends Forever. I see it all over the place, mostly amongst 13 year olds whose feelings about anything last approximately 2 weeks.
Now, maybe it’s just me, but being a good friend is a marathon. Not just a wedding, but a marriage. You have to be IN IT TO WIN IT, and you can’t be the only one in the relationship who feels that way, you darling little Golden Retriever of Loyalty, you!
If you ARE, then you have no cash money. You have slavery. And, chances are, they like it.
And if you’re under the title of BFF with that person from the time you’re pre-pubescent, it’s way easier to lie and rationalize yourself into adulthood about who they really are.
On the scale of Best Friends Forever, from You Make Me Happy To Be Alive to BFF? All You Do Is Make Me Say “EFF EFF EFF”, I’ve had them all.
I’ve learned that sometimes people are assbutts, and sometimes I’m an assbutt, and sometimes you realize that what you wanted in a BFF at 13 is not what you want at 25.
People change, and I’ve found that women change a LOT in particular. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But ladies, let’s be honest, sometimes it is.
How can we make it better? How can we be a true BFF that stands the test of time? I mean, I get it, not everybody is meant to be BFFs. There are levels of friendship that start at acquaintance and work their way into depth.
But we can still be nice about it.
Here are some Valuable Lessons Life Has Taught Me Like The Heartless Bitch She (Sometimes) Is.
1. Don’t Hold Grudges
No matter the amount of time you have been friends, one of you is going to mess up eventually. Don’t be surprised or shocked, because, friend, I just gave you the heads up.
If they say they’re sorry, forgive them and move on.
If they DON’T say they’re sorry, you should probably still forgive them and move on because you deserve more than to be held captive by bitterness. **However, if they have a habit of not apologizing even when they know they’ve effed up, consider that this might not be the best quality in a BFF**
And if they’ve said they are sorry, and you’ve said that you forgive them but you haven’t really cause you never know when you might need to bring it up at some distant point in the future to make them feel bad, then guess who is the naughty BFF? YOU, sweetie. DON’T BE A GRAVE DIGGER.
2. Be There For the Big and Little Stuff
As much as you possibly can.
Some friends are only interested in drama. Unless you’ve got something BIG going down, talk to somebody else. Their shoes are like “What extra mile?”
Excuse me. Being there for someone means that even if their little story about the nightmare they had 3 days ago is boring you to tears, you’re gonna listen. You’re gonna put your arm around them and say, “That sucks. Good thing dreams aren’t real.”
THAT will get you much further than THIS.
Big stuff is important too. Engagements, weddings, babies, funerals, break-ups, the list goes on. I’ve done my best to be present at every single one of those events in my friend’s lives. It matters to me.
Dear friends traveled from all over North America to be a part of my wedding, but one of them who couldn’t be there is still mad and won’t talk to me because I got married anyway. Apparently, I forgot that that day was about her. Don’t be her.
3. Don’t Let Your Personality Burn Bridges
I’m weird. I’m an extrovert who thrives on people but still needs alone time every once in awhile. I have friends who are like that as well — I also have friends who just never. get. tired. of. partying.
and others who only want to see me in their computer.
At first, I thought introverts hated me, but now that I’ve matured *a little* I see that it’s not about ME, and it takes all kinds of kinds to make a world.
That being said, can I make a suggestion?
a.) If you are painfully shy or introverted but you love your friends, please try to tell them or show them in some way, at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be face to face. It doesn’t have to be a big long speech. Just let them know you care, because they can’t read your mind and you wouldn’t want that anyway. I know it can be really exhausting talking to people, but a little really will go a long way.
b.) Likewise, extroverts? Be cool, dayum. I know you’re a social butterfly and you gotta flap those wings and BE FREE GIRL, but ya know what is also cool? Making rooted, lasting connections with fewer people. Remembering them. Being intentional and meaningful rather than being perceived as flaky and superficial.
4. Chicks Before Dicks
New love. We know how spine-tingly, tummy-full-of-butterflies, and full-abandoney that makes us. It is so easy to jump with both feet into a new relationship, where you’re so consumed with each other that this other person is the only one that matters and how did you ever live without them before?
(I probably shouldn’t only say “chicks before dicks” when referring to relationships; I know that there’s more to the relationship spectrum that just guy/girl. It just sounded clever, aight?)
Either way, it’s not cool to abandon your group of friends for months at a time while you surrender to a haze of Eat, Significant Other, Sleep (?), Repeat. It’s healthy to maintain all of your relationships with balance. What happens if you break up? (OMG, I’m TOTALLY NOT SAYING you would EVER) You think you can just saunter back in on your friends’ lives as though you didn’t just ignore every phone call, text and email they sent you over the past 6 months? It’s shallow and selfish to assume that they will just pick up where you left off.
Or maybe your Love is Eternal and you’ll be together for 50 years until you die.
At some point, you’re still gonna need some friends.
5. Do The Elsa and Let It Go
If you find yourself in a relationship where you’re being forgotten, undermined, gossiped about, mistreated, given the run-around, and ignored — it’s time to cut ties and say goodbye.
It’s gonna feel like a break-up AKA suckage to the max. Tears, stress-eating and thinking of them every time you hear what was once your favorite song.
I know. I’m in the middle of a break-up right now. I lost a decade-long friend 2 years ago, and occasionally, I’m still tortured by memories of her in dreams AND waking. We had *some* good times, mostly when she was single. But even then, she always had to be better and prettier and more noticed than me. She was rarely honest with me about her true feelings, so I was always left guessing.
After the debacle of her not being able to come to, or be in, my wedding (Her exact words were, “Maybe one day I’ll be able to forgive you.”), the camel’s back was broken. I decided I deserved better, and I let her go. Just quietly; there was no big argument or fallout, only silence.
She’s basically my source for this entire post.
If you’ve had a shitty friend, I’m sorry. You deserve better, and Better Will Come.
If you’ve been a shitty friend, I’m sorry for that too, and it’s not too late to change.
I think the problem can be boiled down to two opposing sides of the attitude spectrum.
“I’m better than everyone”……………………………………………….”Everyone is better than me.”
If you join ranks with someone because their life is “sad” enough that they make you feel better about yourself, it’s not going to last.
If you join ranks with someone because you’re jealous of how amazing they are, and you can’t stop comparing yourself to them so you only get close just to be able to imitate them, it’s not going to last.
The root of both of those philosophies is that you really think it’s all about you.
And friendship can’t survive when you’re just looking out for Number One.
Why don’t we commit to: celebrating the successes of our friends, recognizing that comparison is the thief of joy, and to loving others the way that we love ourselves?
Other women may have put me down and held me back, but I will not continue the cycle because all they did was teach me what not to do.
If enough of us do this, then maybe the BFF can be redeemed.
Told ya I was cheesy.
Hola! I’m Carly Butler Hutton, or rather, Button. I’m a birth doula, cupcake maker, ex-illegal immigrant, and I’m the newest cool person you know. Gimme a shout, eh? 🙂 Carly Hutton blogs over at Growing Butterfly, tweets @carlymbutton, Instagrams @carlymbutton and Facebooks as “Carly Button Loves.”