Roxane Gay, writer and feminist hero, shared this great list on Women’s News a few years ago. Have you read it? It outlines the rules for female friendships and offers a healthy dose of reality for those folks who believe, for whatever reason, that lady-friends need to be competitive and catty. These rules, especially, are such important reminders…
A lot of ink is given over to mythologizing female friendships as curious, fragile relationships that are always intensely fraught. Stop reading writing that encourages this mythology.
Want nothing but the best for your friends because when your friends are happy and successful, it’s probably going to be easier for you to be happy.
5A. If you’re having a rough go of it and a friend is having the best year ever and you need to think some dark thoughts about that, do it alone, with your therapist, or in your diary so that when you actually see your friend, you can avoid the myth discussed in Item 1.
5B. If you and your friend(s) are in the same field and you can collaborate or help each other, do this without shame. It’s not your fault your friends are awesome. Men invented nepotism and practically live by it. It’s okay for women to do it too.
If a friend sends a crazy email needing reassurance about love, life, family, or work, respond accordingly and in a timely manner even if it is just to say, “GIRL, I hear you.” If a friend sends you like 30 crazy emails needing reassurance about the same damn shit, be patient because one day that’s going to be you tearing up Gmail with your drama.
Don’t you love that? Rule 5B reminds me of Ann Friedman’s Shine Theory (“Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better.“) With these rules and theory in mind —
What female friendship can you work on today? What powerful lady can you welcome to your circle? LET’S SHINE, Y’ALL!
Check out these books by Roxane Gay: Bad Feminist, An Untamed State, and Difficult Women. Listen to Call Your Girlfriend – a podcast for long-distance besties – hosted by Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow.