Girl meetings leave you feeling down, anxious about your life, and insecure? This is a clear sign that it’s time to cut down on toxic relationships.
Circles of women, friends, female solidarity and support. We hear a lot about such initiatives and the invaluable power of female friendships. As uplifting as they are, such relationships can be destructive. How do we tell the difference between the two and how do we build relationships that will strengthen them?
Women can be very harsh critics of their own appearance. Fashion standards and ideals of beauty can further inflame expectations. Despite the growing body-positivity movement, the obsessive pursuit of perfection continues to drive many women. As long as one is self-imposed and requires self-sacrifice, there is nothing wrong with that. It’s worse when a friend starts making allusions or inappropriate comments in our direction.
Suggestions that we have gained weight, stopped taking care of ourselves, etc., are not always out of concern. Very often people who are insecure try to build their self-esteem by criticizing others. Through such comparisons, we can feel inferior and begin to doubt whether we like ourselves.
Emotionality is relatively strongly related to gender. While men are slightly less emotional than women, they are not the ones who make us feel that this is a bad thing. Very often it is the women around us who criticize our emotionality. In any relationship, we should be able to be ourselves. If we experience some events more than others, we are more emotional – there is nothing wrong with that. It is certainly not a sign of weakness either.
Our choices about our emotional life and romantic relationships is another aspect that should not be criticized by female friends. Of course, everyone has the right to express their opinions and possible concerns. However, this should occur once and not be rolled out at every meeting. Even if a friend has the best intentions and wants good for us, she is not in our skin. She is just an outside observer. Constantly questioning whether our partner fits us, whether he is the best choice, etc., creates a lot of insecurity in a woman.
Women very often judge other ladies’ lives through the lens of their own needs, priorities and expectations. We must be aware that we are united by gender, but not by lifestyle and dreams. Each woman independently chooses the direction and path she wants to follow in life. For one the priority will be family, for another – career, for a third – travel..
Criticizing our priorities and life choices can have no place in female friendships. If we encounter such behavior, it is a clear sign that this is not a true friendship based on respect and understanding.
No relationship should make you feel insecure or make you feel complex. If you feel depressed, criticized and overwhelmed after meeting a friend, you have the right to end the relationship. Friendships and acquaintances are meant to strengthen us internally, to give us support and motivation. If we feel the opposite, we should cut them off for our own good.
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries in your relationships with your girlfriends. Say loudly that you don’t want certain comments or advice. It could be that your friends don’t realize the hurtful power of your comments. It’s a good idea to explain such situations on the fly and in clear words.
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