Something we hold near and dear to our hearts here at Her Story Goes is the beauty of female friendship. We believe that these bonds are some of the greatest joys in our lives, and oftentimes it is these relationships that hold steady and true even as others veer off course.
Just like any relationship, though, female friendship requires effort, compassion, and understanding. We listen to the minute details of our girlfriends’ lives—from what’s going on at the office to their latest Instagram posts—and we gladly take it all in, eager to hear how our friends are doing, where they’re going and—most importantly—how they’re feeling about it all.
Every now and then, however, there comes a time not just to listen, but to offer up a word of honesty. Not every situation calls for a simple nod and a compassionate smile. It can be one of the most difficult things to do, but speaking up to your friends about something on your mind can be crucial—and maybe even provide a perspective they so desperately need.
If something seems amiss with their lifestyle.
Everyone lives differently and cares for their body in unique ways. A vegan marathon-runner and a carnivorous couch potato can (and definitely should) be friends who share their experiences with each other. But if something seems unhealthy or dangerous—whether it be a crash diet, a pattern of binge drinking, a chronic lack of energy, or a frighteningly intense workout regimen–or if something just seems plain off to you, delicately approaching the subject can be the best way for them to open up about it and start getting the help they need. I’m not advocating for policing the ladies in our lives on how they live, but instead simply paying attention to anything that could be potentially harmful. Worst case scenario? Nothing is actually wrong at all. In which case, you can both move on to a new topic. Preferably over a glass of wine.
If their partner isn’t treating them right.
While no relationship is perfect, and even the best romantic partners mess up A LOT (Hi, hello, I’m Kristen), there are times when normal relationship slip-ups and spats aren’t the real problem. If your friend seems reluctant to tell her partner something, fears their reaction to a situation, has to ask permission from them to see you, or if they habitually make her feel anything less than the kick-ass rockstar you know she is—offer your concern. Rough patches are one thing, but if their problems are constant and beginning to affect your friend’s self-esteem—or God forbid, her safety—your honesty could be vital. She may need her friends most during this time, whether it’s to find the strength to work through their problems or to find the courage to walk away.
If they’ve done something to truly hurt you.
This one might be the toughest of all. Your girlfriend has said something completely ouch-worthy, left you out of fun weekend plans, or just flat-out blew you off. Whatever the case may be, you’re hurting and that’s totally understandable. But it’s time to talk about it with her—and sooner rather than later. Letting your anger or resentment build up inside of you will be bad news for everyone involved. Preserve your friendship and open up to her about the situation. It’s not fun and it can get ugly (and even progress into ugly-crying) but once it’s out there, you can both start to heal. She won’t know something needs fixing until you say something. And after all, who would understand where you’re coming from more fully than one of your best friends? Chances are you’ll both recover and end up in a far better place than before. Like your apartment, binge-watching Pretty Little Liars.
Our two cents? No matter what the relationship, open and honest conversation is key. That being said, we’d love to hear your perspective, additions, and stories in the comments below. Because, as always, #sisterhood.
// photo by Ian Schneider //