Letting Go Of A Toxic Friendship

breaking up with a friend

In a romantic relationship, it’s pretty cut and dry in terms of your status: on or off, in love or out, together or broken up. The boundaries are typically set and ‘Facebook official.’ But what about when it comes to a friendship? Particularly when a couple of once-besties begins to drift – or worse, one friend starts to drift and the other is still deeply invested in the relationship?

Multiple scenarios can exist in which you no longer desire to maintain a friendship with someone: 1. Your friend makes you feel badly about yourself (i.e. making mean comments about your weight or appearance, gossiping about you to others, pressuring you to engage in uncomfortable behaviors), 2. Your friend is unreliable or selfish (never keeps a promise, only wants to talk about herself, flirts with your romantic interests), or 3. You no longer feel you have common interests and find your friend to be more irritating as you grow up.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Planning Ahead (Sort Of.)

planning ahead

It’s almost impossible to consider that the majority of your life will be lived outside of the confines of high school, and the haze of block scheduling and after school commitments and hallway drama will become a lumpy blur of “that time I was a teenager.” High school is a life lived in brief yet intense duration. It seems like forever; but once you are out, four years feels more like the span of growing out your bangs than an accurate measurement of time. That said, it’s also condescending for any adult to act like adolescence – especially your high school years – aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things. They are. Extremely important. But for all of the right reasons – not the kinds that involve unrequited love or acne.

The true importance of high school boils down to two things: Who you choose to be friends with during this time, and how seriously you take your school work. These elements set the stage for who you become long term.

Continue reading

Social Media and The Careful Curation of Self

social media and identity

A recent New York Times article highlighted the lives of teen girls as they begin to build a curated social identity around Facebook and other networks. Social media may allow us to take control of the ways in which we want others to perceive us, though it doesn’t necessarily represent how we truly feel about ourselves, nor does it paint an accurate picture of the people in our lives. Is this dangerous, or a necessary way to assert our identity though social “decoration” – our updated baubles and painstakingly perfect selfies holding up the ideal version of our best selves on a good day?

Continue reading

Love Letters: High School Hierarchy & Finding Your “Lobsters”

Love Letters

‘Love Letters’ is a Petal + Sass blog feature that regularly asks a group of diverse women in their 20’s and 30’s about their experiences with health, sex, emotional wellness, body image, college, careers – and what they wish they had known themselves as teenagers. Visit the Love Letters’ To My Former Self page to learn more about the contributors.

Question posed: What “cliques” existed when you were in high school? Did you belong to one (whether you wanted to be in it or not?) What advice would you give to teens about “popularity” (or conversely, unpopularity) in high school?

Building Lasting Friendships in 5 Steps or Less

building lasting friendships

A follow up from Part I: 5 Ways to Make Friends Fast (Just Don’t Expect It To Last).

Whether the honeymoon period from Freshman Orientation is growing stale or you are new to the neighborhood, building real friendships is important for your well-being and emotional life. It may be easy to bond with someone over a shared yoga class or a frozen yogurt, but it can be trickier to establish real, intimate friendships where you feel comfortable sharing your deep thoughts, venting personal frustrations, or just being together in comfortable silence. Remember: It’s takes time to meet people and build lasting friendships. Here are 5 steps to help you along the way.

Continue reading

5 Quick Ways to Make Friends Fast (Just Don’t Expect It To Last)

How to make friends

If you are on the brink of heading off to college this month, or even starting a new boarding or high school, you may have been sent this recent article in the New York Times, The Real Skinny on Freshman Year. Conventional wisdom at its best – a definite read as you embark on a new adventure surrounded by strangers and boundless options.

What the piece didn’t break down was how and when you make friends. When starting a new school, this is perhaps the most anxiety-producing, keep-you-awake-at-night dilemma as you envision your new life unfolding. The truth is, the friends you make off the bat when starting a new school may not be the friends you end up keeping in touch with 10 years (or even 10 weeks) down the line – but they are important to settling in, feeling happy, and meeting those friends that will click for life. Maybe you’ll get lucky and your roommate or lab partner truly will your maid of honor someday. If not, here are 5 solid, quick tips (and their flip sides) to finding fast friends as you step foot onto a new social scene.

Continue reading

How To Apologize (And When You Shouldn’t)

How To Apologize

A recent New York Times opinion piece raised an important question every woman should stop to consider: Why do I apologize, and do I apologize more just because I’m female?

“For so many women, myself included, apologies are inexorably linked with our conception of politeness,” shares NYT contributor Sloane Crosley after apologizing half a dozen times to a waiter for an unsavory dish she was served. “Somehow, as we grew into adults, ‘sorry’ became an entry point to basic affirmative sentences.”

Continue reading