“Wow, your friends are like…really nice” my childhood friend, who was visiting from out of town, said in awe after attending a small girl’s night I’d put together in her honor. I wanted her to meet the other wonderful women who’d come into my life throughout the years when her and I had kept up our long-distance friendship. I know it sounds like a generic thing everyone says after meeting one’s friends—“They’re so nice”—but she really meant it, and she was really surprised. That’s not to say that she didn’t think I had it in me to bring together such a wonderful group of humans. I think she was more surprised because, to some extent, does anybody have it in them to have a close group of true gems in their life? No matter who you are, it’s quite a feat.
There are some behaviors that become so commonplace that we just…turn a blind eye to them. We accept them because we believe if we don’t accept them, we’ll be left with nobody in our life. Or, perhaps we don’t always hold our friends to a high standard for fear we’d be held to the same one, and wouldn’t stand up to it. But I have made a strong effort to have, well, I don’t want to say rules for my friends, because they don’t know of any such rules and I’m not their boss. But, I have standards for who I keep in my close circle. I just learned a long time ago that there are certain behaviors that aren’t “just a small thing” or “meaningless.” Nope, they’re indicative of bigger flaws that would really come around to bite me in the *ss if I kept them around in my life. Here are behaviors I just don’t tolerate in my female friend group.
Any sense of status
In my friend group, there are a lot of different career paths and financial situations. I have a couple of friends who live off of “gig economy,” walking dogs, driving Uber, catering, and doing what they can to just get those bills paid. I have a therapist friend with her own practice and a lawyer friend who is partner at her firm. But there is no sense, when this group is together, of any unequal playing field. That’s because to me, having friends for whom their career/money is their identity just doesn’t work. Who we are as friends, family, and spouses—that’s what matters to us, and money’s got nothing to do with that.