Friendship Fit: 5 ways to keep your friendships healthy
by Laura Swan and Stephanie Fischer
Growing up as a girl isn’t always easy. Your body is changing, your interests are changing, and even your friendships are changing. Even when it gets hard, holding onto friends is almost always worth it. Here are five rules for keeping your friends—without losing yourself!
Rule #1: No one likes a fake.
During your journey to find a good friend, you may feel pressure to be popular. A lot of girls think that if they aren’t friends with the “in” crowd, no one will like them. Not true! No one likes a fake. A friend will appreciate you for who you are.
Rule #2: Get a life!
Friends are great, but remember—you aren’t attached at the hip. When friends hang out every waking moment, they tend to fight over little things and get tired of each other. Spending too much time with one person just isn’t healthy. You can be open to hanging out with other people—it’s OK to have more than one bud at a time. Go see a movie or have a slumber party with your friend, but join some clubs or sports, or take a class, to meet new people, too.
Rule #3: Talk it out.
Once you find a good friend, you’ll want to keep her. So watch out for misunderstandings that could push your friendship over the edge! We often listen to gossip and forget to get the truth from the original source. If you hear rumors about your friend, ask her for the real story. Talking things out can prevent a fight, and even save your friendship. Conflict in friendship is OK, as long as you keep listening to and respecting each other.
Learn more about keeping good friendships.
Rule #4: You can’t be mad forever.
You may want to make up with your friend after a huge fight. If your friend is mad at you, remember why you started fighting in the first place, and make sure your friend knows you understand where she’s coming from. Write her a letter or poem, or give her a box of chocolates and ask her to forgive you. If you’re the one who’s angry with your friend, do your best to open your mind when your friend wants you to forgive her. You can’t be mad at each other forever.
Rule #5: Breaking up is hard to do.
Sadly, there are situations when you and your friend may need to say goodbye. Sometimes, people change. Even though this might feel sad, it’s OK if you and your friend just grow apart. If your friend starts to act mean, or do scary stuff, like drugs or alcohol, then sometimes it’s best to walk away. You’ll find new friends, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
Friends make it easy to fly through the toughest parts of life. It’s great to know you’ve made it through struggles with the help of a friend, or given a friend a shoulder to lean on when she’s needed it. Keep a tight hold on the special people in your life, and you’ll always have a place in each other’s hearts.
Stephanie and Laura are members of the Girl Scouts of the USA, the largest organization for girls in the world. Through the Girl Scouts’ Healthy Living Initiative, girls learn to make healthy choices for themselves and take action to improve community health.
Stephanie, 14, and Laura, 14, have been best friends for five years. Stephanie loves to sing, dance, play clarinet, read, hang out with friends, and meet new people. Laura enjoys Ju-Jitsu, riding her bike, and swimming. Stephanie and Laura’s friendship inspired them to sit down on the couch together and write this piece.
© 2008 New Moon® Publishing, New Moon®: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams, Duluth MN.
Content last reviewed May 15, 2008
Page last updated October 31, 2013