It’s Okay To Dump Your Friends

It’s so easy to fall into a pattern where we give and give until there’s nothing left.

Snapchat Body-Shamer Facing Possible Jail Time

Dani Mathers’ victim has been found, and she wants justice.

To The Model Who Took This Photo: You Are A Body-Shaming Bully

Being attractive doesn’t give you the right to shame other women.

Toxic Friendships: When It’s Time To Let Go

When a good friend turns frenemy, it can be more painful than having your teeth pulled and turn your world upside down.

RELATED: Is Friendship A Higher Form Of Love?

Do you:

a) Rid your world of toxic friend once and for all by sending her a vomitous mass of glitter, coupled with hate mail, via latest social media sensation, genius website: shipyourenemiesglitter.com?

b) Watch endless re-runs of Mean Girls on a loop, crying into your Tim Tams and chardonnay?

c) Gracefully cut all ties with said toxic friend and move on with your life, fast?

female friendships, frenemies, toxic friendships

The answer, dear reader, is of course C (although A would be so satisfying!).

Everyone encounters a toxic friend or two at some stage in their life. The key is not to dwell too much on why it happened, I think, but just to get the hell out of it, stat! Of course, this can be easier said than done with it’s a one-time great, long-term friend who now seems hell-bent on making your life miserable.

Interestingly, new UK research recently revealed both men and women are equally likely to lose two of their closest friends when they start a new relationship.
Sad fact of life, isn’t it? You’d think your closest friends would be thrilled for you when you meet a great love?! But no – jealousy is indeed a curse.

female friendships, frenemies, toxic friendships
I interviewed a senior clinical psychologist, who wishes to remain anonymous, about this complex topic of toxic friends. Her insightful answers are below:

Q: Are there any warning signs for a toxic friendship?

A: Relationship experts define a toxic friendship as one which causes more hurt and pain than good. So, when the friendship is causing you to feel bad about yourself, guilty, miserable, used or any other of a possible range of negative emotions a good deal of the time, and these negative emotions outweigh the positive feelings you get from the friendship, then you are in a toxic friendship.

Some people have a talent for making themselves feel better by putting their friends down with criticism and cutting remarks. If you realise this bullying is happening to you, take some deep breaths and resolve to end it. No one can “make” you feel sad or depressed, it only happens with your cooperation. So, dig deep and find the strength to end the friendship!

Q: Why do our one-time BFFs sometimes become our mortal enemies?

A: Sometimes, a friendship starts off being pleasant and fulfilling, but over time it turns into something toxic. Why? It could be that one friend has been successful or had happiness come their way and the other has missed out and feels jealous and resentful. Or maybe one party feels superior due to their successes and starts to be condescending and contemptuous towards the friend they regard as less successful. Maybe one friend is miserable due to a failed relationship and wants to make others suffer too.

There are many possible reasons why are some friends so good for us at the start and then turn into our worst foes. You could try talking to your friend about what is happening and how you feel about their behaviour towards you. But the important thing to remember is you can’t change someone else, you can only change yourself. So, if you find yourself in this situation and your friend is not prepared to acknowledge or change the way they are treating you, walk away!

female friendships, frenemies, toxic friendships

Q: How do you combat a toxic friend?

A: If you discover that you are in a toxic friendship, my advice is to walk away. Trying to change the relationship for the better would be very difficult: both parties would need to recognise the need to behave differently and want to change – that’s unlikely.

Usually in a toxic friendship one party holds most of the power, the other party is the recipient of hurtful putdowns, cruel comments and/or manipulations. The powerful one won’t want to give up their power – it enhances their self-esteem and gives a sense of superiority. Why would they want to change that? If you are the injured party, cut your losses and walk away. Yes, you’ll feel lonely for a time but you’ll feel better about yourself knowing that you’ve had the strength to end the abuse. Instead, spend time with people whose company your enjoy and who you walk away from feeling happy.

Main image via forty2014.com; secondary image via en.wikipedia.org; third image via theberry.com and final image via www.pinterest.com.

Finding A Good Mothers’ Group

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women” – Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

There are two types of women in this world ­– those who love and support their fellow sisters and, by stark contrast, those who view other women as a competitive threat. And so it is, as a new mum, that you may want to be a tad wary of mothers’ groups.

Let’s face it, you’re no doubt exhausted, emotional and hormonal and in need of a jolly good hug/glass of wine/week’s worth of sleep post-birth – last thing you need is to surround yourself with “mean girls” akin to high school. In fact, when I told several best friends I was intending on joining a mothers’ group post-second baby (I ran out of time and was too shell-shocked with my first), they were incredulous. “What would you do that for?” said one. “That’s hell!”

“Talking about poo and sore boobs all day with bitchy, competitive women, that’s not you?!” said another. Countless others warned me off joining one lest I encounter, as they had, Stepford Wives-esque, robotic women, all proclaiming they had the “perfect baby” who slept all night. I call bullshit!
I was determined to take their advice on board, but go in with an open heart. I thought, at best, I might make new friends with other like-minded women and gain comfort, knowledge and support from other newbie mums.

And I was lucky, I’ve made one cherished friend for life out of my mothers’ group and met many other lovely women, who were perhaps best left as acquaintances, given we didn’t share much more in common than having had babies born at the same time. Here’s my advice on what to look for in, and how to approach, a mothers’ group:

Knowledge is power: Find a mothers’ group with an expert leader. Ours was a child health nurse who cleverly soothed many a stressed mum worried about baby weight, breastfeeding and cradle cap, for example. Many mothers’ groups also offer guest speakers and seminars, just as ours did, on reading to your baby, swimming lessons and how to connect with your little person.

Just be yourself: Be gentle and kind with other mums, while being true to yourself. If you have to stifle your personality and pretend to find talking endlessly and incessantly about different shades of baby poo fascinating, then keep looking for a new group, sister, or be OK with the fact that it’s not for you.

Don’t compete: Everyone’s path is different; every baby journey unique – motherhood is not a race. Just because your baby isn’t sleeping through the night now, like other mums will claim, doesn’t equal disaster. Most babies don’t, in fact! Experts say don’t expect your baby to sleep through most of a night before three to six months. And, even after that time, it’s normal for babies to wake up several times during the night.

Be authentic: You’re not helping yourself, or others, by pretending to be perfect, or by claiming motherhood is a breeze. Be open and honest about the very normal stresses and strains of early motherhood. PND is very common – reach out for help if you need it, or if you’re feeling strong and can offer support to others who may be struggling, do.

Support each other: Finally, this, for me, is key: look for a mothers’ group with a supportive bunch of women, who genuinely seem interested in learning about and helping each other. You shouldn’t walk away from mothers’ group feeling sapped and dispirited, instead you should ideally find it a positive, nourishing and strengthening experience. Ask yourself: “Is this one hour a week helping or hindering my journey as a new mum?”

Image via pixabay.com

By Nicole Carrington-Sima

10 Years Of ‘Mean Girls’

Unbelievably, it has been 10 years since the release of the cult movie Mean Girls. This film was to the early-2000s what Clueless was to the ’90s. It was a mega hit and “so fetch” at the time and its success took most people by surprise, including Tina Fey. Her adaptation of the book Queen Bees and Wannabes was dark in its humour but was relatable to so many women, and particularly girls aged between 13 and 20.

Besides highlighting the high school experience in such a funny way, the movie is one of the most quotable films ever. Here is my top ten:

  1. “He’s too gay to function.”
  2. “That’s why her hair is so big. It’s full of secrets.”
  3. “Irregardless! Ex-boyfriends are just off limits to friends. I mean, that’s just like, the rules of feminism!”
  4. “I don’t hate you ‘cause your fat. You’re fat ‘cause I hate you!”
  5. “You smell like a baby prostitute.”
  6. “I’m sorry I called you a gap-toothed bitch. It’s not your fault you’re so gap-toothed.”
  7. “If you’re from Africa, why are you white?”
  8. “On Wednesdays, we wear pink.”
  9. “One time, she punched me in the face. It was awesome.”
  10. “It’s like I have ESPN or something. My breasts can always tell when it’s going to rain. Well… they can tell when it’s raining.”

Mean Girls, movie, film, anniversary, high school, chick flick

Did you know? Lindsay Lohan originally auditioned to play Regina and Rachel McAdams wanted to be Cady. Wow, wouldn’t that have made for a very different movie?!