Are you old enough to remember the advice column, “Dear Abby?”
Well, somehow, I seem to have become the modern-day “Dear Abby” to teen girls.
Lately, I’ve gotten a flood of messages on Instagram seeking advice about relationships.
Not about their boyfriends. But their friends who are girls.
Maybe it’s because of my social media push last month encouraging girls to forget about being “Boo’d Up” for Valentine’s Day, and focus on celebrating their friends on Galentine’s Day instead.
And while I stand by my belief that your daughter should celebrate “BFF’s before Boos,” I also believe that unhealthy friendships with girls should be as much of a concern as unhealthy relationships with guys.
The following conversation I had with a teen girl on Instagram is an example of why.
hey, so i have these two “friends” that i think are pretty bad influences on me, like getting me into bad things and into trouble. i had ISS just recently really only because of them. i tried to do the right thing but because all 3 of us were caught we had to go down together. i always kind of knew they were bad influences but tried not to let them peer pressure me, but it seems like they are starting to. however, they also benefit me in a good way, they make me happy and we share good moments, but i don’t want to just tell them i don’t want to be their friends anymore. i don’t know if i should just drop them completely or try not to get too close to them.
Notice how she rationalizes why she keeps these two “friends” in her life even though she knows they’re a bad influence on her?
I can’t tell you how many times girls have told me the same thing about boyfriends who weren’t good for them: “He makes me happy,” or “We have our good moments too.”
What they’re really saying is: “Our few ‘good moments’ are ‘good enough’ for me.”
And that’s a problem!
When “Good” isn’t “Good Enough”
The problem with girls believing that a few “good moments” are “good enough” in a relationship, is that they often end up compromising themselves—who they are, what they believe—to remain in it.
And even though in this case we’re talking about a girl and her issues with friends, the reality is this:
If a young lady is willing to compromise herself to hold on to a friendship, she’s also likely to compromise herself to hold on to a romantic relationship.
Either way, you don’t want to see your daughter go there!
But back to my conversation with the young lady on Instagram…
Remember, she ended up in ISS because of her “friendship” with the two girls.
On the one hand she says they make her happy.
On the other she says they pressure her to do “bad things.”
Yet she was still reluctant to walk away from their relationship.
So I challenged her to consider whether remaining “friends” was worth it…
One of the biggest predictors of where you will end up in life is who your friends are. You’ve already experienced it. You ended up in ISS because of them. And the reality is that you probably won’t be friends with them 10 years from now anyway. So why would you do things to fit in with them now that could hurt you long term and they probably won’t be around when you’re still dealing with the consequences? Right now, the consequences may just be ISS, but next time the consequences could be something worse and long-lasting.
I think you owe it to them to have a conversation about why you may back away from the relationship as long as they keep making bad choices. Who knows? Maybe the conversation will influence them to make better choices. If not, then they may not be as good of friends as you think they are.
I’m not sure that the “good moments” that you share are worth the risk of the potential consequences that come from their bad choices. Bottom line: You have to do what’s best for YOU!
I’ll tell them how I feel. Thank you so much.
So, what’s the takeaway for your daughter?
A few “good moments” spent with anyone who’d pressure her to compromise herself—who she is or what she believes in—is NEVER “good enough.”
(Whether the relationship is romantic or friendly.)
And don’t forget to tell your daughter the same thing I told the young lady on Instagram:
“Do What’s BEST for you!”
Has your daughter experienced any issues with “friends” pressuring her to compromise herself? If so, what did you advise her to do?
Feel free to leave your comments below.