Back to School - Is Your BFF the Real Deal?

For the last week of September, I'll be sharing my tips + tricks with those of you who are freshmen starting high school or college this fall. These are the little bits of wisdom that I've gained from the storytellers in my life and my experiences thus far. Today, I'll go over the topic of female friendships and whether the girlfriend you picked truly is the real deal.
Among all the new transitions you're going to be making when starting high school or college, the BFF situation is by far one of the most prominent. You're probably trying to fit (or blend) in, and strive to be likable so you can attract the correct kind of gals. My first piece of advice to you is: stop. Be yourself, and you will attract the genuine people you want in your life. Yes, it may take some weeding, but you'll eventually get there.

I've dealt with the shitty typical drama throughout high school and college with the feisty females that just refuse live their lives with dignity and respect for other ladies. Whether they are disrespecting through blunt words and actions, or seem oblivious to how their behavior affects those around them, I've seen it all. Having a solid batch of girlfriends who do respect others, and regardless of our differences strive to be the best they can be, has taught me what a true friend looks like. These are some of the top warning signs you should be on the lookout for when deciding whether to cut a gal out of your life for good:

{1} She makes comments about your physical appearance, etc. negatively. Perhaps she also often claims that her cutting comments are "just jokes". Commenting about how thick you are or how ugly an outfit is on you, how stupid you are because you said that one thing, and/or what she does or doesn't like about your romantic relationship shows her true colors. True girlfriends don't say anything below the belt unless they are truly concerned for you and approach the conversation maturely.

{2} She never "likes" your posts nor comments on stuff happening in your life. If you see her surfing Facebook and Instagram like nobody's business, yet never "liking" your items or taking a few seconds out of her day to message you, comment on a big event that has recently taken place in your life, etc., you probably aren't at the top of her priority list. This may be her subtle way of sending the message that your friendship isn't as valued to her as it is to you.

{3} She constantly bails on you or shows up late to your scheduled times. Or, acts like it's your responsibility to check in with her and remind her about the things you have planned together. You're not her personal assistant! If a girl wants to maintain a solid friendship, she makes an effort to show up on time or give you a legitimate reason as to why she's so late (also, she often doesn't commit the same offense twice).

{4} She hardly ever asks you to do things, and never texts you to check up. Does your gal ever text you: "I miss you! Let's hangout soon!"? Probably not. This is a typical problem I've come across, and I'm quite frankly sick of it. Maybe your girl truly is just a very busy gal, but most high school and college students (while working a job and volunteering!) can find a couple hours out of their day to spend with you if they wished to. {5} She's only interested when she can get the juicy gossip. Oh, you got back together with that ex-boyfriend she didn't favor? You have the details about a mutual friend's dilemma? I'm sure your girl is all in! She's quick to comment or text when something happens that is shocking, but never says hello when life is going swimmingly. {6} She only hangs out with you when her other plans fall through. Pretty self-explanatory. A girl should never settle for a less-than friendship, and if you often hear her tell stories about how she had other plans prior to meeting up with you but they fell through, she may be using you as a fall-back girlfriend. You should never settle for second best in any area of your life.

{7} She's quick to make plans without informing you until the last minute. A good friend is courteous and aware of others' feelings and wishes. She may often spring plans on you last minute, or tell you what you're doing without inquiring beforehand. She may be bossy, and genuinely unconcerned with how you feel on the matter.

{8} She "ranks" her BFFs and constantly talks about her other friendships. Your BFF time should be just that--a time for the two of you. If she's constantly talking about her other friendships (and she's not complaining or confiding in you for advice) and how amazing her BFF Jill is, it's probably time to distance yourself and find someone who truly values YOU for you!

{9} She is a bad influence on you. She is constantly peer-pressuring you into doing things (drugs, alcohol, or even a common activity that you dislike) that you do not want to do, and makes fun of you for it when you don't comply. Maybe she causes you to spend too much money, or sucks up all of your scheduled homework time. Gals whom you can't manage money or time while in their company can be toxic, especially in these vital years of education. A little bit of slacking is fine, but not weeks worth.

{10} She makes you feel like you have to defend and justify yourself. You know those girlfriends who give you the disapproving face whenever you may begin to explain your reasoning behind something? Yeah, those. Maybe you're explaining something so commonplace to you and your other girlfriends, but she just doesn't get it, and for whatever reason, she feels the need to visibly state that. Perhaps she even goes as far as to attack your reasoning. A true girlfriend questions the reasoning, but doesn't spit on it.

{11} She doesn't confront conflict or address an issue she has with you. This is probably the most important point of all 11 points, and that is the girl who is unable to address conflict and move on healthily. If she's unwilling to discuss and work through an issue like adults, utilizing compassion and honesty, she's definitely not your girl. A friendship has to blossom throughout the bumps and hurdles it may face.

So, perhaps I've just had some serious lemon friendships, but I don't feel as though any girl should go through any of the above, and all girls should be aware that this kind of stuff is bound to happen as you are growing into your adult skin. Keep your head held high and soldier on! It's never as bad when you reach the other side.