Thursday, December 3, 2009

Girl Friend Talk- Breaking Up Is Hard To Do!

When I first thought of discussing the dynamics of female friendships I wondered what kind of response would follow as it is, for some, a touchy subject. I'm grateful to those who took the time to comment with your own stories and also sad to hear that so many of you have had your trust broken by a dear friend.... though, I must say, I am not surprised. Almost all the women I know have suffered the loss of their "best friend" due to a breakdown of trust, character, or some other transgression (just to use Tiger's term) at some point in their life.

Men and women, as best as I can see, operate much differently. Men seem better able to deal with an argument- they get mad, tell each other where to go and then five minutes later they're drinking beer and all is forgiven and forgotten. The same argument a man can get passed in a few minutes can take weeks (if ever) for two women hash out. Even the best of friendships have been destroyed by petty she-said-she-said gossip, misunderstandings or a single hurtful word. Why is that?

I am going to go ahead and make some generalizations here- such as that I believe women can be very catty, over emotional, over sensitive to insult (real or perceived) and tend to hold a grudge. And that the strongest of friendships can fall apart over that which, in any other friendship of lesser consequence, would have been excused without a thought. Or is it that we are blind to the faults of our closest friend and therefor devastated when that illusion of absolute trust is shattered by but the smallest breach of faith. Is trust the issue? How many of us are guilty of claiming to be entirely trustworthy but still pass on tidbits of information to another friend (who is, of course, also entirely trustworthy if told in the strictest of confidence)? Or bitch about one friend to another?

Much like in a divorce, it is rare to find two individuals who can agree on where the fault lies in the break up of a friendship. Most often both feel that they are the wronged party. Women like to play the victim which leaves little room for taking responsibility and therefor finding resolution or forgiveness. Also, as with divorcees, many end up disenfranchised with the very idea of every putting that much trust in in friendship again. No matter the cause, the breakdown of a good friendship can be utterly devastating.

Fragile, precarious, and subject to irreparable harm- the trust we place in our closest girl friend may seem to some a great leap of faith. I can understand how many feel the risk of putting themselves in such a position again- unguarded and entirely vulnerable- is to great a risk for the reward.... Once bitten, twice shy...Whereas others have chosen to take the chance in hopes of gaining a true friend.

Which brings me to the next post in this series... the subject of casual friendships vs. BFFs.


  1. Girls are interesting creatures... :-)

    I'm lucky in one way because I haven't had any big blow-out problems with girl friends - just people drifting away with other interests/boyfriends, etc.

    There are two women at work that I am "friends" with and they are the biggest gossips I have ever met! That is why I keep them at arm's length and just have them as work friends...

    Your casual friend vs BFF post should be interesting!

  2. Girls are definitely interesting, I agree! I also agree, for the most part, with your generalizations. I find the same things, in that a lot of women can be hard for me to develop a deep relationship with. I am very laid back and don't like drama or conflict. Very interesting topic....looking forward to next post!

  3. Oh girl do I have a story for you. For the sake of privacy I'll e-mail it when I get home. (seriously, I'd like your take on the situation, fresh opinion and all)

    I think part of what makes us girls "interesting" is that we're wired to be more emotional than men.
    Also, not sure why, but I always had more male friends than female friends. Found it easier to get along with guys.

  4. I also am more comfortable around men - I always blame it on the fact that I grew up with three brothers and no sisters - but I don't always understand how women communicate - or don't. Most people say I'm more like a man. LOL!

    I've "divorced" a toxic friend - a former "best" friend and it was the best thing I've ever done - no regrets.

    But I agree it is interesting dealing with women.

  5. I am so lucky to have a sister that is such a good girlfriend as well as sister.

  6. I agree! I also agree, for the most part, with your generalizations. I find the same things, in that a lot of women can be hard for me to develop a deep relationship with.

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