The Importance of Female Friendships

Maybe I’m just biased, but I truly am surrounded by the most courageous, supportive, smart, badass women on a regular basis. I genuinely believe that I would not be who I am today or have achieved even half of my accomplishments if it weren’t for my network of boss b*tches to lean on and learn from. I’m so lucky that pretty much every female in my life has encouraged me to go after my dreams no matter how crazy they may seem (aka, quitting my full-time job to start a blog lol).

Through my friendships, mentorships, and casual drunk encounters in the bar bathroom line, I’ve learned some imperative lessons about friendship and the importance of uplifting other women.

A few of the standout things that my strongest female relationships have taught me over the years are…

To believe in myself
Confidence has never come easy for me. Like many others, I’m my own worst critic and tend to doubt myself before anyone else does. However, when I start to show even an ounce of discouragement, my girlfriends are there to push me forward and reassure me of my strength – whether it’s hyping me up in an Instagram comment or helping me achieve my career goals.

For instance, I recently left my sales job to pursue freelance writing full-time…in the middle of a pandemic…and a social revolution…and a crashing economy. Yep, not necessarily my most logical decision, but one that I don’t regret. To my surprise, every person I brought up the idea of quitting to didn’t hesitate to agree with this risky move. Even my mom was fully on board (like, what?) Without their confidence in me, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to become the classic stereotype of a struggling writer in LA working part-time at a yoga studio to make rent.

To be honest
Of course, I’ve always believed that honesty is the best policy. However, opening up to people, even those we care about, can be a definite challenge. To show someone the parts of ourselves we’re most ashamed of, most terrified to face, is no doubt one of the hardest things to do in life. And it took me well into my early 20s to finally begin unraveling the truth to the ones who love me most.

If you read my personal essay, then you know that I’ve struggled with eating disorders and body image issues for nearly 10 years. In 2019, I made it my new year’s resolution to “ask for help when I need it.” Throughout the year, I slowly began to let my loved ones in. In these moments of desperate vulnerability, I never felt judged or looked down upon but comforted and unconditionally loved. There’s one moment, in particular, that stands out to me.

One of my closest friends, the first person I opened up to about my eating issues, told me about a book called Brain Over Binge, which is about how one woman recovered from bulimia and her methods to help other recovering bulimics. I said I’d order it but of course, I brushed it off instead. A week later, she hands me the book in a big yellow envelope. The book is only $15, but this gesture of compassion was truly priceless. From the support of my female friendships like this one, I’ve learned that it’s okay to show people who you really are. It’s okay to be 100%, honestly yourself – the good and bad included.

To stand up for myself
I’m the definition of an introverted extrovert. I thrive in social settings and can talk to the most random of people for hours, but I’m naturally soft-spoken and somewhat shy at my core. When I was little, I was so shy that my brother and parents would have to do the talking for me. I was even too afraid to talk to my own grandpa for years (WTF Chloe?) Anyway, this soft demeanor of mine has many times made it difficult for me to stand up for myself. I admit that I can sometimes be a pushover and have allowed myself to get walked over or taken advantage of.

Of course, there’s always a band of benevolent women behind me that won’t stand for it. From dealing with ex-boyfriends to bullies, my friends have always been there to comfort me, provide me with some brutal honesty, and remind me not to stand for behavior I don’t deserve.

To be generous and kind
Boy, do I have the most genuine, kind-hearted friends. It makes me emotional just thinking about it! Whether it be generous with their time spent talking me through an emotional breakdown over FaceTime or kind with their comforting words of advice when I need it, there’s always a helping (perfectly manicured) hand I can turn to. The women around me continue to give, and this has taught me to appreciate when I receive any kind of time, effort, or money from others and reciprocate it when I can.

The world does its best to pin women against each other in the workplace, media, and pretty much everywhere else. So it’s our job to lift each other up, celebrate one another’s accomplishments, and support every woman we come across — bar bathroom lines included 😉

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