The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
The competitiveness woven into female friendships was the only thing standing in my way from finding the friends I deserved. Eventually, I found the rarity that is genuine friendship.
Cleansing the body of toxic friendships is rare in life. Not because we have a good eye for the ripest relationships in the picking, but because letting go of something we are so used to doesn’t come easy. Once I’ve become accustomed to a person, the rose-colored glasses shade me from the burn of a toxic friendship. The bright parts of a friend quickly outshine their darkest, most toxic tendencies- one of these tendencies being competition.
Competitive female friendships sometimes come naturally in life. The world dominated by masculinity has pitted women against each other driving this competitiveness. The girls we grew up with who used to be our cheerleaders are suddenly our opponents. This notion no longer served my needs, which became increasingly more relevant as I transitioned from high school to college.
My newfound maturity simply didn’t have time for high school behavior. Don’t get me wrong: competition can be healthy, but when it’s the only thing covering up your friends’ insecurities, it’s time to call a timeout and forfeit this friendship. You have better games to play, babe.
Healthy friendships are not just a want, but a need. Living and breathing in a space where my friend did nothing but downplay my experiences created a hierarchy where they came out as number one and I felt left on the sideline wondering how I got there.
While this problem had been hiding behind a wall of other issues, I finally saw it for what it was when I came to college. These competitive female friendships are long gone in my life and since then, the hierarchy has ceased to exist. I finally felt the weight of insecurity lifted off my chest.
I have friends I don’t have to prove anything to. But more importantly, I have friends I know I can trust with my success.
When I started keeping friends around who fell in love with my success instead of the ones who wanted to call it quits, my need for healthy friendships finally felt fulfilled.
Conversations about success are teeming in the tall glass of water that is a college campus. If your friend can’t handle your hot streak of greatness, then maybe they should be somewhere a little colder.
Your energy is beyond precious, so why waste it on a competition with someone who is supposed to be on your team?
It is okay and it is valid to let go of the things in your life that no longer suit your needs. The insecurities being projected onto me took up far too much space in the confident life that I live.
I find that those who hide behind their insecurities only increase yours, and I was not about to be that person. One important thing I continued to remind myself on the journey to finding healthy female friendships was that I am not a reflection of someone else’s insecurities. Friends who want to compete with your success only to make themselves look better are no friends at all. Hierarchies are rarely successful.
Find female friendships that fight the patriarchy, not fuel it.
There’s never a winner in the game of competitive female friendships, but I’m currently winning with the friends I have now. Friends who know empathy. Friends who know support. Friends who know how to share the very big stage that is the spotlight of life.
Shoutout to the girls who hold your hand to the finish line, not those who try to leave you behind.