Criticizing Friends Doesn't Make You A 'Mean Girl'
It's been 13 years since "Mean Girls" graced our screens and taught us how important it is to treat other women with kindness and respect.
As Ms. Norbury (played by Tina Fey) said in the movie,
You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it OK for guys to call you sluts and whores.
The totally quotable and hilarious movie touched upon the complicated dynamic of female friendships, showing us the importance of women sticking together.
But the one thing it didn't touch upon is honest criticism.
While it would be great if all women got along super well, it isn't exactly realistic. We're all from different backgrounds and have different beliefs, and it just makes sense that we'd disagree with our friends at times.
It sucks when you honestly have a problem with somebody, but you're afraid of addressing it because you're concerned that'll just make you come across as a bitch.
But honestly, it's totally OK. You're allowed to have issues with something your friend has done, and no, it doesn't make you a mean girl.
Here are the reasons why:
1. You're allowed to have a conversation.
Maybe your friend is doing something you find questionable, and you have your issues with it because of the things you believe in or the way you were raised.
But by criticizing her, you're opening up the window for a conversation. Sometimes, it takes another person's point of view to really cement your decision.
Maybe your friend will change her mind... or maybe YOU will. By having a conversation, you learn things about the other person that can help you discover who you really are in the process.
2. You have a strong sense of right and wrong.
You have an opinion, and you shouldn't be afraid of expressing it.
If you think something isn't right and you want to criticize your friend for doing something you don't agree with, by all means, express your opinion... especially if it involves you.
You shouldn't ever hide what you believe in for fear of what other people will think: It'll just make you miserable.
3. Sometimes, people need to be called out.
Confrontation can honestly be great if you feel like someone has wronged you. For example, maybe you're upset because your friend claims to always put you first, but bails every time her boyfriend calls.
It's possible she's so engrossed in her relationship, she doesn't know what she's done wrong.
By calling her out, you're helping to rectify the situation and pointing out to her she's upsetting you. If she's a true friend, she'd want to know.
4. You deserve better.
Honestly, sometimes, people just suck.
Maybe your friend's been hurting you or talking behind your back FOREVER.
Guess what? That doesn't really make her a friend at all.
You need to be open about these kinds of things so you can kick out the people who aren't serving you. You deserve friends who'll actually have your back.
5. You just want to see her succeed.
Sometimes, criticizing your friend comes from a good place. If a friend keeps talking about switching jobs but never actually puts the time and effort into applying, you'd be a bad friend if you DIDN'T actually say something.
It might be hard for her to hear, but sometimes, wanting the best for someone you love warrants a few hard conversations.
Eventually, she'll realize you're only looking out for her.