“You’re the Serena to my Blair” is pretty much the highest compliment you can give to a friend. Because, ladies, let’s be honest: Who doesn’t want a friendship like that of the iconic S and B?
I think it’s time we reconsider this goal, however.
When we’re dreaming of champagne brunches with Rufus’ waffles or cooking up the most conniving schemes to save our besties, it’s easy to forget that our favorite Upper East Siders were once sitting on the Met steps, dumping yogurt on other girls' heads.
The two palace princesses failed to realize life is about more than how high you sit on the stairs, or who the Queen B is in high school. They didn't realize that, in fact, we’re all on an even playing ground.
Serena and Blair may be the perfect Netflix obsession, but their friendship isn't something to be idolized. The two spent time and energy bringing each other down, rather than empowering one another.
Women should empower other women, not bring them down. Women should see other women as comrades, not opposition.
When we realize these truths, our friendships become much stronger than the friendship of our Gossip Girl favorites. Here are qualities we should all look for in a strong, empowering BFF.
An Empowering BFF Will Push You To Be A Better You
The best friends I have ever had are the ones who take interest in my goals and then actively invest themselves in helping me achieve them.
They are the women who push me to run that extra mile, study for that extra hour or to apply for that internship I think I will never get. They are the women who hold me accountable and give me honest, constructive criticism when I am off track or out of line.
I will never forget the day on spring break last year when my best friend and I were on a service trip and she looked at me and said, “Let’s set an example today. Let’s be the hardest workers out there; let’s have the best attitudes.”
If more women treated each other this way and spoke to each other this way, the world would see change. If more friendships were about pushing each other to work harder, do more and be more, the world would see change.
An Empowering BFF Knows Comparisons Don't Benefit Friendships Or Self-Esteem
“Gosh, I wish I had your [insert body part here].” “What grade did you get on that paper?” “Did you see that guy hitting on me last night? Did you talk to any boys?”
It is important to recognize each person as unique. Each woman possesses different skill sets, passions and different life experiences. An empowering friend will see and appreciate what makes you you.
An empowering friend will not see your body, your outfit, your grades, your achievements, your boyfriend and immediately compare them to her own.
An empowering friend will let your light shine, knowing that your light will not, in any way, dim her own.
Your Girlfriends Should Encourage You
“I’m proud of you.” “I appreciate you.”
These are two of most powerful things I have heard from my best friends. Small words of encouragement can go a long way.
A true friend will pick you up when you are struggling and encourage you to keep working.
A true friend will do whatever she can to help you succeed, rather than seeing your setback as a way for her to get ahead. A true friend wants to see you at your best and will help you get there.
Friends who encourage, inspire and don’t compare are the friends who will be here to stay.
If we commit ourselves to acting more like a Bradshaw than a Waldorf, we will be on our way to finding success. When we commit ourselves to empowering one another in our friendships, we make changes that last.