Not all friendships work out. We all can’t be the sisterhood of the traveling pants, okay? Sometimes somebody (with bad taste) just decides you suck. If you’re fortunate, a friendship fizzles out slowly and imperceptibly, without any awkward requests to get that cardigan back. If you’re not-so-fortunate, your friendship is going to end in either one or a series of small confrontations. We can’t avoid breaking up with our friends or getting friend-dumped. But we can apply some rules of engagement so it’s not a complete and utter shitshow, like many a romantic breakup.
Allow me to add an honorary attachment to the Girl Code (although this certainly applies to male friends, too):
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Chaotic and ever-changing as life is, it’s no wonder that we look to external factors to define who we are and how we’re doing. It’s easy to lose sight of how our success in life shows up in intangible stuff, like the way we treat people, how we handle tough stuff, and how much love we put into the world.
Here are some things that never define your self-worth and if they all changed tomorrow, you would still be you: Keep reading »
Clinical depression sucks and it’s only growing more common. Almost one in two people in the U.S. will suffer from depression or another mental health condition at some point and about one in 17 Americans actually has a serious mental illness right now.
Despite its rising rates, depression can be hard to wrap your brain around, especially if you’ve never had it. It’s not easily treated or cleared up by positive thinking, or yanking yourself up by your bootstraps, or shoving your feelings to the dark corners of the back of your mind. It’s so much deeper and more insidious than that. I once described depression this way:
“None of those external [good things you have going for you] truly register or resonate when you have depression. You can logically identify them as Good Things, and you know they are supposed to make you feel Good, but you can’t feel them, they can’t get in. It’s like your brain is wearing a full-body armor designed to keep only the good things out. Bad things … get ushered in instantly, like VIPs.”
People who don’t have depression don’t always know what to say that could possibly help to a friend or family member going through the all-encompassing yet simultaneously utterly numb sensation of your own brain turning against you. Here are a few things not to say (unless you want said friend or loved one to grow homicidal as well as miserable): Keep reading »
Of all the ugly emotions out there, jealousy has to be one of the worst. It can feel childish, petty and almost like a primal rage. But it’s also inescapable; jealousy is almost like an epic equalizer, because everybody feels it now and then. On the path toward emotional growth, jealousy is one of the hardest hurdles to take on because it seem like such an out-of-control, counterproductive emotion, but it can be used for good. Whether it’s competitive jealousy with friends and acquaintances or the kind of jealousy that inches its way into monogamous relationships, this crummy feeling can take us to the emotional maturity level of a 7th grader with the snap of a finger. We can’t just make it disappear, but we can find ways to handle it like (semi) grown-ups. Keep reading »
He seemed sweet at first. In fact, he had many sweet moments. But then there was the other stuff …
Abusive behavior isn’t as simple as we, as a society, want it to be. We often think that the kinds of signs that tell you a man could be abusive are very obvious. We imagine monsters, overtly misogynist thugs. We think of extreme physical violence as being the key – or the only – signifier. But often the violence doesn’t start until a relationship is already established – sometimes not until after a woman has moved in with her boyfriend, marries him, or becomes pregnant. In fact, the leading cause of death in pregnant women is domestic homicide, which is to say they are killed by their intimate partners. If we limit our understanding of abusive behavior to physical violence, we risk ignoring other red flags we should be heeding. Keep reading »
A cute guy walks up to you in a bar. He’s totally full of himself, but makes you laugh as he flexes his muscles while telling you he’s the best. This guy is a narcissist, right?
Not necessarily. Keep reading »