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Let's change the conversation

You cant help but think “Now what?” after yet another dreadful conversation with your friend(s) about another random guy, or that one guy she just can't seem to shake. I have been experiencing this a lot lately and it has been frustrating to say the least.

Now lets talk ..

Have you ever sat with your friend or a group of friends and they continuously hashed out every detail from their recent dating lives to year-long relationships? Honestly I pretend to listen while fighting the urge to scream "STFU!" When met with these types of friends, when it is my turn to share “love interests” I tend to dodge the subject with the classic, “I don’t have time for these ni----.” When that doesn't work, I try segueing into my dreams of applying to law school and maintaining a consistency with When I sit with a friend or group of friends and the only topic of interest seems to be dating, its insulting!

Am I wrong?

When I sit with a group of male friends romantic topics are rarely ever discussed. If dating does come up, it is nowhere near the length that I witness with my female friends and/or colleagues. In my experience, girls and women place too much weight on a “text back,” what he’s thinking, and if her own behaviors or actions will be affirmed by him. What the fuck? And why?

Aren’t we the catch? I don’t know how this started, but we are doing a huge disservice to ourselves. The reason this pattern is so troublesome is because it has always given the man power to shape who women are as human beings. The what to text, am I skinny enough, am I smart (but not too smart), do I look sexy but not too revealing (I could go on), bubbles that women try to squeeze themselves into for a mans approval are problematic to me!

I’m not the first or last to mention that females are raised on a diet of media (books, movies, TV shows) that teach us that nothing is more important than our romantic dreams. Getting a guy to think we’re "desirable" is thought to be more interesting than our hopes, concerns, fears, aspirations, and dreams which can lead any female into Depression if she is not feeling secure within herself. Your friends should want to hear about your desires and passions. Why don’t we obsess over our dream vacations, favorite books or hopes for the future?

Breaking the boy- crazy cycle How do we get our friends to appreciate that we don’t need to wait for a guy (or girl) to validate us? How do we teach them to validate themselves? How do we help girls and young women grow together by sharing by our ideas, dreams, travels and experiences rather than fixating on who ghosts us or not?

Three tips to break the cycle -

Stop commenting on how pretty girls are:

We are intrinsically inclined to comment on girls appearances (clothes, hair, makeup, etc.) Society teaches them from a young age, that their value lies in their looks. Make a conscious effort to compliment ideas, schoolwork, etc. to reinforce that young girls are valued for who they are, not who society expects them to be.

Lead by example:

If a relative or friend comments on a young girl’s appearance before all else, chime in with a, “Yes, and did you hear about her latest report card?” or “Did you see the way she carried the entire team during her basketball game last weekend?” Even if they don’t change their behavior, you just showed the girl that YOU value her interests and not her looks.

Social Media:

Try to avoid consuming media that embodies the above qualities to your younger sister, daughter, cousin, aunt etc. However, ultimately, they will be exposed to these behaviors so ask them questions to get them thinking critically, such as: “Do you and your friends tend to talk mostly about boys or other stuff?” “What (else) do you like to talk about together?” “Why do you think there is so much obsession around boys in movies and TV shows?”

One-sided, seemingly toxic friendships are real and it can be infuriating and you may even consider a friend break up. But as annoyed as you are about this dynamic, and constant boy-talk? Could there be something you are missing entirely? Could there be a less obvious reason for their inability to involve your dreams and desires in the conversation? Or are they just outright narcissists and real life boy crazy?


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