Friendships – From Girls to Women

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I caught up on the new episodes of Girls last night…had to do Golden Globes and Downton Abbey first! But the focus this season seems to be on the friendships. Starting off with Hannah proclaiming about her friends. “I’m not interested in anything they have to say,” Hannah exclaims. “That’s not the point of friendship!”

It got me thinking about the point of friendship. The sense I get from 40-something women is that the friendships ships in your 20s fulfill a variety of roles, but the older you get it gets a bit more important that you are interested in what they have to say. Or on the flip side, that they are interested in your well being. Those are the friendships worth nurturing. What the girls get right is that judgment doesn’t have a place in a lasting friendship. Here is what some 40-soemthings “know now” about friendship:


“When you are young, everyone is your friend. It’s is beneficial to have these wide circles and avoid the insecurity of ‘I don’t have any friends’. But keep your good friends. As you get older, your friends whittle down to who is awesome.” – 40-something, designer, entrepreneur, mom, married, Brooklyn


“Cherish your friendships. Try to figure out if someone has your back early on.  Do they care more about the friendship than if they are the center of attention or if a guy likes you? If a friend has your back, cherish them. They will be there forever.”  – 40-something, travel exec, single (divorced / in a relationship), CA


“Forgive them for what you think are mistakes (and that they might not think are mistakes). Just be there and let them and let them continue to grow. Don’t try to keep them in this little pocket – the way you thought of them when you were 20 and they were 20. You change and you don’t realize how different you are but you see it in other people.” – 40-something, marketing, wife, mom, CT


“Do anything you can to make your friends’ lives better because you will never know when you’re going to need them. If you want to be the kind of person who, when you are in need, a friend would drop something and come to help …then you have to be willing to drop things and make time for your friends. For A while I spent all my time working and pursuing my career, which is important but I realize now you have to prioritize making time to be with friends as well. – 40-something, high school teacher, PhD, married, mom, CA


“People are who they are. You have to take them at face value. You can be there for them and try to help them through bad times but they are who they are and you cannot change their personalities. If you don’t like their personalities then you have to decide if you want these people in your life.” – 40something, publishing, NYC