We’re all fluent in “girl code.” When Regina George told Cady Heron that she loved her bracelet, we knew that she was secretly mocking it. But being a good friend isn’t about reading between the lines. So instead of teaching you how to speak girl code, we’re going to tell you how to break it – the secrets for being a good friend revealed.
Being a good friend is all about communication. If a friend made you angry or you’re noticing tension, it’s time to speak up. Because girl code implies that friends “should know” if they’ve upset you, they usually don’t – or there’s another reason altogether. Communication can be scary, but not nearly as scary as losing your pal. So if you’re ready to start being a good friend, begin with the old-fashioned “are you okay?”
Listening to your friends seems like common sense, but girl code has taught us that listening consists of sympathetic nods and interjecting with advice. Ask yourself this: when’s the last time you really listened? Most of the time, hearing a friend out is all being a good friend requires, and while you’ll be tempted to interrupt with your own story, you’ll eventually notice that by listening, you’ll start to know your friend a lot better – and maybe even yourself.
3. Be honest, not mean
Being a good friend means more than just mall trips and coffee catch-ups, and when your friend confides something troubling, it’s tempting to shut them down and go into lecture mode. Is she doing something that’s unsafe for her or unkind to somebody else? You owe it to her to let her know. Because while girl code urges you to “tread lightly”, it’s important to be the mirror she’s in need of.
However, being a good friend doesn’t mean you need to be mean. If you’ve talked multiple times and she’s simply not hearing you, true – you may need to up the harshness. But if she’s come to you honest and vulnerable, by yelling or making snide remarks, you’ll only make her feel alone and remind her never to open up to you again.
4. Tell them
It may seem cliché (and not girl code), but telling your friends how much they mean is one of the most important parts of being a good friend. Everyone needs to be recognized, and sincerely reminding her how much she means will strengthen the bond between you. And avoid the shallow hugs and empty air-kisses: often a simple “I just want to say you mean a lot” will turn best friendship into actual sisterhood.