Girl-Hate-Girl Action

When I tell other women about my current plight, most nod their heads in agreement. They can usually relate in some capacity. Maybe they too have relocated. Perhaps they’ve been left behind by friends who’ve gotten married and moved to the suburbs. It could be that everyone in their lives has stayed put but friendships are simply changing as people get older and busier. There are few people who simply say “Nope, don’t understand what you’re talking about.”

Few, but not none.

The women who seem most confused by my story are the ones who report not understanding female friendship in the first place. “I’ve never been able to be friends with girls,” they’ll say. “I’m a guy’s gal.”

I’ve never known what to make of this claim. Women who state that they “don’t like other girls” and “can only be friends with men” kind of baffle me.

Yes, I know all about toxic friendships. I’ve been on the receiving end of notes from mean girls, and I’m not ruling out the possibility that someone out there has cast me as the Regina George of her childhood. Girls can be tough on each other. We can be competitive and catty and jealous. Friendships might come with baggage.

But we can also be smart and insightful and funny and empathetic and silly and adventurous, and “I hate girly things like shopping” is not an acceptable reason to write off the entire gender.

I have a friend who once told me that she doesn’t believe any woman who says she can’t be friends with other girls. “It just means that woman is a bitch,” she says. I’m not necessarily endorsing that theory, just reporting. Don’t kill the messenger.

My guess is that any woman who says she can’t be friends with other women is, in fact, friends with other women. She probably has one or two girl friends that she’d describe as “not your typical girls.” Maybe they all think they can’t be friends with women. The three of them are just anomalies who happened to find each other.

Ladies who say “I can’t be friends with women” should probably revise their statements to say “I can’t be friends with that woman or that woman.” And everyone has someone they can’t be friends with. We can’t all be BFFs. Or even FFs. Or Fs. Some people aren’t going to get along—not because one woman hates girls and the other is a girl, but because, maybe, one thinks the other is superficial while the other thinks the one is self-righteous. For example.

Have you ever met a woman who claimed she just didn’t like being friends with women? Do you believe her? Why do you think she makes that claim? And, if you’re a lady who can’t stand female friendships, why? I’d love some insight…


Filed under The Gender Gap, The Search

25 responses to “Girl-Hate-Girl Action

  1. Rebecca

    Hurray! I am the first commenter of the day! (Good morning!)

    I’ve definitely had some friends (the breakdown of their mantra) that said they couldn’t make friends with girls. Unfortunately, I think it was because all the kinds of girls SHE wanted to be friends with (*cough*meangirls*) were jealous of her because she was so pretty and flirty. It was always interesting to point out to her that she was friends with me…and her and her and her…etc.
    Except for the fact that she would tell me to my face that she was sick of me and needed a break from my girliness. hmmm….This sounds like a comment for a different post about mean things girls say! 🙂

  2. JenD

    I used to think I was the type to get along better with boys than girls, but the truth was (and still is) is that I am one of those non-girly types: I don’t like shopping, manicures, Justin Beiber, etc… Also, I once had a BFF who smashed my general faith in friendship to bits. I don’t trust easily – particularly women and I also don’t relate to lots of them. That said, though, I’ve always longed for that much-fabled BFF and have never turned down an opportunity to connect with a potential BFF or even an FF or an F! I don’t poo-poo the whole GF deal – in fact, quite the opposite. And I’ll continue my quest, as you continue yours, as others continue theirs and hopefully, someday, we won’t have need to blog and comment about it because we’ll be too busy with our BFFs. Here’s to hoping…

  3. I am wary of girls who say they can not be friends with other girls and that they are a ‘guy’s girl’. I have guy friends, but I definitely need friendships with other women. I don’t think you can confide in men the same way you can confide in a girlfriend.

    This may offend some people, but the girls who say they can’t be friends w/ other girls sort of fall under the “Scarlett Johansson” category in my view… In my experience, girls who can’t be friends with other girls are also the girls who will flirt with your boyfriends (or more) – which is a characteristic that I associate with Scar Jo since she’s played ‘that girl’ in a couple of movies.. I guess I just don’t trust them because if you don’t have a single close girlfriend, there is probably a reason why…

    • pamela

      Maybe the “guys girl” acts that way around boys because it’s easier to get their attention. It’s hard to be noticed when you’re with a group of girls if you’ve never developed that form of communication.

      Perhaps the “reason why” is due to girls like you who write them off so quickly?

      Everyone deserves a fair chance. 🙂

  4. JenD

    I should add that I’ve never been the ‘flirt-with-your-boyfriend’ type. Just because I was wary of friendships with women, I certainly never made enemies of my entire gender! Women who do that are sad, sad, sad in my opinion because they fail to recognize their own worth and, therefore, cannot see the harm they do to themselves and to other women with their cattiness, betrayal and other shenanigans.

    I think a lot of how many friends we have and the quality of those friendships depends a lot on the relationships we’ve had with our families. Mine is somewhat estranged and/or tense, which spills over into my other relationships. Knowing this about myself doesn’t make forming new friendships an easy thing at all. But I do try…

  5. I am very much like you in that I don’t really have any close female friends. I find it interesting that there are so many of us… now if we could only find eachother.

  6. Megan

    I have an “acquaintance” who told me to my face, “I don’t like being friends with girls.” Well, she certainly won’t be making friends with THIS girl! I thought the comment eliminating an entire gender from the friendship pool (even though we have a number of other things in common) was so ballsy and flat-out rude. Who has the gall to say that to someone who without question belongs to the group you are demeaning? What if it was a more politically/racially/religiously charged statement? “I don’t like being friends with Republicans/African Americans/Catholics,” for example. Hmmm… Overall, I’m glad I knew this side of this “acquaintance” before I invested any time getting to know her further.

  7. KateT

    I have to agree with Rachel’s friend – – if a girl states that she can’t be friends with other women, then she is probably just a bitch. I say this from the standpoint of being a “guy’s gal”: I like to watch football and play sports, I don’t particularly like shopping, I hate spending time getting my nails or hair done, I’m quite good at drinking games and I naturally click with guys more than I do with girls. HOWEVER, all this being said, I have great girlfriends. We don’t sit around doing eachothers’ hair but we drink, we laugh, we tell stories and generally have a great time enjoying our shenanigans.

    If you can go through life without finding at least a handful of other girls to hang out with, then the common denominator is you. Sure, “woo girls” can get on anyone’s nerves but if you are too much of a bitch to recognize good qualities, then thats way too judgemental for me.

    Because I’m already on a rant and have probably already offended many of the wonderful women reading this blog, the worst type of “I’ve never been able to be friends with girls,” girls are the pretty ones who claim that the entire female population is just jealous of them. What kind of excuse is that? Do you not realize how ridiculous this sounds?

  8. San

    I’ve always been a girl that had a lot of guy friends and I always felt comfortable around just guys. Large groups of women can be exhausting.
    But nevertheless, I have a few very close girlfriends and I’m closer with them than I could ever be with one of the guys. That’s just a fact. Women relate better to women.
    I think it’s more about the person that you want to be friends with than their gender.

  9. I’ve tended to have mostly guy friends my whole life. I think part of it is a trust thing going back to adolescence — if the guys didn’t like someone, he’d be up front about it, while if the girls didn’t like someone, they’d pretend they loved them and then say horrible things behind their backs. So if guys were cool to me, I’d assume they were being honest, while if girls were cool to me, I’d assume they were talking smack about me as soon as I left.

    Things are better now — I’ve learned that the trick is to find the other girls who didn’t get along with other girls, and hope they’re getting over it, too. I’ve made friends with “typical” girls, too, but it’s now harder to hang out with them because they already have their BFF’s and I’m not always comfortable being the new girl.

    Because of all this, though, my closest friends are guys. Apparently, there’s a term for this: heterosocial.

    One thing that bugs, though, is the idea that “Guys’ girls” are sluts. Guys are girls *can* be friends without hooking up. I don’t want most of my friends, and I sure don’t want your man.

  10. Lisa H.

    Get this, my siblings consist of two sisters. One that I used to be close to but she dropped off the face of the planet (long story) and the other I’m still really close to. Then there is my amazing mom who I’m really close to as well. We have so much in common and enjoy doing practically everything together that maybe that has given me unrealistic expectations on what a friendship with a girl should be like. Instead my friendships with girls aren’t terrible but I become very exhausted with them. Now that my mom and sister live 7 hours away in opposite directions I’ve been trying to find new friends.

    I had finally become part of a group of four other women and I thought I had the thing I had longed for but… it was very exhausting. For one I am a mix of introverted and extrovert. I thoroughly enjoy doing my own thing but once in a while I really long to be out doing something fun with some good friends. The hard part is finding girls that aren’t what I consider high maintenance. I need friends that don’t constantly try to pull me away from things I need to do or worse make me feel bad about it. I keep running into needy girls that get upset at me that I can’t hang out every week.

    Most of school I was surrounding by guy friends. As for the comment of girls like that will steal your boyfriend I think that’s ridiculous. I only dated one guy throughout high school. I click better with guys and feel like I can be myself with them. With girls I usually get frustrated because I can’t seem to be myself. I’m a gamer girl, an artist, nature lover, a rancher, and a whole slew of other things. I’m frequently ridiculed for wanting to spend time by myself to work on a painting or edit some photos or just do some reading and writing. With guys there isn’t any pressure. If I need to leave an event a bit early to take care of something they don’t mock me or whine for me to stay.

    I know there are girls out there like me because I’ve met them. The thing is because we’re all very busy and independent when we finally have time and want to be out with others we don’t know who we can call or if they will be free to do something as well. It’s even harder to meet these type of girls.

  11. I tend to assume that people who make this kind of statement, where they write off a whole group of which they are a member, have pretty low self-esteem and are projecting their personal issues outward. There are all different kinds of people, of both genders, and one can find people of both genders who share their tastes, interests, and views of life. That they’re not willing to try with one-half the population says more about them than it does about anyone else.

  12. Jen

    I’ve heard women say this before, and also don’t know what to make of it. The boring truth is probably that it’s a case-by-case matter: some women who say it are simply bitchy, some of the type of have the kind of personality that can’t handle the intensity that female friendships *can* bring, while others may simply have not yet found the right friend.

    I will admit, though, there are a few girls in the wider social circle I hang out with that seem to be very interested in being friends w/ my husband, but not me, and I find it totally irritating – but that probably says more about me than them…

  13. Lorrie Paige

    San said it best with:

    “I think it’s more about the person that you want to be friends with than their gender.”

    I once heard a psychologist that said regarding people who keeping getting involved with bad lovers: “Yes maybe the lovers have a problem but the person who wants to be their lovers is to blame also, as in their problem is why do they keep choosing these kind of lovers?”

    Same can go for constantly choosing the same negative kind of women for friends. It’s not because of gender. So I believe women who say they can’t be friends with other women need to find out why they are constantly gravitating toward these toxic kinds of women.

    I think it’s about (for each individual) finding the right personality crowd to hang out with, like finding your own niche circle of women (or people in general) for potential friendships; the type of crowd you get along with best…I’m working on that myself….

  14. In some ways it is easier for me to be casual friends with guys, although less so now than when I was younger. Even then, though, my bestie was always a girl. Even when I did have a bestie who was a boy for awhile in college, I also had a female bestie as well.

  15. Allison

    I’ve definitely been one of those “I can’t be friends with girls” types, though for the last year it’s been “Why is it so hard to find cool girls I can be friends with?” because I know they’re out there!

    The problem I find with female friendships is, at one point or another, there is always, always DRAMA. I can’t tell you how many times, in my last year and a half of college, I spent nights patiently listening and nodding to drunken friend go on about how another mutual friend flirted or hooked up with her ex-boyfriend, or “I’ve been seeing this guy but now his roommate has been flirting with me and what should I do?” or whatever and I. Get. So. SICK. Of it. I love girls’ nights every so often, but usually by the end of the night I’m texting my boyfriend about how frustrated I am.

    It’s not a tomboy vs. girly girl thing (though I’ve yet to find another girl who can actually talk baseball with me); I like shopping, pedicures, and the occasional fruity drink, it’s the drama aspect that I just refuse to let myself get sucked into. I agree with what Lorrie said above, it’s about finding the right *type* of girls you click with, and I think it’s just harder for some women to find that than others.

    • JenD

      So true! I have a particular set of interests that just don’t seem to jive with most women I’ve met. I’m pushing 40 and married now, which makes it doubly hard to find women to hang out with who aren’t wrapped up in the whole mommy thing and into the same things I’m into. I like the lack of drama with my guy friends, but it just doesn’t compare to a good female bestie. I know she’s out there somewhere. If I exist, there MUST be others, right?

    • Lorrie Paige

      Also, elaborating on finding the right type of girls, for anyone looking for female friends, don’t be afraid of considering hanging out with people of a different generation or ethnicity than you if you feel you don’t have much in common with your own peer groups. That could be the solution.

      For instance, I’ve tried to be around women my own age and really get tired of them complaining about their health issues ad naseum, and how OLD they are getting, constantly making old age jokes. (And these are only 40-something people!)

      I’m finding more and more, I fit better with the 25-40 age group. I don’t look, feel or even dress my age (I’m going to be another Betsey Johnson lol!). Honestly, people my age (40s) or in their 50s remind me of my mom! I instantly feel more like this potential mother/daughter relationship and not like a potential friendship when I’m around people my own age. I want friends, not another mom! (my parents both passed away in their late 50s and early 60s).

      So two potential friends I’m going to hang out with soon are a lot younger than me.

      Plus, I went to school where the major bullies were my ethnicity, and me being the quiet nerdy type who was terrified of the bullies, started hanging out with the white crowd, and got into more of their culture and in preferring rock over R&B (it was all about the music as to what group you hung out with in my school back then) I just fitted in better overall too with that group so although I would be friends with ANY ethnic group, I’m more familiar with and feel more comfortable with being around white women. (Being brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness prevented me from ever having close school mate friendships. Kids I liked the most weren’t JW so I was forbidden to hang out with them outside school).

      So, all I’m saying is try experimenting with different groups: younger, older, blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, etc. You may find yourself feeling more comfortable outside of your peers of age or ethnicity and find (more) friendships that way.

  16. Jen

    I’ll just reiterate what’s already been said – why do we insist on judging an entire group of people because of a few bad apples? We would never accept this type of commentary about ethnic/religious groups, so why women?

    As some posters have stated, some women don’t fit into the typical mold we’ve come to expect women to fill. I know I don’t. I love sports (hockey being my choice), but I like to get my (toe) nails done, watch Sex & the City and talk about relationships. That doesn’t make me a ‘girlie-girl’, nor does it make me a superficial airhead. I find there are many wonderful qualities in both men and women. In general, it’s hard for me to be friends with men, because I (think) am being judged on my appearance, whereas I have found much more acceptance among my female friends.

  17. Joy

    In my experience the few women I’ve known who say they prefer male friends are the jealous/insecure types — that is, jealous of other women, especially pretty women. Sounds trite, but in my experience it has been true.

  18. I like to hang out with guys because its fun to tease each other. Girls don’t like that as much. Having said that, I PREFER to be close friends with girls. Girls understand the important stuff and are more supportive. I have met a few girls that say they don’t like to be friends with girls. I don’t think you can make a general statement like that about girls because they are not all the same. I agree that they have just met the wrong kind of girls.

  19. Yamilette

    I won’t make this a long reply since this post has been hanging out to dry for quite awhile now. That being said, I am super wary of any other girl that says she has only guy friends. That would tell me something is wrong.

  20. Pingback: A Man’s World « MWF Seeking BFF

  21. I’ve met a few girls who hang out mostly with guys (I’m not sure whether they’d claimed they weren’t able to be friends with girls), but I’ve found that it’s often because their friendships with the guys have been based on flirting and getting what they want with their feminine wiles. This doesn’t tend to work on other women, funnily enough. Maybe they just don’t know how to connect with people on more than a superficial level? Or are scared to?

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