Beware these 7 female friendship dealbreakers
What can cause a female friendship to go wrong?
Women invest heavily in relationships. But find out about these 7 female friendship deal-breakers which makes them say – enough already.
Many women find themselves in difficulties with a female friendship more so than men. They tend to invest more in relationships and are very often surprised if they go wrong. These women are the ones who believe they are always there to support others and are there for their best friends through thick and thin. But is that really the case? If your friends have been a bit distant recently, take a look at this checklist we have compiled from talking to a range of women aged 25 – 75. Across generations, their deal breakers for a female friendship were remarkably similar.
1. Taking but not giving
No one gives in a real friendship and expects something in return. There are always times when a friend will need more support to handle a specific issue, but sometimes there can be a shift in the support and it comes to a co-dependent need, which becomes healthy. Annette (43) says “One friend had constant problems collecting her children from school and various events. She really needed to take stock of her domestic situation or hire some help, which she could well afford. Instead, she exceeded her “gratitude bank” I believe it’s called, and made us all fed up, by expecting her friends to fill her household admin gap.”
There are always people in every group who will take as much as they can, said Petra (38.) They maybe don’t contribute as they should for restaurant bills, avoid bringing anything for a potluck dinner, or give the impression that they are just on the take all the time. If you find yourself asking for more favours than you give, then a friendship balance starts going into deficit, and eventually, resentment builds up. People will begin to distance themselves from you.
2. Drama Queen
Not everyone likes drama, so if you have had a minor dust-up with your boyfriend or an issue with your boss, your life as you know it is not over. You are no longer in high school. Grown-ups work through situations and most struggle dealing with a flood of over-emoting over trivial issues. If they are big issues to you, then see a coach to learn some reframing strategies. Female friendships can especially find relationships with Drama Queens challenging. Lauren (56) “I had a friend who lurched from one relationship crisis to another and was so self-absorbed that she had no idea that my company was on the very of bankruptcy and my mother had been diagnosed with dementia. I simply had no bandwidth for what I had come to see as whining. She was in her 50s for heaven sakes!”
3. Disloyal or complaining
If you bitch about your other friends then, there is a fair chance you will bitch about others. That does not sit well. Peggy (75) said for her the big female friendship deal-breaker is friends who complain all the time. “When you get to my age, life is too short listening to women complaining about everything. We have one friend who no matter where you go to eat there is always something wrong with the restaurant, the food, the atmosphere, the service. And she would always quibble about the bill. In the end we just stopped inviting her”
Take a look: When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage
Reliability is significant as we are all so busy. If you are usually late or cancel at the last-minute for whatever reason then that can be corrosive to friendships.
Elicia (27) “There is one girl in our friendship network who is always late, or cancels, or changes the arrangement. We started telling her a meeting time 30 minutes earlier than needed and even that didn’t work. We began seeing her less often. It was only when we ordered a meal without her and staged an intervention, did she finally realize what she was doing and hired a coach to help her with her time management. Truthfully, she is a super-efficient events manager and I think she just thought that she was more important than we were.”
These are women who flood your “listening bank” to such an extent, that it can no longer take any more. They may not be a drama queen, but their thoughts are only of themselves.
Maureen (47)“I have one friend that I have hidden in a shop to avoid seeing because if you ask her how she is she will tell you. For 45 minutes. She is exhausting.”
6. Not present
Amy (32) says that her biggest deal-breaker is friends who are not present “They are constantly looking at their phones, they overschedule so they always arrive late and leave early to get to another function. You always feel that they are constantly looking for something better and you are never quite good enough. I let those friends go.”
7. Women who dump their g/fs for men
With the exception of Peggy in her 70s, all women said the cardinal sin was canceling arrangements because of a demand or invitation from a man. All recounted women friends who when they were in a new relationship drifted off the radar and gave the new man priority. Until it was over and then they came crawling back. Peggy explained “When you are in your 70s, you are generally in a relationship pattern which is hard to break. We are a different generation. I’m not saying it’s right, but most of my friends are widows, so you just never know how much time you have left”.
The verdict – don’t cut yourself off from your women friends because you never know when you will need them.
What are your deal breakers for both professional and personal female friendships?
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Dates for the Diary
September 9th - Podcast recording Talkpush - Discussion recruitment for inclusive workplaces
September 21st - ENGIE Gender bias in Performance Assessment online
October 26th - Banque de Luxembourg Préjugés sexistes dans le processus de recrutment.
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