Advanced ‘Woman Code’: Ways to be A Great Friend

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Wifey’s & Gentlemen,

Assuming that most of the people who read this blog (however casually or infrequently) are armed with cable and/or internet, you have likely heard of the hit MTV series ‘Girl Code’. Admittedly, when the show first came to be, I refused to watch it! It seemed like a divisive and pathetic way to tell girls all of the things they were doing incorrectly, masked under the guise of “house rules” and I figured I wouldn’t support the message.

Not to mention, most girl codes are basic AF (if you don’t know this acronym, look it up! I can’t write it on this blog, hehe).

As weird as it sounds, I started watching the show in its 3rd season completely by mistake, after I ran out of episodes of ‘Guy Code’. Both shows, in my not so humble opinion, are perfect! Hilarious, informative, and unifying in that it provides a sense of universal truth that both men and women can relate to. I haven’t had a chance to watch the latest season, but so far, I have genuinely appreciated the format, taking a specific topic and dissecting the many ways women and men obsess over the various aspects of said topic in comedic, accurate ways. From love, money, vacation, and education, these programs offer a ‘not so unique’ perspective on life, and yes, this is a good thing!

Naturally, Ms. Renai wants to get in on a piece of the action. How many times have you been hanging out with your girlfriends and someone said something like “Omg, Jessica! You can’t do that! Girl code violation!” or “Hey guys, what’s the girl code on dating my mom’s ex-boyfriend?” (Gross exaggeration, but you know what I mean) even Barney Stinson (RIP HIMYM) had his very own Bro-Code! In keeping with the theme of my previous set of posts, I thought it might be great to provide my own set of the most important ‘Woman Code’ rules.

Mostly, I think things like the girl code/guy code are simply for fun; lose guidelines for the things we should or should not do to and for our friends. Once again, anyone woman over the age of 22 who has any kind of working knowledge of friendship should know better than to “live and die” by the girl code (hello basic bitches), which is mostly targeted toward spoiled snotty girls without a clue (no shade, I swear).

Still…

What is most interesting and amazing are the ways in which many of these truths do become transcendent. Regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, or assigned gender, there are certain ‘rules’ that women should intuitively understand. I hope to explore those here! The tenants of friendship I believe we could all find useful.

  • No hating on other women, period! Love each other and be respectful.

I don’t care if you think the girl at the club is a slut, a bitch, a goody-goody, or ridiculously fake. Wifeys & female-identifying gents, why do we keep putting each other down in this way? Don’t get me wrong, if you know for a fact that there is a woman in your life who is out to cause you harm (steal your partner, spread rumors, ruin your livelihood), then there are ways that you can deal with and overcome that (maturely), but there is NO REASON to badmouth another girl (especially ones you don’t know) for petty assumptions, insecurities or judgements. Frankly, if we all decided that the new code is to stop being hateful, we would likely eliminate the back stabbing bitches who are trying to cause us grief in the first place!

How about being respectful of each other? How about joining together in solidarity over the fact that it’s hard out there and we all have our crosses to bear? A skimpy dress, a “bad” or “bossy” attitude, multiple children with multiple men, we all come with a shield of armor and a back story to go with it. Think of how much happier we’ll be when we stop trying to compete (in an unhealthy way) and start building each other up.

  • Honesty is (& always will be) the best policy

Listen and listen well…even your CLOSEST friends are going to talk behind your back.

I know a lot of you are likely rolling your eyes right now thinking “my bestie would never say a word about me!” But I am here to tell you, you are delusional if you think this is true and you’re a liar if you try to say you’ve never said something about a friend when he/she wasn’t around. I happen to pride myself on being a very good friend…and even I do this! What we need to realize is that there is a line between gossip/bad mouthing and discussion.

In my group of friends, I tend to be a person that people feel they can confide in. Sometimes, this awesome role can feel overwhelming, but I soon realized that as long as I was honest and true to myself, I could never go wrong.

Of course, I am flawed like everyone (though I recently set my alarm clock to play Flawless by Yonce when I wake up in the morning), but I try to live my life under the basic principle that I would never say something behind someone’s back that I wouldn’t have the courage to say to their face… if they asked.

Don’t get me wrong, the delivery of the message might change, but the point would still remain. The honesty is unwavering.

Friends trust you to be honest with them and spare them the embarrassment of a bad decision or a huge mistake! Even something as simple as telling them they look horrible in an outfit is a valuable and important part of friendship.

While it might be awkward or you might be scared, friends deserve to know when you feel something isn’t right. There are some things you might choose to keep to yourself, but real girl friends come through when asked. Tell them the truth in whatever way feels comfortable for you.

  • ALWAYS be your friend’s escape plan, even from a far.

This means that when you are out dancing at a club and one of you is mauled by a creepy party-goer, you intervene in whatever way works.

This means always being a good wing-woman if she is interested in someone new and needs a boost/back up.

This means bailing her out of bad dates, stupid family gatherings, or awkward/embarrassing moments.

This means checking up on her when she is meeting someone off of Tinder, to make sure she’s alive. (Or if she likes to go jogging at 8PM in the summers through your local park)

This means having a signal for when she’s stuck talking to someone she’d rather not be talking to, but isn’t quite sure how to make her exit (this includes weird family members, friends, coworkers, etc).

This means never ditching her at a an outing, even if you get separated for most of it (unless you all agreed it was ok)

& (most importantly) this means helping a woman out if she is really intoxicated and looks like she needs a friend.

I can’t stress this one enough and thought about making it its own point, but if you see a girl out by herself and she looks a mess and like no one is there to help her, at LEAST ask if she is okay. Sure, it’s a pain in the ass to have to babysit someone who doesn’t have control of her mind and/or body, but you might be her hero for the night, and kindness only begets more kindness (in the long run). See if you can get her a cab home or offer to let her hang out with you and your group if she seems to be waiting alone. Maybe buy her a coffee and cookie to help sober her up? Or (worst case) take her to the hospital or to her home yourself.  Whatever! Just be there. You’ll be glad for the extra karma points. (Yay, warm fuzzies)

Ahem P.S…this does NOT mean pretending to be lesbians. Face it ladies, it doesn’t work and is actually kind of insensitive to use someone’s sexuality as an escape plan. Why do straight identified women do this? Anyone? Anyone…?

Side-note: Lesbians, if you want to get rid of unwanted advances from a lady, do you pretend you’re straight? …have I been misjudging this behavior? Please advise!

  • Be present (or as present as possible) during a crisis.

One of the worst parts of last year was losing my grandmother. I dreaded the experience for my mom and dad and wasn’t sure how I would deal with the outpouring of emotion I knew I was bound to be confronted with at her funeral. My friends were a big help in making it easier, and I truly appreciated hearing from them and knowing that I could pick up the phone or send a text if I just needed to talk, even ½ way across the country.

This applies during breakups, tragedies, losses (people, pets, jobs…), accidents, horrible menstrual cycles (sorry gents), birthday’s where she is way too drunk to function, and even pregnancies (which some of us might consider a crisis, so don’t judge). Make it a point to be there for your friends, even if/when you can’t physically be there.

This is a non-negotiable when it comes to friendship (in my opinion). If you can’t love me when the chips are down and I am at my worst, then you don’t deserve to share in my good times either.

  • Understand that no matter what ‘rules’ you lay out when it comes to dating, your friend’s feelings ALWAYS trump “the code”.

Many female-centered magazines and blogs encourage women to discuss their “rules” for how they will handle dating and relationships among friends.

Can I date my friend’s ex?

If we both like the same guy/girl, is it every woman for herself or hands off?

What if I am interested in someone who has expressed interest in my friend?

Is it wrong to date someone my friend has already slept with?

Would it be okay if I started dating her brother/sister?

In many ways, I can agree that it is important to come up with a VERY general idea of how each of you feels about these things, if for no other reason than to know where you all stand on the subject(s). However, every case and every situation is different and what is true today might not be true 5 years from now.

Humans grow, develop, and change every single day. It’s one of the most beautiful things about being a person, the ability to adapt to and process new information in unique and awesome ways. So if you’re home-girl was totally cool with you dating her ex-boyfriend back in high school, LISTEN when she tells you that the idea of you hooking up with her recent ex would really hurt her.

Sure, these things might seem dumb, but no man or woman (that you aren’t already committed to) is worth losing a friendship over. Being respectful of each other’s feelings and avoiding unnecessary selfishness means that you get to keep your friends while still trying to land the love of your life.

I mean, when you get married, you do want your best friend by your side, right? I know I do. & I know mine will be there with bells on!

In summary

I apologize to those who find this list way to gender specific! I thought about writing a “guy code” but even the best female psychologists can’t tell you exactly what a man is thinking, no matter how well-read she is, and for that, I feel no shame.

Still, for anyone (man, woman, or somewhere in between) who identifies with being a girl, I believe that these “girl code” rules are a great starting point for general ways to be a good friend to your good friends ;-).

Are there any rules you feel I have left out?

Let me know! I’d like to think I keep an open mind! …mostly.

To close, I found a great article in Elle Magazine (November 20th, 2013) that provides a beautifully snarky summary of girl-code-ethics that a woman of my caliber can get in line with. It reads:

A crone of 28 should be too experienced to follow anything called the “Girl Code.” Here’s the BLC—Basic Lady Code: Never hate a woman you’ve never met, never date a friend’s ex, never reveal another female’s secret, never leave an inebriated friend alone at a bar, never invite a friend’s enemy to a party, never dine alone with a friend’s boyfriend (unless it’s his last meal and he’s being shot at dawn).

So much for the elemental stuff; as for those famous “lines” that “shouldn’t be crossed” by girlfriends, here’s the AWC—Advanced Woman Code:

  • Never stay silent when a friend is falling for an asshole.
  • Never favorite a best friend’s bon mot. Always retweet it.
  • Never trust a girlfriend who dates a married man.
  • Never refuse to write a recommendation for the offspring of a friend (no matter how big an idiot the kid is).
  • Never steal your friend’s thunder at a dinner party—when she’s on, give her room! Pound the table! Bang your glass with a spoon! Laugh the loudest at her story!
  • Never give your friend’s business four stars on Yelp. Always give five.
  • Never agree when a friend says she’s flabby, baggy, saggy, lumpy, floppy, veiny, squishy, scrawny, etc., etc. Tell her to shut up. Tell her life is too short. Tell her to eat, drink, and be merry. And finally…
  • Never treat other women disrespectfully: It gives men ideas.

Until Next Week

Carry on Wifeys!

Love,

Ms. Renai

🙂 ❤

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