Many of us have non-negotiables when it comes to finding the right romantic partner. But what about for friendships? Our favorite Raging Feminists dive in and tell us what their must-have requirements are when it comes to making friends.
What’s the major requirement you have when it comes to lasting friendship?
“Acceptance of our respective quirks. I don’t want to feel guilty about not wanting to talk on the phone or needing to be alone. In turn, I want to respect my friends’ needs. If she doesn’t want to come to my house because she knows she’s going to get covered in cat hair, I’m totally OK with that.” — Meg Galipault
“Build up, never tear down. Never tear down. NEVER tear down.” — Jennifer Pozner
“That they are as happy for your successes as they are supportive for your failures. I have had friends who fit one or the other but not both, and those friendships do not last because they don’t measure up at the end of the day. I’ve become very discerning about finding those friends who fill both buckets — because that is what life is about.” — Estelle Erasmus
“That they make you feel good about yourself. If they give you anxiety, make you feel bad about yourself (unless they are checking you for your own good, which is a must), ditch ’em.” — Janis Vogel
“Compassion for all people. Someone who cannot find compassion for others cannot be trusted under pressure to give it to friends.” — Amanda Adams
“It should always, always be someone who feels happy for your successes. Ambitious women are surrounded by naysayers, and I’ve spent too much of my life around ‘friends’ who were more like enemies. No more backhanded compliments or frenemies trying to ride the wave of the things I did right! It’s better to have one, solid friend than a posse of fakers. I also prefer a friend who tells me ‘I’m a bit jealous right now but I’ll get over it’ than someone who pretends they’re happy for you, but then tries to undercut you.” — Ruchika Tulshyan
“Don’t put energy into a relationship you don’t get energy back from. Oh. And always have wine.” — Claire Linic
“I want my friends to listen to what I have to say unconditionally, uncensored. As friends, I expect them to listen (and engage, if necessary) with my thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Sometimes, I seek validity, but other times I need to vent to someone.” — Danielle Corcione
“I’ve been told my position on this subject is ‘harsh,’ but the quality I most require in friendship is fidelity. I hold my romantic relationships to that standard, and why should friendships be any different? I don’t mean that I require monogamy (obviously, my friends can have other friends), but loyalty? Truthfulness? Trustworthiness? To me, fidelity is about all those things. It is being a good listener. It is believing. It is empathy. It’s being someone I can count on.
I’m sick of friends who won’t or can’t meet these standards. If I can do it, they can, too. And if not, #ByeFelicia. Stand together, ladies. I highly recommend it.” — Jen Selk
“Friends who do not listen and truly hear you are not friends. Above all, you deserve to be heard.” — Alex Blank Millard
“It sounds silly, but they have to be nice to me. I spent so much time in my life befriending people who were unkind or downright cruel and then feeling grateful in the moments where they weren’t acting like monsters. No more. I don’t have friends who don’t treat me the same way I’d want them to treat someone else that I loved. I deserve to be treated like someone I love.” — Krista Benson
“Support. Everyone likes to know that others have their back, and since being a woman in the world can get complicated (and sometimes hostile), it’s good to know that your friends are there for you. I’m not talking about undue emotional labor on their part, but knowing that (in their own way) they feel generally supportive towards you can be tremendously beneficial. Sure, we all have gripes about our friends at one point or another, but a person who is in the regular habit of s**t-talking others when things go bad is not a friend I’d like to have.” — Sara Habein
“Things I don’t require: that we think the same way or do the same things or are the same age. This is important; we aren’t in elementary school forever where age constricts us. I like to think about friends more broadly and figure out what works between us. This means there are gym friends or people I work with well or know from some parenting something — often one thing bleeds into another. And there are people who become friends virtually but I’m really close to. That’s the broad stroke: flexibility. That a friend likes me and I like my friend, that’s really the one rule for me.” — Sarah Buttenwieser
“Unconditional positive regard. Not that she always agrees with me, but when one of us does something stupid, weird, out of character or even self-destructive, as is likely to happen at one point or another in the course of a friendship, the other just listens. No judgment.” — Leigh Shulman
“Forgiveness. You will let your friends down and vice-versa. Forgiveness is the hallmark of every good relationship.” — Rudri Patel
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