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Better Friendships: The Bad Girl’s Guide to Decluttering Your Friend List.

If your girlfriend doesn’t spark joy, maybe you should consider letting her go.

A beautiful woman look back at the camera with a glimmer of mischief in her eyes.

Let me ask you a question: Do you feel more like an unpaid therapist or counselor in some of your friendships? Do your friendships leave you feeling revved up and joyful or do they seem more based on usefulness, — primarily you being useful to others?


If you’re feeling any of the above you might just have a “Nice Girl” problem on your hands.


Nice girls, you can spot them by the rules they follow to a tee, by how polite they are to a fault as they try to fulfill everyone’s needs without asking for anything in return. After all, making demands of others isn’t the polite thing to do. Nice Girls know that you always wait for your turn. That way you never have to ask at all.


Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah, but a bad girl? Really?” Aren’t they dangerous, immoral and only in it for themselves? Aren’t they… you know not nice?”


Au contraire, they’re simply the women with enough chutzpah to actually know what they want and go after it, especially in the friendship department. And they aren’t sitting around waiting for it to be their turn.


They ask for what they want, but contrary to what you’ve heard they aren’t out to hurt or take advantage of anyone. Bad Girls, or Gusty Gals, or Independent Ladies… call them whatever you like, are more interested in living their lives than ruining anyone else’s.


And while the rest of us end up with relationships based on the superficial, where we live, where we work or who joins the church or wine tasting group, essentially, taking whatever relationship is available to us no matter how it feels. These Bad Girl types don’t get caught up in settling for what’s available to them.


Sure they want camaraderie as much as the rest of us, they’re just not willing to settle for relationships based on anything less than fun and authenticity.


Bad girls wait it out for bona fide relationships, based on mutual shared pleasures.


Think of it as the difference between a Jeep and a Jaguar F-type (a very sexy racy car, if you didn’t know). You buy a jeep for utility. It’s does a lot for you, but it doesn’t require much back, if you’re lucky.


You buy a Jaguar because you love the car. Or you’d better, because it’s not going to do near as much for you, and it will require you do things back. You buy a used Jeep for what it can do for you, but you buy a Jaguar for the way it makes you feel. For the sheer pleasure of driving it.


Of course, people aren’t things, and they certainly aren’t cars. But it’s a nice metaphor for asking yourself what you want in a friendship. Do you want someone who sees you like a Jeep? Useful to them and not needing much in return? Like that girlfriend of yours who calls you every time she has a break up, or needs to complain, but never, ever invites you out to lunch or coffee? Never bothers to check in with you except when she needs you?


Or would you prefer the friend who sees you as a pleasure to be around? You know, the girlfriend who hangs out with you because she adores you. You have fun together and that alone is worthy of friendship, even when you don’t do things for her.


So how is it that Bad Girls manage this? How do they not get used ( or used up) by friendships when so many of the rest of us do? Simple, they aren’t following the rules set out for them by others, instead like that great quote from Picasso, they’ve managed to: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist."


Bad girls live their lives like an artist, envisioning what they want (and don’t want) in friendships and making their lives and relationships fit that vision. They don’t conform to the rules, they make their own rules and they keep them in place with boundaries and the ease with which they can say the word, “no.”


Nice girls are terrified to say no to people because they might need them someday. Someday so-and-so might be useful to them. In fact, we often tolerate terrible relationships based on our calculations on whether we’ll have those same people available for us to use in the future, should we need them.


We aren’t actively using people, sure, but we are planning to, in the future, if need be. That’s the dark side of nice girls. We often feel used and put upon, but we also tend to inflict that same kind of relationship on others.


And yet, If we want people to be around us because they love being around us — for the sheer pleasure of enjoying our company, shouldn’t we also be willing to let go of people who don’t spark that same joy in us? Shouldn’t we stop keeping people around, people we don’t even really like, in case we might need them? Is that really kinder?


Bad Girls on the other hand, refuse to use other people, even as they break the rules and make their friendships look the way they want them to. Using others would be beneath them. They’re not looking for sycophants or suckers, they’re looking for their equals. They want a real friendship, based on mutual delight, not mutual necessity or desperation.


Isn’t that actually nicer? Kinder? More respectful and more fun?


So, if you’d like to take a page from the Bad Girl’s playbook, and Marie Kondo your friend list for pleasure instead of utility, here is a useful guide, from a newly minted bad girl:


1. Notice who sparks joy, and who doesn’t.

Whose calls do you run to get, and whose do you avoid?


2. Practice saying “no,” gently to people who do not spark joy.

Get a script you can repeat verbatim, something like this:


“No, I’m sorry Susan, I”m busy this weekend and I don’t have a lot of extra cash, so I won’t be able to attend that amazing LulaRoe Legging party you’re throwing! But you have fun without me.”


4. Learn to be a “Bad Girl" kind of friend to yourself first.

Are you creating fun for yourself, pleasure, delight and celebration? Time to start.


5. Be available for new friendships.

To find new people you’re going to have to go outside your house, and your work. Do interesting fun things. Even if you have to do them all on your own at first. Being on your own is often a draw to people to come and talk to you.


I hope that helps, and that you have a lot of fun breaking all those old and self-defeating nice girl rules. Don’t be a conformist blindly following the rules in your life or friendships, be the artist having fun and making it up as you go along.


And with that I’m off, but I will see you next week for another juicy fun post! In the meantime make sure you hit that like or heart button and please subscribe to the Facebook/Instagram page or to the email list at www.desireesommer.com

Thank you so much for reading,
Desirée Sommer


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