Think of all the good things about your friendships! What’s fun about your friends? Why do you look forward to seeing them? What exciting things do you do together? Now, write all of those good things about your friendships in one of the circles that you can print out here. You can write the words in a spiral shape or make them straight like the rays of a run. Be creative in expressing what you like about your friendships! If you are just beginning to make friends, write what you think makes a good friend. Here are some examples:
• All of my friends get along with each other.
• Sarah makes me laugh.
• Emma helps me out with my math problems.
• A good friend listens.
• A good friend doesn’t mind if I need to cry.
• A good friend doesn’t lie to me.
Things can also go badly in friendships. Many things can hurt–including body insults. When friends start insulting someone’s body (yours or theirs), it may start as a minor comment. Then, the talk gains speed. It can grow into words and behaviors that hurt friendships and the girls in them. Think about how body insults could be hurtful to you (or have already been hurtful to you). Write those on your second circle in any way you want. I’ve listed a few below to get you started:
• Not knowing if friends like me for who I am.
• It makes me want to spend less time with friends.
• I’m more careful with what I say around my friends. Don’t want their criticism!
• I think I would feel sad if my friends put down how they look. I think my friends are beautiful.
• I get angry inside when friends start body bashing.
• I feel less confident.
• I feel more self-conscious.
• I second-guess myself more.
Now keep those two circles that you just filled out nearby. You’re going to use them as information and motivation as you continue with the other exercises in this series. In order to take action and enjoy life, we need to understand what we want in our friendships. And, we need to know what we do not want in our friendships! These circles help us make that information clear!