Frenemies or Aquaintances?

Q: My daughter says she has a Mortal Enemy in her class. I don’t want to tell her she has be friends, but the school is small: she can’t just walk away either.

A: Watch the video above to learn a helpful TOOL for exploring the CONTROL you have over relationships called the “Coat of Vulnerability.” 


1. CAREER. Grasping the full range of relationships is key to becoming a skillful networker when entering the workforce.
In today’s economy, where most people have many jobs over the course of their careers, success depends on understanding how one can help and be helped by others – in ways that have nothing to do with friendship.

2.SATISFYING RELATIONSHIPS. Teaching girls that it’s okay NOT to be friends with everyone will actually make them respect friendship more.
Think about it this way: when someone apologizes all the time, the word “sorry” loses its meaning. Likewise, if everyone is your friend, what’s so special about friendship? Learning to set boundaries also gives girls permission to back away from relationships they resent, and cultivate more authenticity in their social lives.

3. SELF-ESTEEMIn her research for Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls,  Girls Leadership co-founder Rachel Simmons discovered that African American girls are more likely to differentiate between friends and acquaintances, a practice they learned from their mothers.

Some researchers speculate that centuries of discrimination (and worse) have led African American mothers to coach their children to be cautious of new peers. Interestingly – and perhaps not unrelated — while research finds that girls universally lose confidence as they approach adolescence, African American girls fare best: they lose the least self-esteem of any other group of girls.

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BONUS: Learn more about Rachel Simmons work
as an author, educator and coach
helping girls and young women grow into authentic, emotionally intelligent and assertive adults.


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rachel simmons

4GGL thanks Girls Leadership for this inspirational wisdom.

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Girls Leadership teaches girls the skills to know who they are, what they believe, and how to express it, empowering them to create change in their world.

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