Friendship and Girls
What it feels like for a girl

I recently spoke at a conference for 400 freshman girls about friendship. I consider myself a very accomplished speaker, accustomed to speaking in front of large, diverse audiences, including senior executives for large multi-national corporations. My most recent experience was officiating my sister in laws wedding in front of 100 surprised guests. I am speaking honestly when I say that 400, fifteen year old girls was the most intimidating audience I’ve faced in my career to date.

As soon as the girls filed into the room I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy 90 minutes. As I greeted these teenage participants, very few smiled and even fewer said hello. A significant number of girls surprisingly couldn’t even bring themselves to make eye contact at all. Heads facing down, shuffling in, appearing to want to disappear. As I reflected upon that period of time in my own life, a rush of memories came flooding back, and as much as I may envy the energy and excitement that comes with youth, I wouldn’t go back to that time in life for anything.

Being a teenage girl is really, really, tough. The insecurity and self-loathing that young girls experience today is multiplied by the constant images about what “beautiful” is supposed to look like. These ridiculous photo shopped images that young girls are constantly bombarded with remind them every minute, of every day, that they are not “enough.” Not “tall enough,” “thin enough” “sexy enough.” Their hair isn’t “long enough,” “lips aren’t pouty enough,” “bottoms and breasts aren’t big enough.” It’s no surprise these girls don’t want to look up. Don’t want to be noticed and would rather fade into the background. They feel bad, sad and ashamed of who they are! It’s time all women, no matter their age,  say they’ve  had enough of feeling “not enough”.

During my entire presentation, what I really wanted to tell these young versions of the girl I used to be is, it does get better. That we, as women, are enough. Just as we are. That being different and unique is a good thing and becomes an even more valuable quality as you move from a teenager to an adult. That our exterior is just the shell that we happened to arrive in on this earth and it doesn’t have to dictate the rest of our lives. Even more, I wanted to tell them that the most important friendship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. In this crazy “Kardashian” world remember who you are, who you love and who loves you. The rest is just noise. Get above the noise and hear what really matters. Be the girl who lifts her head up high, and even though it’s hard and takes practice, believes she has a place in this world. Because we all do. Let’s stop believing all the lies we are told about who we are and just start believing in ourselves and each other.

As young women move towards adulthood, their friendships become an increasingly important and influential part of their lives.
Seeds of Friendship offers girl’s strategies to navigate these years and grow healthy friendships that help them become the best version of themselves.

Participants learn to:
Understand the difference between a healthy and unhealthy friendship
Effectively use conflict resolution
Know how to cope with being alone
Avoid and deal with cyberbullying
Build self-confidence to avoid being a victim

Other FLOURISH Wokshops
Mother/Daughter Workshop
Father/Daughter workshop
Loving my refelction
Respectful relationhips
Dealing with Anxiety
Going deep*

Jodi Johnston – PRESIDENT, Seedlings/Flourish TX

*(managing self-harming behaviour)