Have you heard of the “bro code,” those unwritten social rules between men? I read an article the other day that mentioned the “female code.” It was the same idea, a set of unwritten rules that all women agree on and follow. But I got curious. What is the female code exactly? It’s been alluded to, but what does it consist of, and how do we know when we’ve breeched it?
To figure this out, I solicited the help of our Behaviorists for their top Female Code suggestions.
- Don’t: Be that friend who lets her friend wear a terrible outfit.
Do: Be honest with your girlfriends, especially when asked, “How do I look?” Honesty and tact, ladies!
- Don’t: Convince yourself it’s not your problem when you see an intoxicated female who needs your help.
Do: Ask if she needs help. It’s so easy to be taken advantage of in that state of mind. You could save this total stranger’s life!
- Don’t: Ignore your friend who has just been dumped (again) and has a broken heart. You have to be there for her. She needs you!
Do: Make time for a friend in need, even if you just won the Super Lotto! Which, if you did, take her on an amazing vacation!
- Don’t: Let time and distance diminish the foundations of real friendship.
Do: Nurture friendships, because with true friends, it’ll feel like there’s never been any time apart.
- Don’t: Allow a friend to be treated like an object and be the target of creepy and unwanted advances.
Do: Get creative and grab her hand, pretending she’s your lover.
- Don’t: Take everything personally. Resting bitch face is real…and it’s NOT. Just because a woman is walking around not smiling all the time doesn’t mean she’s unhappy.
Do: Live and let live.
- Don’t: Try to guilt a friend into going out if she tells you she can’t.
Do: Bring over a bottle of wine or vegan cupcakes or whatever she loves and just chill at home.
- Don’t: Let jealousy keep you from being happy for a friend.
Do: Remind yourself that you love her and that you’re happy for her. Let her know you’re proud of her when something amazing happens in her life.
- Don’t: Always leave it up to your friend to send a text or an invitation first.
Do: Acknowledge that relationships require reciprocation and reach out first sometimes. Even if that means just sending her your favorite Buzzfeed quiz of the day.
- Don’t: Post an unflattering picture of your friend on the Internet.
Do: Think twice before posting. Some friends are cool with unflattering pics and some are not. Know which type of person your friend is because your friendship > a funny picture.
- Don’t: Give in to society’s (especially mainstream media’s) message that female friendships should always be bitchy and competitive.
Do: Challenge yourself to dig deeper and be better if you feel yourself having bitchy or competitive thoughts toward your friend.
- Don’t: Give your girlfriend a hard time when husbands, family, children, and work take priority over your friendship.
Do: Remember that balance in a woman’s life is hard enough to begin with, and we should never put more pressure on our fellow women.
- Don’t: Engage in unwarranted significant other-bashing. Everyone needs a friend to talk things out with when times are tough, but that doesn’t mean you need spill all the beans or speak negatively about your/her other half. Think how you would feel if they were doing that at guys’ night.
Do: Listen. Give constructive and positive advice and encouragement. Avoid the temptation to use your own spouse’s shortcomings to make her feel better.
- Don’t:Enable her. Whether it is addiction, an eating disorder, a bad habit or an ugly personality trait, don’t stand by silently to watch it grow and certainly don’t enable it.
Do: Speak up to her and/or those around her if necessary to try and help her turn things around. If you’ve truly done all you can do, draw the line somewhere for your own life’s sake. Unfortunately, friendship is not always forever.
- Don’t: Compare your success or failures to your friend’s. This can sully our femininity keeping us from appreciating the present moment of our own lives by getting caught up in someone else’s life instead.
Do: Uplift and encourage one another. When we do, we are a force to be reckoned with.
- Don’t: Lecture your friend or act dismissive if you think she’s making a bad decision.
Do: Lovingly, tactfully, and civilly figure out a way to voice your opposition or help her to question what you see as the folly in her ways. When your girlfriends confide in you, treat their words as gold.
- Don’t: Purposely seek attention from other ladies’ men. You don’t need to cheapen yourself or risk a friendship.
Do: Appreciate your friend’s significant other and build the relationship with them with respect for their relationship and yours.
- Don’t: Mess up a perfectly great compliment by attaching a little dig with it.
Do: Let her know how amazing she is by keeping it to the point.
- Don’t: Stay in touch with, flirt, or date a friend’s ex, when there’s plenty of filet mignon out there.
Do: Ask permission first if he’s just that worth it.
- Don’t: Use negative female labels that lead to double-standard stereotypes—slut, bitch, gold-diggers.
Do: Remember that men could very well be these things too, and by using them, we are keeping our entire gender back.
Now it’s time to hear from the rest of you ladies! Do you agree with our list? Or, do you have a couple of your own to add to our rulebook? We’re looking to add 5 more to our list. Maybe yours could be one of them…