Since I’ve been writing so much about mean girls lately, I wanted to write a positive post about the types of female friends you need in your life – because good, healthy friendships are essential throughout our life and there are so many great women out there.

After a year or so of being the target of mean girl attacks (by a group in their 40s, demonstrating that this behavior doesn’t go away with age), I am very lucky to have a close group of amazing women friends who support me, love me unconditionally, accept me for who I am – good and bad, and who are trustworthy and loyal.

Here are some qualities to look for in your friendships with other women no matter your age.

  • Friends who know your weaknesses and shortcomings but don’t judge you and help you become a better version of yourself.
  • Friends who would never betray you or your confidences.
  • Friends who genuinely want you to succeed and are your biggest cheerleaders.
  • Friends who are where you want to be and will help you grow.
  • Friends who see your strengths.
  • Friends who will have your back, and will stand up for you and fight your battles even in your absence.
  • Friends who make time for you even though they’re busy.
  • Friends who make you feel like you can be yourself and aren’t judging you, competing with you or are jealous of you.

It should go without saying that each of the above on the list are things you should be doing in all of your friendships as well.

Treat people as you want to be treated. Cherish your friendships. Relationships of all kinds take work. Let kindness guide you and assume good intent with everyone until they give you a reason to doubt them.

If you have friends who do not respect, value you or treat you with kindness and love, make the decision to either cut them out of your life or distance yourself from them and downgrade them to an acquaintance. Remember it’s not the quantity of friends you have – it’s the quality.