Teen Girlfriends: Celebrating the Good Times,Getting through the Hard Timesby Julia DeVillers
When girls reaching their teens explore life's big issues, they usually turn to their friends instead of adults for advice, pleasure, and intimate emotional support. The authors of Teen girlfriends interviewed more than 150 young women to discover what makes these peer relationships work, and to celebrate young friendships that may last a lifetime. See more details below
When girls reaching their teens explore life's big issues, they usually turn to their friends instead of adults for advice, pleasure, and intimate emotional support. The authors of Teen girlfriends interviewed more than 150 young women to discover what makes these peer relationships work, and to celebrate young friendships that may last a lifetime.
- Council Oak Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.00(w) x 7.15(h) x 0.70(d)
- Age Range:
- 13 - 17 Years
Read an Excerpt
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There are times when we meet a friend, and we experience a moment of "Aha!" We instantly know that this girl has friend potential. She, we think to ourselves, is someone we want to get to know. We see her in the halls at school. We hear one of our other friends talking about this girl she just met. We plop down on the bus and check out our seat mate. And we like what we see. Something in us knows that we were just meant to be friends with this girl. And we think she might just like to get to know us, too.
The quality that attracts our attention doesn't have to be a major one. "I noticed Jane's eyebrows. They were plucked so perfectly," recalls Joanne. "And she had these cool pens. Those two things were enough to get my interest!" But while these characteristics can be superficial, such as her looks or clothes, other times we recognize a girl's deeper qualities that attract us to a potential friend.
We often look for people with certain characteristics to become our friends. Arielle's friend Caty's personality came through the first time Arielle noticed her. And Arielle was immediately intrigued, even though she was only five years old. "Our kindergarten teacher was trying to quiet us down. Caty stood up on a chair and hollered something like, 'Everybody be quiet!' to the class. This got my attention, all right! It told me she was very independent, and I respected that even at such a young age. In fact, she is stillindependent today, and I still have respect for her."
Gabriela recalls the initial time she saw Stephanie. "When I first saw Stephanie I liked her right off the bat. She had this kind of real confident, self-assured, cheerful attitude, which was so attractive to me. It made me feel as if we were already connected because I like to see myself that way as well. We were in an art class together, and I noticed how focused and independent she was. To me, she is definitely a model of a strong woman, and I love that in a friend." And Gabriela tells us how her initial impressions were accurate and have contributed to a long-lasting friendship. "When you are around Stephanie all the time, her confidence becomes contagious. Although I feel that I was already a confident person, being around Stephanie only increases the way I feel about myself. She shows her confidence through her independent nature, and also through her ability to organize and take the lead in many different situations."
Sometimes we notice people for a while and decide they are someone we'd like to get to know better. "Hannah caught my interest because of her sense of humor," says Jenny. "I had noticed how much she made other people laugh, and it wasn't because she was making fun of someone. She does great imitations of people, like teachers, famous people, her other friends. She repeats something they say in their exact voice and with their gestures. She doesn't do it behind people's backs, and even the person she imitates cracks up. It's like she does it in an affectionate way and draws you into her sense of humor. It got to the point where I would see her and think, 'Imitate me, imitate me,' so I'd know she noticed me."
* Jennifer's Connection Equation
Friendship Chemistry = Smile + Energy + Sense of Humor
Often, we choose a friend who is the way we want to be. If we hang out with this friend, we will be like her. Her ways will rub off on us, and we can learn from her. This can be a positive experience, as Courtney discovered. "Rebecca is one of those people who has her act together. She always knew what to say, was on the honor roll, and even got the lead in the school play. Even though the teachers loved her, we didn't hate her for it. I thought if I could be her friend, I could learn to be confident like she was. I asked her to be my partner in drama class, where we had to make up a skit. I completely bombed my lines, and she covered for me and just blew it off like it was no big deal. We became friends, and I really have learned so much from just being around her. I'm more comfortable speaking up when I have something to say and not worrying about making a mistake."
Joy's friend Elaine embodies the qualities she wants for herself. "Elaine has this shine and passion. She is determined to succeed in theater as an actor, and she is a damn fine one, I might add. Her extreme love and devotion to that art is amazing. Seeing that in her makes me strive for the same thing." Britt tells us, "I look for friends who have high spirits, like my friend Nicole. There is no point in being friends with someone who is depressing. It will only bring you down. You know what they say'misery loves company.'"
Whether we are intrigued by a physical characteristic like Joanne was or by a remarkable sense of self as sought by Arielle and Jenny, observing people is often the first step in long, fulfilling friendships with the young women who will be there to support us through it all. Or we may take a more proactive approach like Britt, Lacey, and Joy by surrounding ourselves with upbeat, positive people who will bring out the best in us. Although we can't force a friendship to happen, we can keep our eyes peeled. It may happen in an instant, but the friendship can last forever.
Excerpted from Teen girlfriends by Julia DeVillers. Copyright © 2001 by Julia DeVillers. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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