Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



The Dark Side of “BFF”

Chanita Cassell, MSW

Seminary is a time for building lifelong friendships, but when girls are away from home, lonely and vulnerable, they can also fall into unhealthy friendships. Here are some red flag signs of a toxic relationship, plus pointers on how to prevent girls from slipping into them.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

“I crave it.” “I can’t stop thinking about it.” “It’s consuming me.” Reading these statements — all made by adolescent girls — you might think they’re describing an addiction, a dependency on a substance perhaps. After all, what else could be causing these young women so much distress and suffering? What else could be bringing them into therapy, distraught and embarrassed? Could these girls be referring to and struggling with something as seemingly innocuous as… a friendship?   A Primitive Need Many girls enter seminary hoping to create lifelong friendships and they spend much of their year trying to actualize that eventuality. According toDr.RaminiDurvasula, a psychologist who studies friendships and relationships, these girls are simply trying to fill a “primitive need” — that is, to be in a “best friend” relationship. “Everyone always speaks about the memories they have of seminary, and about the incredible friendships they made,” shares Rikki,* a girl who attended seminary inHarNof last year. “So we come into the year expecting the same to happen to us.” Since seminary students are always together — eating, sleeping, hanging out, and in class — it allows for deep bonds to be built. And yet, precisely because of the constant interactions and the inherent pressure to find one’s best friend, a friendship can take a nasty turn, bringing with it intense emotional stress and drama, and making girls question themselves. 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Pitcher-Perfect
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”