Membership to the “Girl Gang’ – You in?

How often do we see terms like Squad Goals, Girl Gang, and other such declarations banded about across social media. Even tv shows like Sex and the City (best programme ever fyi), Friends etc all tell us that in order to live our best lives, we have to have a group, our squad, our clique of friends. Its a regular occurrence across social media and the like. The declarations in their Instagram caption of hashtag girlgang or similar, are made to let us all know that the declare-ee has The Best friends! They have a female army in their corner, backing them every step of the way and cheerleadering those pom poms like their own life depended on it for them. 

But, what if you have never been in a “Girl Gang”? Do these terms make you feel a little bit rubbish? Do they make you feel like you are missing out on membership to some exclusive club?  Do you too want your clique of friends with their “you” shaped pompoms? Trouble is, the opportunities to join these friendship cliques feel limited. That exclusive club membership seems to open its books at various stages through life, and if you miss the sign up at one stage, another will come along in the next few years. But actually, you might find you don’t want your name down. Grab your cuppa people, (grab a pot, its a long one) let’s discuss membership to the girl gang.

Clique of Friends – The School Years

Lets go back to those younger years, when we are just dipping our toes into the friendship pool. Your Mum would invite her friend Sandra from up the road and her children round the house. You would be told to “go and show Joanne your dolls” and thats it, you and Joanne would have a great time, bonding over your Tiny Tears and barbie slippers. Sorted. Friendship made. Then you start school. Your coat hook is next to Sara’s coat hook, she has a My Little Pony pencil case, so do you. You tell her you like her pencil case, she says she likes yours, job done, your definitely now gonna be bff’s for ever and ever.

My friend of 35 years
Silliness with my friend of 35 years

Then, you progress into secondary school and life gets a little more complicated. The rules shift a little. Suddenly you feel nervous about telling Popular Penelope that you like her shoes, which are the same shoes as you have, incase she thinks you are a weirdo or have gone all Single White Female on her. You and Sarah, your bestie from primary discover that you both really like Handsome Harry’s hair and little niggles of insecurity start to creep in if he lends Sarah his protractor. The lines start to blur a little in your friendships and you have to readjust and reset the guidelines. Teenage angst, hormones, awkward stages all raise their ugly head and your own head can spin, friends can often cross over to become a little frenemy! Like I said, it gets complicated! Friendships obviously do survive this stage, (I am lucky to still have some of my school friends in my life) but it can all get weird for a while there!

Grown up Friendship Cliques

Work/college/uni is the next big opportunity to sign up, when you meet a whole new group of people. These relationships are often more “adult” friendships, but you still get complications like both going for the same promotion. Or not having as much time for your friends as you and Handsome Harry are now a couple and flying around in his Ford Fiesta at the weekends. You may even have moved away from your town to go and pursue opportunities as you make your way forward into adulthood. A little more effort is required to maintain those friendships, and sadly, some naturally fizzle out. Your friendship clique, your girl gang, your squad. Now just blurry photos and happy memories.

wheres wally fancy dress
My most special “Wally”

Next stage, you get to proper adulting. The time when you are meant to have it all figured out. Dream job, tick. Partner of your dreams, tick. French bulldog, tick. John Lewis dinner set, tick. The White Company bedding, tick. Your girl gang cheerleading squad, ohhhhhh…..half  tick…… tick……. It hasn’t worked out quite that way. Maybe your career took you in another direction. Maybe you had a baby when your friends were still out there finding their lobster. Maybe your relationship broke down and the ex got custody of the friends. Whatever the reason, you don’t have your “squad” and it can make you feel crap when everyone else seems to. Like you have failed at some test that life sets you. Its not really socially acceptable to admit you don’t have your “girls”  The perception can be there must be something wrong with you surely. You feel embarrassed and that you are a billy-no-mates that has to shake her own pom poms.

Why do we crave the Friendship Group and Clique of Friends?

Well, I want to look at why, even as adults, we crave that “squad”, and whether its something you yourself do? I get it when we are younger as its a safety in numbers kind of deal. I personally, don’t think that you need a girl gang, but its incredibly important to have friends. I think that learning to be your own cheerleader is far more valuable to your soul, but we still seem to seek that friendship group. Yes, we all need friends and connections, and those relationships can absolutely bring so much to our lives. But no one should be made to feel any less valuable if they don’t have a clique of friends should they? I have never personally enjoyed friendship cliques. Even at school my friends that I took into adulthood were all from different “groups” and I have always enjoyed variation in my company. Don’t get me wrong, I cherish my close friends. I love being with them and always have fun. But I’m also a bit of a lone wolf at times, happy in my own company.

are friendship cliques important Struggling to fit the mould
I am what I am, with no apologies

But I can understand if you do want that squad, that it can feel rough. In adulthood, it’s not so easy so finf the clique of friends. Your potential “Sarah” isn’t carrying her My Little Pony pencil case any more. Your not put in the situation where you are thrown together with lots of people on such a regular basis. Some people of course already have their girl gang and are not accepting new membership applications. You can also be carrying baggage from life that you are bringing along with you. It can be hard. Im not sure that Plenty of Fish for friends is a thing!

Then of course, there is those solid friendships coming into your home each week via the tv. When you think of tv shows and films, women are almost always portrayed as a large, known each other for ever friendship group. There is often a few life long pompom shakers together. It can make you crave it. However, we should remember that life isn’t always like the tv shows or social media. They are highlight reels and good storylines. We all know that comparison is the thief of joy don’t we! But, I get that it can feel incredibly isolating for people that are not in the clique or a girl gang. We should all perhaps be more kind and mindful of those around us.

Be open to a new Friendship Group

It is important also, to not let previous encounters make you afraid to make new friends. If you have been stung in friendships in the past, you are certainly not alone in that! Female friendships can be the most rewarding, yet most complicated things ever. We are strange, complex creatures! You certainly do not want a trophy friend, but true female friendship is a beautiful thing. We also of course, have to bear in mind that we are all different. Friendships mean different things to different people. But, the one thing that a friendship group should bring, is value. If they don’t add value to your life, they are not your people. Your friendships should always add to your life, not strip it.

I was put in a situation a few years back, that totally rocked my faith in people. I remembered something that I had been taught at the time by my Buddhist friend and mentor (Yep, I really, truly do have a buddhist as a friend). She had told me to never let my heart be hardened. Even if you have been shit on from a great height (that was my terminology, not my buddhist buddy) let your heart still be open and kind. Learn the lessons the situation taught you, but don’t become closed off.

I know if you have been hurt in friendships, being open to new ones can be hard. But, I think this is good advice. Keep your heart open and kind. Don’t assume the worse and take a possible new friendship group at face value. Accept that invitation for coffee with your Instagram buddy. Catch up with that old school friend. Talk to the mum at the school gate that always smiles at you. There is always room for new friends after all!

If you feel like you need a little boost to your self love, this book, Good Vibes, Good Life, is fabulous!

So, over to you lovely readers. How do you feel about the whole “girl gang/squad/tribe” shiz? Are you good at being your own cheer leader? Can you feel crap when it seems everyone has their clique of friends?  Does the whole girl gang thing make you feel like you are missing out? Are you open to new friendships or happy in your safety zone with your existing friends? Has your attitude changed as you have gotten older? Id love to hear your views.

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  1. Lise
    May 14, 2018 / 9:24 am

    I’ve never been part of one of these girl gangs, I think.. Throughout my whole life I’ve mostly had male friends, mostly because my interests have been like “boy interests”, like video games and Dungeons and dragons and all the things that girls mostly didn’t do when I was growing up. I’ve had the occasional female best friend but I’ve found my friendships with guys to be the most long lasting and fulfilling. I wish I could experience the whole girl gang thing sometime though!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 14, 2018 / 2:52 pm

      Lise I totally get where you are coming from. I grew up with a brother, have always enjoyed male company, and was a bit of a tom boy. I totally understand. Female friendships are beautiful when they are right, but much harder as women are more complex I think. You will find your tribe, you are young and a lovely person. Your “people” will find you xxxxx

  2. May 14, 2018 / 10:07 am

    Oh Kerry, these posts always feel so close to me. This is something in particular i’ve been feeling lately. I was in a girl gang at school but it was such a big group I never really felt that close in it, always a little like an outsider. When I moved back to cardiff I did feel a bit like I had to be my own cheerleader because I no longer had my little uni squad with me (who I miss heaps). But I do love my own company and am happy to cheer myself along. I find making friends as an adult so hard, as a person i can be a little odd which can put people off me I think but ah well. I love these posts, always get so into them!xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 14, 2018 / 5:13 pm

      Grace that makes me so happy that you enjoy these. I know how much of a massive over thinker I am, so I like to see how other people think about situations haha! For the record, I blooming love people who are a little weird, they are way more interesting! It is harder as an adult to make friends, and I think we can be more self conscious about it as we are meant to have it all figured out. The biggest thing is to remain open to new friends. What that saying, “Make your Weird Light Shine Bright so all the other Weirdos know where to find you” Its a fab saying! Thanks for your input lovely xx

      • May 14, 2018 / 8:57 pm

        I’m the same, overthink absolutely everything! That’s definitely it, feel as an adult you feel like you should be more put together so when you feel like you’re not it can be hard to put yourswld out there sometimes. Hehe I like that saying, it’s brilliant!xx

        • kerrylifeandloves
          May 15, 2018 / 8:00 am

          Its a great saying isnt it, sums it up! haha xx

  3. Susanne
    May 14, 2018 / 2:11 pm

    I’ve never been that popular girl and always kind of went my own way, or at least after 19 when I moved away from where I grew up and sort of started breaking from the role of being odd and weird. I developed new interests and followed what I wanted to do. Lots of woes. I had a girl gang once, but then life happened and since I ended up in another town we don’t get together much. Some of the others had kids and I went into a direction where I was fed up with meeting friends with kids, which always mean no connection because they have to run after their kids all the time. And generally, I’ve never fitted in with people my own age, because I’ve chosen (more or less) to not have kids, and if you don’t have kids you’re a bit of an outsider. Most of the people I hang with nowadays are 60+ and some 50+, and they are all fabulous. They are adult enough to have learned how to socialise and be humble, and they are fun people with interesting lives.

    After I hit the burnout wall I’ve started reconsidering things in life and I’ve also started to not give a **** about certain things. I’ve stopped trying to be perfect or to fit in here and there, stopped trying to please everyone, I do what works for me and what makes me happy (not if it means hurting people, of course). And that means not giving a **** about the fact that I have no girl gang, life can be good without it if you decide that it can. I actually believe the “girl gang” hype is a myth – does anyone in adult life have a girl gang, for real? It may just be something that happens in movies..

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 14, 2018 / 5:23 pm

      I love this Susanne! Im a little bit the same in that I think as we get older, we just stop caring about what others think. I cherish and love the friendships I have, but I am always time poor, so like to spend my time with people that I enjoy. I understand what you mean about the kid side too. My husband and I are coming out of the other side of having dependant children, so I feel a little disconnected from the friends that have small children now. Not in a horrible way, but we can stay out until 2am if we want to, they have to get back for babysitters etc so it does change the relationship a little. Thank you so much for your view point, its an interesting one as you have made some great points. Thank you xx

  4. May 14, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    In high school & at uni I had my group of friends (not the same group since only a few people from my high school went to my uni), but when I moved to a completely different country, I lost my “squad”. Since then I have grown to appreciate the time by myself, but I still do want to make friends here. When I see people & their squads, it does make me feel a little bad b/c I don’t have that. I am open to new friendships though & I’m hoping I’ll be able to meet some new people when my master’s program starts this fall 😊

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 15, 2018 / 7:49 am

      Wow Karalee, moving to a new country is certainly going to disrupt your squad! I had similar in my late teens, early 20’s when I went off travelling for a few years. I felt very disconnected from everyone when I got home. Im sure you will meet so many fantastic people when you start your Masters, and you will all be in a similar situation so already have that common ground. I think the portrayal of everyone having their squad can make people feel bad, and thats where I think social media, general media etc can be dangerous. Thank you so much for your input, I love to hear everyones views xxxx

  5. May 14, 2018 / 5:55 pm

    I have never been part of a girl gang due to been part of a dysfunctional family when I was younger and so my friends were never allowed to come to my house. I moved frequently as an adult so again I never seemed to stay friends long enough as I was on the move. I love my own company but it would’ve been nice to be part of a group of similar minded women especially as I get older. I sound like a sad old loner now ! Haha. Great post though Kerry. I enjoyed reading it xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 15, 2018 / 7:55 am

      Ahhh Susanna, thats exactly the point that inspired this post. The fact that society can make us feel a little rubbish if we dont have a girl gang. I hate that people are made to feel that way, but I have felt it too. The disruption and change that you have experienced in your life, in my opinion, makes you a far more interesting and layered person. Your the kind of person I like to have a G&T and long chats with haha! Writing your blog instantly connects you to like minded women, so be open to meet ups etc. It is so much harder as an adult though, but we gotta grab the bull by the horns! Thank you so much for reading and giving your views, I love that. I appreciate your input and am so glad you enjoyed the post xx

  6. May 14, 2018 / 7:21 pm

    I’ve never really been part of a girl gang but I’ve started to discover the pleasure of spending time with girl friends recently, and it can be nice! I do think it’s odd that it can be frowned on for a girl to not have her squad, because loner time is just as important. Very relatable post and enjoyable as always xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 15, 2018 / 7:59 am

      I couldnt agree more with you about lone time being enriching. Its the only way we truly get to know ourselves! I hate that society makes people feel bad if they dont have a squad. Iv always been a quality over quantity kinda gal. Im glad you are enjoying time with your friends, I do think that time spent like that is also so valuable. Thank you so much for joining in the chat my lovely, I hope your summer is amazing now exams are done……

  7. Jean
    May 15, 2018 / 3:29 am

    Great post Kerry. To be “part of a gang” is almost like having validation of being popular or confirming you’re a nice person or so we think but reality is being a nice person comes from within, no validation needed.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 15, 2018 / 8:01 am

      That is a very good point Jean. Thats why I think alone time is equally as important as time with friends. Knowing yourself, and not needing anyone to tell you what you are. Great input xx

  8. May 15, 2018 / 4:10 pm

    Hi Kerry,
    I Loved this post and seeing it from your perspective . I’m very lucky as the friends I have now are the very same ones I had at school plus a few others we have collected on the way. It’s not all been plain sailing and we’ve had our moments but I honestly don’t know what I’d have done without them last year.

    It’s made me think though … and I do like a post that does that , Tracey xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 15, 2018 / 10:14 pm

      Ahhh Tracey I am so glad it made you think xx. Im similar to you, many of my friends are from school, (they know too many of my secrets to fall out with them lol) but I hate how society can make people feel bad if they are happy to just do their own thing. I think as well, as we get older we are more choosy about who we give our precious time to hahaha! Thanks for popping over and reading xxx

  9. May 16, 2018 / 6:44 am

    Great post as always Kerry! I’m not currently part of any girl gang, I’m not sure I ever have been really. I went to an all-girls private school which you could say had its cliques but I’ve never been one to have lots of friends and literally nowadays I can’t say I have any that I see regularly. I’m like you, a bit of a lone wolf and love my own company – part of being an introvert. I’ve watched my daughter going through the process though, now thirteen, it’s a whole new ball game. There’s definitely the girl gang thing going on at her school!

    Samantha x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 16, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      Ah thank you so much Samantha, I appreciate that. I think the kids have it so much tougher now don’t they. Social media can make it seem like all their peers are living their best life all the time. Its blooming hard for them. I think as I have got older, I have become far more choosy who I spend my valuable time with. Iv learnt to let go of relationships that no longer bring positive things to my life. Im all about the good vibes only haha! Thanks for reading and voicing your input, always love hearing everyones view xx

  10. May 16, 2018 / 9:08 am

    I’m glad to read that I’m not alone with not having a “girl gang”! I don’t really remember primary school but the majority of the class just played together really. In secondary school I had a small amount of friends from a variety of groups, but I had one best friend there. That was my downfall looking back because me and her were inseperable – but i think it limited the friends i had going through school because it was just us two. College was hard because i lost touch with her but found a good group of friends – who actually turned on me in the final year and to this day i still don’t know why! But there you go, that’s life… I’ve got a variety of friends now and i quite like that. I had friends from uni courses i’ve done, friends from previous jobs and a network of “online” friends. i do feel like i’m missing out sometimes when i see big girl gangs on social but i bet it brings a lot of drama!! Anyway, I rambled… i can totally relate to this and i’m glad i’m not alone! xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 16, 2018 / 12:27 pm

      Ahhh dont worry bout rambling Hannah, thats my middle name haha! I think you are totally on the money with your comment that there is a lot of drama. My group at secondary school often had a fall out over boys or something! I can totally relate to the fact you had your friends turn on you. I sadly had that (I was put in a position where I knew a secret, that I didnt want to know nor knew what to do with) and had the same. I have since had apologies off of them, but Im a once bitten twice shy kinda gal. I forgive but wont put myself back in that position! From the responses to this post, it seems there are far more people not into the whole girl gang thing than are! Its so interesting! Thank you for reading lovely xxx

  11. Karen
    May 16, 2018 / 6:31 pm

    Great article again Kerry! I’ve always felt like an outsider in any group of friends, no matter what my age. So I guess I’ve never had a squad, although I’ve had a couple of best friends over the years. I’ve gone through periods of my life where I’ve relished and enjoyed alone time, although that’s proving to be a struggle at the moment. I am aware that I tend to gravitate towards people that already have their squad, or at least a very close friend, which then compounds my feeling of being an outsider…….yes, I am my own worst enemy!! But I live in hope, that I may change with my advancing years 😉

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 17, 2018 / 10:41 am

      Ahhh thats interesting that you feel you gravitate towards people already in strong friendships groups, do you think thats a safety in numbers thing too? I enjoy the company of my friends, but think as Iv gotten older Iv got more fussy who I give my time to. Iv also very much noticed that friendship means different things to different people. Some only want a surface relationship, some much more depth. I think its complicated haha! Thank you for your view Karen, its so interesting to hear others view points xx

  12. May 20, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    I was such a loner when I was younger, very shy and quiet. I’ve made friends later in life and found that so much easier as my confidence has grown a little xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 20, 2018 / 2:46 pm

      I think those younger years friendships are so complicated Laurie, I am lucky I kept a couple of mine. I do think friendships made in later years are often easier as everyone is a grown up lol. Your lovely and I am positive you make a great friend xxx

  13. May 20, 2018 / 6:57 pm

    I’m open for new friends. A lot of my friends don’t know each other and I don’t mind that. The weird thing for me was on my 21st when I brought people together from all parts of my life – because until then, I had never done that. That seems a long time ago now. I think as you get older, it becomes a bit harder to meet new people unless you put yourself out and make the effort, but it’s still a good thing to do. XX

  14. lyndseyfitzgerald
    June 13, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    Beautifully written. I was never apart of a girl gang I was always made to feel like an outsider. Even in adulthood I find it hard to make new friends but I really enjoyed reading your post 💕

    • kerrylifeandloves
      June 13, 2018 / 9:45 pm

      Lyndsey thank you so much for visiting, and I really appreciate your comment. I have been amazed by the amount of us that feel this way. I genuinely think that there are so many people that feel the same way, and friendships can be hard to come by! Im lucky I have my long term friends, but I do feel that I have made many new friends through blogging, I didnt expect that to happen. I am sure the same will happen for you, its such a friendly community, and you will always find a friend that wants a chin wag over here………. 🙂 Thank you for reading xxxxx

  15. I loved reading this Kerry, I really like the way you write and ‘put things ‘ I’ve never really been part of a girl gang, just had friends here and there who were also friends with other people…more often than not they drifted away…I’m not part of one either now, I’m happy in my own company – although I would really love to be part of the SATC girl gang – I LOVE that programme!! But like you say that’s not real life! I find it hard to make friends and it is harder when you’re older and circumstances don’t put you together with people. I think your Buddhist friend had some lovely advice 🙂

    • kerrylifeandloves
      August 10, 2018 / 7:02 pm

      Thank you so much Fiona, I really appreciate you reading, and thank you so much for the compliment. You are so right, as we get older it gets much more difficult. I think we also have the added ingredients of perhaps being a little more guarded from past experiences etc. Its not easy! As for the SATC gang, you and me both! I would LOVE to be besties with them. No its not real life, but what fun it would be haha!

      • You are welcome, you deserve the compliment. Yes I think we probably are a little more guarded from past experiences but often it’s meeting people in the first place that’s the problem. Re SATC – Wouldn’t it be brilliant!! The absolute best!! 💕😀

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