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Friend Groups vs. Cliques: Guiding Teens Toward Authentic Connections

Uncategorized Apr 09, 2024

Last week in The Brave Girl Tribe, several girls shared that they had found themselves at a crossroads between the allure of cliques and the warmth of genuine friend groups. While both avenues promise a sense of belonging, the journey within can vary significantly, with cliques often leading to isolation and the yearning for authentic connections.
Cliques: A Cautionary Tale

Here is what you need to remember about Cliques. Cliques are inherently exclusive, creating barriers that are more divisive than unifying. They often foster power imbalances, with a dominant figure dictating the norms and expectations. The cost is steep for girls caught in this web: their authenticity is compromised as they mold themselves to fit in, often at the expense of genuine relationships. However, the facade of stability in a clique is just that—a facade. As dynamics shift, the fallout leaves these girls adrift, confronting the stark reality of their solitude.

One of the girls in The Brave Girl Tribe shared that being in a clique is like trying to climb a very steep pyramid. Once you reach the top and everyone listens to you, you realize you are truly alone. The girls acting as your friends are simply waiting for the right time to push you off the top.

Several brave tribe members shared that once you are outside the clique, you often realize how your behaviors impacted others, and you usually find yourself without friends. People remember how you treated them and how you made them feel. Sometimes, your old friend group might accept you back, but many times, they have moved on and grown without you, and there isn't a place for you with them. They remember the hurt and pain and may not be ready to forgive.

The Warmth of Friend Groups

In stark contrast, friend groups are founded on inclusion and mutual respect. They are vibrant, evolving spaces where each girl is accepted but celebrated. Here, belonging isn't a reward for conformity but a natural consequence of shared experiences and mutual understanding. Friend groups thrive on diversity and autonomy, proving that true strength comes from the collective support of all members.

A valuable resource for your daughter is  'The Friendship Do's and Don't.' This guide can assist your daughter in cultivating behaviors that foster genuine friendships and steer clear of actions that might lead to unnecessary drama and hurt feelings. Download now

Guiding Your Daughter Through

Being able to distinguish between friend groups and cliques is vital for parents guiding their daughters through friendship challenges. We want to help our daughters find encouraging environments that value inclusivity, respect, and openness. This lays the foundation for your daughter to build lasting, meaningful connections. It equips her with the resilience and grace needed to weather the storms of adolescence.

As parents, it's essential to approach conversations about cliques with care. Rather than directly telling your daughter she is part of a clique, guiding her in reflecting on her friendships is more constructive. Encourage her to distinguish between what aspects of her group feel nurturing and effortless and which parts may seem challenging or unhealthy.

To facilitate this reflection, consider exploring the 'What Type of Relationship Are You In?' worksheet. It's designed to help your daughter evaluate her social connections more deeply. Download now to get started. Download Worksheet  
A Message to the Brave Girls

To the brave girls navigating this journey, if you feel isolated in your quest for true friendship, remember that you are never alone. Your challenges are part of finding your tribe—a community that celebrates you for who you truly are.

The Brave Girl Tribe is a community ready to welcome you with open arms. We would love to have you as our guest at our next Sunday coaching call at 7 pm EST/ 6 pm CST/ 4 pm PST. To join us, send an email to [email protected].

True friendship transcends boundaries and thrives on authenticity, so stay brave, stay true, and look forward to the brighter days that await you on the path of genuine connection.

I recently heard something that may help put your current challenges into perspective. Your school life is only 7% of your life, so remember these experiences are a small part of your great and wonderful life.


Laura Hayes
Founder of The Brave Girl Project
Life Coach for Tween & Teen Girls
[email protected]



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