How To Deal With the “Party Friend”
We all know that one girl- the one that seems to know everyone, be everywhere and know everything. She’s got all the biggest and best parties marked in her calendar and you can bet money that she’ll be in attendance at every last one. Yes, there is usually a party girl in every social circle. If you picture yourself as the Sex and City posse, she’s more of a Samantha. Some of us may even be the party girl and no judgments can be made because let’s face it, we all have a party animal inside of us somewhere. We love our party friend to death, but for those of us that aren’t that type it can feel like a “can’t live with her, can’t live without her situation.” Keeping up and dealing with a party friend could be an Olympic sport because of how much energy it takes, but there’s a few simple tricks that can lessen the madness.
- Set Boundaries
The thing about the party friend (let’s call her the PF) is that they can be very self-involved at times. They “just want to have fun” and “just want to have a good time” and “yolo this, yolo that” and they have a way of making you feel guilty if you don’t feel the same way and partake and contribute to the adventures. With the PF, you often get persuaded into things you didn’t plan on going to, with funds you didn’t plan on spending, and effort you didn’t intend on utilizing. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO. Going out is okay, but if you don’t want to, don’t be persuaded. Set boundaries for yourself and for your PF. Maybe you decide you’re only going out every other weekend or once a week. Make it clear to your PF what you are willing to do and what you aren’t. Make your boundaries clear and firm (emphasis on firm) because if they know you stand behind your personal rules they will eventually respect that and stop trying to talk you into things.
- Don’t Try To Change Them
The number one thing to remember about your PF is that their priorities are different than yours. And that’s ok. The things you find most important are not necessarily what they find most important and you need to respect that, just as you want them to respect you. Yes, you will probably shake your head at their lifestyle and maybe some of their choices but people have shaken their head at you too. They are on their own journey and living their own life, you have no right to try to force them to be someone different or change who they are. Now, as a friend, is it appropriate to have a heart to heart with them and explain to them why you don’t want to go out every night and that maybe you guys don’t have the same values at the moment? Absolutely. Just don’t cross that line and start acting “holier than thou” or lecturing them like you’re their mom. PF’s will not respond well to that and it could lead to a falling out and big drama.
- Don’t Lose Sight Of Who You Are
This correlates with number two. It’s okay to be different than your friend, that’s the beauty of friendship and the beauty of coexisting. It’s totally fine to have different interests, beliefs and thoughts. We’re all individuals after all. It comes back down to the whole R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Respect how they choose to be and they will likely return the favor. Don’t feel like you have to say something or do something because they are. Don’t be influenced or “peer-pressured.” You can gracefully decline at any point in time. Remember who you are, what you come from, what your goals are and how you’re going to get there, then check and see if what you’re doing is part of the grand plan. It’ll keep you grounded. Don’t forget about yourself when you hang with your PF, this leads me to number four.
- Distance Yourself
Maybe your PF hasn’t always been a PF maybe they used to be more laid back and you guys were thick as thieves. This is a tricky situation because your first instinct is to follow them to all the parties and clubs and have all sorts of fun with them but a lot of times you’ll reach a point where that lifestyle just doesn’t fit in with yours anymore. You catch yourself being exhausted always trying to keep up with her, or maybe you realize the lifestyle is interfering with your day to day priorities. You have to know when to cut the umbilical cord. Every once in awhile there comes a time, no matter who the person is, where you have to make the adult decision to back off because it’s simply what will keep you sane. Furthermore, some PF’s never change and some people PF’s go off the deep end. You have to recognize what’s what and be able to distance yourself as needed.
- Don’t Be a Wet Blanket
After all this talk off prioritizing and distancing yourself, I don’t want anyone to feel like you can’t be friends with your PF anymore. In fact, you can still be best friends with them, it’s a balancing act. After having set boundaries and spending time stabilizing your own self, its more than okay to continue to go out with them and have fun and party, just do it when you want to. Don’t be forced but don’t feel like you have to be a stuffy old prude either, you’re still a girl, and girls just wanna have fun!
In summary have a Party Friend is common and having difficulties with your PF is more common. Remember to set boundaries and give yourself space as needed. Respect who they are as well as respecting who you are and enjoy yourself have fun! Just do it on your own terms and in your own way.