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The Leader Conundrum.

Are you the leader in your friendship group?

A recent tweet asking how women choose the ‘leaders’ in their friendship groups spurred hot debates on Twitter. Many users narrated their personal experiences in their friendship groups, while some others disagreed with their opinion, countering with their own experiences. The tweet in question was originally in response to tweets where women discussed having issues with their boyfriends or partners who were not the leaders in their own friendship group. The women who seemingly had issues with their partners not being the leaders in their friendship group said that it was often because, in their experience, their partner was always subservient in the group.

The discussion about the dynamics of women’s friendship groups, especially how it pertains to how a leader is chosen, looked a little different. Many people agreed that there is usually a leader and such leader is mostly chosen by who was either the prettiest, voluptuous or in some cases, who had the richest boyfriend. Now, it is no lie that women often decide on friends through looks and superficial things. However, both men and women choose friends based on social class or proximity to wealth so it is important to note that this isn’t peculiar to any gender.

While there is obviously nothing wrong with having well-to-do friends, it is also important to note that most people would mostly be friends with people who are in their socio-economic class. Therefore, making people feel less than themselves simply because they are in a friendship group with someone who happens to be significantly richer than them is simply ridiculous. If you turn a person, or in this case, a friend into an unpaid ‘personal servant’ simply because you are wealthier or in a higher social class than they are and then turn around to call them a friend, you are simply a horrible person. It's as simple as that.

Similarly, girls who have friends who are conventionally attractive and then decide to put down or shame the least conventionally attractive person in the group obviously have warped ideas of what friendship means. Although it may seem like a big joke when discussed, it is very often that we hear of brides kicking their fat friends out of bridesmaid's trains or choosing to only post their light skin friends on Instagram and other social media platforms. If you do not want to be friends with a person because you feel they are somewhat lesser, then do not be friends with them. Simple. Befriending them and then making life even worse for them shows an utter lack of regard for their personhood.

As for people caught up in friendship groups where their looks, pockets or social proximity is constantly scrutinized, I’ll implore them to leave such groups and find people who genuinely love and care for them, rather than regarding them as a place holder till they meet people who fit their status quo or stringing them along so they can have them as glorified errand messengers.

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