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Managing Male Friend Groups In a Healthy Way

Friend groups can be hard to handle. Balancing the complexities of different people is something that takes effort but is ultimately the way to creating beautiful, strong human bonds. Friendship dynamics vary among all friend groups – not everyone has the same problems.  Stereotypically, males tend to have a harder time expressing their emotions, and […]

Friend groups can be hard to handle. Balancing the complexities of different people is something that takes effort but is ultimately the way to creating beautiful, strong human bonds. Friendship dynamics vary among all friend groups – not everyone has the same problems. 

Stereotypically, males tend to have a harder time expressing their emotions, and these emotions are often guarded by ego. This is how toxic masculinity can prevent male friendships from thriving, unlike the dynamic of stereotypical female friendships. 

Friend groups consist of people with similar interests, sense of humor and overall a shared strong connection. Different personalities interact differently and each contribute in their own unique ways to strengthen the bond of the group.

Separation of friends is very common. It’s important to recognize that sometimes certain people don’t get along and that’s okay. The “friends” in this situation are often better off alone than surrounded by people that aren’t the best for them. 

Mikey Wiggin (’22) says a big difference between an all boys friend group and a mixed gender friend group is that coed groups sometimes sprout romantic dilemmas.

“The mixed group was nice but it got complicated because of feelings,” he says.

Mikey Wiggin (‘22) and Maya Snyder (‘22) make up after two years.

As many young high schoolers search for love, feelings often affect friendships. Romance can easily complicate a friend group — people can take sides or the group could split entirely. There are many friendships between boys and girls that change due to the complications that romantic feelings produce. Sometimes, when successful, the friendship transforms into a relationship. But sometimes, it dies painfully. For example, Maya Snyder (‘22) and Mikey lost their friendship after breaking up as sophomores. Fortunately, they made up during the interview process of this article.

Mikey dove deeper into the functionality of his all-boy friend group.

“When it’s appropriate timing, we’ll check in and be a little more serious to express how we feel.”

Generally, the emotional side of boys isn’t talked about as much as it should be. Mikey feels most comfortable talking about emotions at night and insisted if a sensitive topic came up, it was mainly at night.

“If we’re talking about late night talks, then we’ll talk about feelings,” the senior says.

Communication and vulnerability is a key aspect in creating deeper, long-lasting relationships. You don’t have to spill your guts and reveal all of your secrets, but giving your friends insight on your personal life may open up doors to more complex connections. 

Diego Aguirre (‘22) expresses how his openness in his relationships have helped him and his friends grow. The growth that honesty perpetuates hopefully gives friends a strong sense of comforting support that adds substantial value to their lives.

“Vulnerability helps my friends and I understand each other to make the friendship deeper and more meaningful,” Diego says.

Healthy and balanced friendships give people an opportunity to learn how to maintain and strengthen relationships to form significant friendships that last a lifetime. Although males have a generally harder time opening up, these close connections can be just as strong any other friendship.

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