The downside of a BFF - Metro US

The downside of a BFF

Teenage BFF's talking about their problems.  Credit: Colourbox For teenage girls a best friend can mean everything, but the way they deal with their problems together can lead to depression.
Credit: Colourbox

A BFF (Best Friend Forever) is something that every young girl hopes to find. It is a special relationship full of inside jokes, conversations without words and crazy adventures. A best friend is your partner in crime, most loyal defender and is the one person who without fail provides you with a shoulder to lean on in times of trouble.

Teenage girls also spend a great deal of time rehashing the negative aspects that occur on a daily basis with their BFF. Whether it’s in person, over the phone or typed out in a text, these young ladies not only discuss their problems, but they scrutinize them from every imaginable angle and sympathize together. Feeding off each other’s pessimistic feelings in this fashion is referred to as “co-rumination.”

According to “Psychology Today,” that right there is the problem.

Even though it may seem like a healthy, positive release of stress and anxiety to talk it out, it’s the amount of time that these girls spend discussing these topics that can be detrimental to their emotional well-being.

Amanda Rose and her colleagues at Miami University have been focusing on co-rumination for years. In the most current study they discovered that girls who co-ruminated with a friend had a greater risk of developing symptoms of depression than girls who co-ruminated less.

However, co-ruminating isn’t all bad either. Rose found that it actually has a positive effect on the friendship because it creates a stronger social bond. Yet, despite all the warm fuzzy feelings, the threat of long-term depression still lingers.

The remedy is simple. Teenage girls must find some sort of balance between complaining about their issues and utilizing active problem-solving strategies.

Worried that your daughter may be in danger of this? Here are some steps you can take as a parent to prevent the potential symptoms of depression:

1. Talk about it!

-Discuss how problem solving and finding solutions to issues that arise is a better way to deal with negative situations.

2. Keep your door open.

– If your daughter and her BFF can’t come up with any answers tell them to come to you for help.

3. Practice makes perfect.

– Have a practice session with your child, even if the problem you dissect is a fake one. Converse about the different steps she can take to solve the dilemma. She will be more prepared when real trouble strikes!

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