Team Report: Friends

 

Friends (aka Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey, and Ross) may have left our tv screens 14 years ago, but they’re forever in our hearts and on Netflix. Everyone has an opinion of what “on a break” means (team Rachel, btw) but have you ever sat down to examine whether or not theirs was a healthy or entirely co-dependent relationship? For our sake, we hope your answer is ‘no’ because if not, you’ve basically already read this blog.

Read on for our newest Team Report and see if their being there for each other is really #squadgoals.

 Clear Boundaries

One of the keys to getting along in a group setting is to have clear personal boundaries which you communicate so that others are aware…

Although one of the problems, when you have clear boundaries within your friend group, is that you can mistake what’s acceptable within it and apply it outside where it doesn’t go over as well.

Case in point: Ross. He tends to lose his cool a lot with the group. They accept it as part of his normal behavior, and never really confront him over it. Since he’s never confronted about it, he feels it’s ok to absolutely flip his lid when a colleague eats his sandwich from the office refrigerator. That doesn’t go over well. Is that an irritating thing to have happen? Yes, absolutely. Is it worth freaking out at your coworker over, and putting your job at risk? Absolutely not.

The thing about boundaries is when they’re a little wacky, and your core group of friends accepts it, you get a skewed sense of what is actually acceptable in society because you’re not being told you’re being weird. Being told you’re weird by your peers is called ‘social correction’ and is an essential part of existing in a group. When your behavior is outside of what’s acceptable, the group will pull you back based on their feedback to you. If your group isn’t using social correction for your behavior, the feedback you get is that your behavior is acceptable. Problems arise when what your group thinks is acceptable doesn’t translate into other groups you have to exist in: mainly work, school, and the general public.

As you can see…the Friends group allowed a lot of, uh, interesting behavior to go down.

Note: It’s generally frowned upon to dance on a table. Any table.

Supportiveness

One of the best things about Friends is how they were there for each other, it was right there in the theme song. Support is a crucial function of friendship and is one of the significant attributes we seek out when building relationships.

However, the group was not always supportive of each other, and when they decided to turn on each other, they usually took it to extremes.

One must always prepare for…unagi.

On the plus side, they were always quick to resolve their issues and not hold a grudge for too long, leading to a healthy resolution of conflict.

…Unless you’re Ross and Rachel. We suspect 20+ years and counting these two are still debating what “on a break” means.

 Cliquey-ness

 We’ve touched on this briefly, but the core group is extremely cliquey. On the mellow end of the spectrum, it means that they’re there for each other through thick and thin…on the other end, they’re there for each other at the exclusion of everyone else. That means that the same ideas, feelings, and ways of handling things are recirculated again and again. That leads to a lack of innovation, and without innovation, you don’t have growth.

We’re all for having a close-knit group of friends who can help you through thick and thin…but when that’s your only source of interaction, you’re not going to get fresh ideas to propel you forward or new ways to resolve conflict. Obviously, for the sake of a sitcom, you need to keep the interaction between the core group, but we strongly encourage you to broaden your horizons in the real world, to get different perspectives than from your core group of friends.

Conclusion

If you’re lucky enough to have a close-knit group of friends like Joey, Ross, Chandler, Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe—congratulations! We hope you also have other people you socialize with, because frankly those guys may have been close, but as a group, they had a fairly unhealthy dynamic in real world terms that often negatively impacted them outside of their social bubble.

…They got extremely weird in many cases.

We all want to be understood, liked, and have a supportive environment to have fun in, but this crew takes it to an extreme. So, while they’re fun to watch, they’re not exactly a group to aspire to.

Also, for the record, it’s bizarre to exchange apartments on a bet. That’s not normal under any circumstances.