It’s hard to believe that HBO’s Girls is coming to an end this weekend, following an epic six-season run. This is the show that not only introduced us to “the voice of a generation” in the form of creator, star, writer, producer and director Lena Dunham, but it also made us look at ourselves and our friendships in a whole new way (whether we were clothed or not).
Heading into the big finish, we looked back at some of the best and worst moments of the show to remind ourselves of some very important life lessons… and they all revolve around female friendships, of course.
1. Say you’re sorry
If we’ve learned anything from Hannah and co., it’s that everyone says and does things they regret. Whether it’s sleeping with an ex, ditching a friend at the last minute or acting like a pill on your bestie’s wedding day, sometimes you just need to stop trying to make your point and to say you’re sorry instead.
Or, you could just be like Marnie and point the finger at everyone but yourself.
2. Learn to share the hard truth
You know how we often say the nice things in order to help make our friends feel better? Yeah, these girls don’t do that, and it helps them to be better people. Or so we like to think. Whether it’s Hannah telling Marnie that her affair is a bad idea, or Shoshanna explaining to Jessa that she needs to get a life, sometimes you just need to hear something you’re in denial about. And a true friend will usually be the one to tell it to you.
3. Ask the hard questions
There are those who love confrontation, and those who do anything they can to avoid it. The problem with the latter group is that they often let things fester for so long that they tend to blow up in the long run. We need look no further than Shoshanna and her epic “Beach House” meltdown.
Sometimes in order to salvage a friendship, you need to ask the tough questions. Like in Season 5, when Hannah simply asks Jessa if she’s okay.
4. Keep the lines of communication open
Love or hate Jessa as a character, we admire her ability to say what’s on her mind. That’s why, even when she’s at her most ridiculous self, there’s something about her that you just have to respect. Your friends may not always agree with your opinions or the things you do, but if you’re open and honest with them they can at least try to understand you.
5. Don’t make everything about you
Let’s be honest: the characters on this show are some of the most narcissistic we’ve ever seen. Yet every once in a while they prove that even when they’re at their worst, they can put aside their own stuff in order to be there for their friends. Sometimes, you just need to make sure that your bestie is going to have the best wedding ever, even though she’s marrying a total d-bag.
6. Step outside of your comfort zone
Whether it’s being a plus-one at a swanky party with people you would never otherwise associate with, packing up and going to a cabin with your bestie so that she can figure out her stuff with the guy she’s having an affair with, or simply eating a new food because that’s what your girlfriend really needs post-breakup, Girls has taught us to suck it up. Step outside of that comfort zone every once in a while; it won’t just help your friend, it may make you grow as a person too.
7. Spend time on your own
We’ve always loved Shoshanna as a character, but we’ve never loved her more than when she realized that what her life really needed was a big change. A change like moving to Japan for a job, falling so in love with the country and culture along the way that she didn’t even care what she was leaving behind. Okay sure, she eventually came home when her job bellied up and she needed to reclaim herself, but she came home a much, much better person as a result of it all.
8. Remember to check in
As these ladies proved to us time and time again, it’s pretty easy to become so self-absorbed you forget about what’s happening in your friends’ lives. Not only will checking in every once in a while help you to avoid accidentally crashing a friend’s engagement party, but it may help you get out of your own head fro a while, too.
9. Forgive and forget
There have been plenty — and we mean plenty — of bad words and heated exchanges between this group of gals. But at the end of the day they’ve been able to forgive one another for pretty much everything. And yes, that includes Jessa secretly dating, and sleeping with, Adam behind Hannah’s back.
10. Dance it out
Of course, when all else fails following an epic fight, sometimes the best solution is to simply dance it out. Best. Episode. Ever.
11. Learn when to let go
Sadly, as Girls proved, sometimes even the best friendships reach a point where saying you’re sorry, sacrificing and dancing it out no longer work. And that’s when you have to say a hard goodbye to someone who was once a huge part of your life. Shoshanna said as much in last week’s second-to-last episode, as the girls bid farewell to each other and Hannah left New York to focus on a better job and future for her unborn baby.
In cases like that, all you can do is suck it up, remember the good times, and smile about the friendship you had.