You love your besties. You’ve been through everything together, and they stand by your side through thick and thin. But chances are there are things—personal things that are difficult to bring up—you wish you could tell them, but can’t. What if there was a way you could speak your mind, and make your friendship stronger in the process?
That’s the premise of an upcoming series on Freeform called The Letter. The unscripted show follows four friends participating in an anonymous experiment: They write each other tough-love letters with honest advice explaining how they can improve their lives.
Here at HelloGiggles, four women are recreating their experiment. Participants drew names and wrote unsigned letters to each other, and out of love, they didn’t hold back. Starting today, each woman must do whatever her letter says.
Participant #1: The Gossip
“You can be very gossipy sometimes,” reads Ann’s letter. “I know you don’t mean any harm, but gossip can be hurtful. You should think before you spread stories, because you might end up hurting someone’s feelings.”
As part of the experiment, Ann must reach out to five friends who have been negatively affected by her gossiping—whether they know it or not. She must apologize to each one individually and explain why she’s sorry she hurt them. Plus, every time she feels even slightly tempted to spread gossip, she must put $5 into a jar; after a week she’ll donate the contents to a good cause and see firsthand just how much she thinks about it. These activities will help Ann think before she gossips and get her in the habit of doing it less.
Participant #2: The Workaholic
“You’re always at work. I admire your dedication to your career, but it’s starting to affect our friendship,” reads Nicole’s letter. “You always cancel our plans because you have to work late. You need to be better at separating your personal life and your professional life.”
Nicole’s letter challenges her to set better boundaries. For one week she must determine a time to leave the office, and stick to it. She also must make plans to spend time with a friend after work and not break them for any reason. Hopefully, having a clear end to her workday and a clear start to her evenings will help Nicole reconnect with friends and avoid burning out on the job.
Participant #3: The Oversharer
“You post a lot on social media. Too much,” reads May’s letter. “You don’t need to be sharing this much of your personal life with the internet. I wish you would spend more time in the real world.”
For the next week, May must quit social media cold turkey. The letter states she must log out of all social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat so she can’t post updates OR read her friends’ updates. May also must make plans with a friend and either turn her phone off or leave it in her car the entire time they’re together. These activities will encourage her to practice living in the moment more, and not share every detail of her day online.
Participant #4: The Altruist
“You tend to put other people’s happiness before your own. It’s noble, but you overdo it,” reads Dani’s letter. “I want to see you treat yourself too, and make yourself your number one priority more often.”
The next week is going to be all about Dani. Her letter says that she must make an appointment with a life coach, with whom she will outline a new path to personal happiness. She also must spend an afternoon at a spa, indulging in a massage, facial, and mani/pedi. Hopefully Dani will see the value in “me” time and start putting herself first more.
Next week we’ll check back in with all four women, hear updates on their progress, and reveal who wrote which letter. We can’t wait to watch the series to see other BFFs participate in The Letter challenge! In the meantime, you can experience it with your friends here.