Being raised to be a strong and independent woman, I never understood how important relationships other women were. When conflict would arise with those that I associated with, it was an immediate “discard and move on” approach. I never learned the value of true sisterhood and friendship outside of my family structure. Like myself, so many young girls are taught “you don’t need anybody.” While in theory, you can accomplish so much on your own, friendships with other women add so much more to our lives. My mother, like so many of us, experienced toxic female relationships full of drama and unnecessary competition. I went through much of my life trying to avoid this at all cost in the name of peace. One day while grabbing a bite (alone), I thought to myself: Does every relationship have to be this way? Can there be amazing friendships with other women?! The answer is YES!!
Everyone is searching for their “Waiting to Exhale” perfect group of friends. A whole “Sex and the City” vibe complete with bottomless mimosas, Saturday brunch and insta-worthy captures! The realness of this is: It takes work! No one develops an amazing friendship overnight and you must be conscious in your efforts. Here are the best ways to get started with building friendship:
Assess your desires when attaining friendships. Just like dating, jot down your wants and no-go’s. Identify where there are settings in your current life where you can make these new friends. Example: If you are frequently at a certain park, take notice of the parents around you. Notice who’s at a park you frequent on more than one occasion. While they could me the killer (ha, ha! I’m messin’!!), chances are, there’s a mom there that shares a common interest in visiting the park with the kids. You can start a conversation to decide whether to move forward from there. Know what type of relationship our desire; whether social or lasting. Social friendships can become lasting, but I have found ensuring similar core values is usually the glue to sustain a lasting relationship in the growing phase.
Get out there! You can’t make new friends inside of the house. I’ll say it one more time for the people in the back: You can’t make new friends inside of the house. Once you’re out, show yourself friendly! This is a big one. I am guilty of the resting b&@# face! You know it… the “don’t bother me, go back from where you came, not in the mood, meaner than a junkyard dog” face. Choose to be friendly and open when you are interested in meeting new people. Once you establish initial effort, continuing to be available is your next key to the relationship thriving. Even if it’s once every two months, make an effort to get together. A latte, movie or even a play date with spurts of meaningful conversation. Pencil in a phone call with an allotted time. Making strides to be available, begins the building blocks of togetherness that will lead to loyalty and trust.
I’ve touched on this in my Friendship Afloat blog post on guruwhoknew.com… This is a juncture that many relationships will come to at some point: CONFLICT. Handling conflict properly and choosing not to abandon the relationship directly after is huge. List the concerns that you have and share in an intimate, yet unbiased setting to diminish intimidation and promote openness. This can ensure a continual and positive experience going forward or a clean break. Both scenarios leave each person with an understanding and feelings of being heard. No one likes being improperly disposed of. It is amazing when we can go the extra mile as a sisterhood and do our part to counteract those feelings.
Women having thriving relationships with other women is what our girls need to see. Positive examples of women growing from one another, inspiring and uplifting each other as well as loving on one another. It is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves, our daughters and generations to follow. Finding what joins us is more beautiful than picking through what creates divide. Please visit www.guruwhoknew.com for more and follow on all social platforms @guruwhoknew !! Until next time Mommination Family!