Cultivating Stronger Relationships With Our Girlfriends

Astonishingly enough, relationships between women are the most valued, yet can be the most difficult to maintain. And when you become a mama, friendships are detrimental to your sanity, however they are still tough to maintain, why is that?

I read on the Sisterhood Collective below:

The 5 reasons why women betray each other, as Iyanla Vanzant –  relationship expert and New York Times best-selling author – sees them are the following:

1) Self-hatred. We see in others something we don’t like about ourselves, and we point it out in them because as long as we do that, we don’t have to point the finger at ourselves.

2) Taking relationships for granted. We don’t treat our relationships with respect, we don’t honor them. We fail to recognize when someone is putting in the work, and we get frustrated when they stop.

3) External validation. We expect others to make us feel good about ourselves, and when they don’t deliver, we tend to get mean.

4) Mimicking others’ behaviors. If we saw women in our family or local community betray their friends, we’ll go into the world thinking that’s the way it should be.

5) Unrealistic expectations. Our expectations for what someone should do for us can be very different than what they can actually do for us. When we’re not getting what we think we deserve, we lash out.

Whew, Sis! Do you agree with these?

I just posed his question on facebook and I am loving what’s being uncovered.

On of my friends replied, "It's the narrative we have been told by our parents, the proverbial, “You don’t need any friends, I am your friend.” " I can’t lie, I feel convicted because I am guilty of preaching this. Why?

Would you believe we say it of endearment and frustrations? 

As a parent we are extremely upset when we see our children hurt over the debacle of friendship drama, especially depending on the nature of the blow up. Additionally, we want our children to know “You’ve got a friend in me.” Consequently, as I think about this, it's not completely true. Yes, we want a friendship BUT its conditional and we don't talk about that part.

Here is the deal, we need our friends. Our friends serve as a beautiful extension of our family, and they can be the backbone to our successes and our encouragement. Think about it. 

When you launch that business, there is nothing that makes you feel better than your, mate, mom and your friends showing up for you! When friends show up for us, our self doubt is alleviated and we feel a sense of security. Friendships give us the platform to be vulnerable, in ways we are not comfortable doing with our moms, and it serves as therapy in so many ways.

So, how can we build stronger relationships with our friends and perspective friendships? I snooped around on the internet and of course I found lots of information on communication and I think we know that is definitely a key factor. However, I wanted to get to the meat and potatoes of this thing because more than ever, during these days, we NEED our friends. 

On TheBeehive.Bumble They shared these tips:

  1. Be the friend you want to have

  2. Bond in more than one area

  3. Remember: Consistency, positivity, vulnerability

  4. Pave the way for open communication

I think this list is palabele. It makes sense and they are steps that can easily be done if you are willing to do the work. 

On the Sisterhood Collective they shared these tips:

  1. Make a conscious effort to avoid letting your friends slip away

  2. Forget the old times and focus on the current opportunities

  3. Integrate your friendships into your to do list or calendar

As I read through this list, the most difficult is forgetting old times. This can be particularly difficult depending on what happened in the past. I think it's easy to see how this can be a bottleneck in relationships/friendships.

Moving on...Let's be solution oriented.

Basically, we should nurture our friendships just as we do any other relationships. Granted, due to time and children it can become difficult, BUT I think we desire that our friends SHOW UP. Showing up can be done in a multitudes of ways. Even if it's a text that says “I’m checking in on you.” 

During these pressurizing times, its important we nurture our friendships and establish new ones. I KNOW Drake has filled our minds with the idea of “no new friends” but I can honestly say, those relationships matter and can be refreshing. I've met some incredibly DOPE women as an adult. 

As we PUSH our way through these difficult times, check on your girlfriends. You don’t have to have a zoom call daily or talk on the phone. Ask "how are you doin’?!" Its the one thing we often neglect to ask before we dump all of our problems on them.

I guess It's time we re-think our individual approach to friendships and how we can be better and learn from our mistakes.

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