Female friendships, or having close girlfriends can be some of the most precious and valuable gifts in our lives. For others it can a source of stress, hurt, and anger. Why is this and what can we do as females to promote healthy friendships amongst ourselves?
- Leave your judgement at home-- Us females have somehow created a culture where we have these high expectations of each other. Why is she letting her baby have snot all over his face at the grocery store? Why is she having that third glass of wine at dinner? How could she SAY that?! Why did she bring store bought cookies to her child's school event? We often expect perfection from each other and cast judgement when it's not reached.
- Look in the mirror-- Are you judging others but then feeling frustrated when you feel judged? Unless you are perfect, which none of us are, we can't possibly harp on someone else for their shortcomings.
- Close your mouth-- What makes us think when the girl at the table goes to the bathroom that's our opportunity to say something about her? Women, stop talking about other women and look to see the good in each other-- and verbalize it! If you are with others who like to gossip, be the one in the group that points out the positive in the situation. Change the culture.
- Extend Grace- Offer grace to yourself and others. Give women the benefit of the doubt and be compassionate-- wouldn't you want someone to do the same?
- Be unoffendable- when we are easily offended, it's often because someone did or said something that rings too true in our lives. When we have these soft spots, we tend to let others feed them and make them into these huge mountains that feel unmovable. When we work to be unoffendable, we are telling ourselves that what you did or said or wasn't because of ME. Perhaps that person is having a hard day, or a hard week and is not quite themselves. Not everything someone else does has to be a personal attack on YOU.
- Create Time- no close relationship is formed without time and experience together. We can't expect to have close girlfriends when we haven't cleared our calander to create them.
- Allow trust to form- but over time. Trust is like a marble jar in the Kindergarten class. Each time the class does something good, a marble is added to the jar and when the jar is full, the class gets to have a party. This is just like how trust is formed. Giving little pieces of yourself and opening up just little by little is a way to test the waters. Trust is earned over time.
Remember, we are all in this thing together. It's not easy being a woman, a daughter, a mother, or a wife but some of my strongest days have been a result of women empowering and supporting me. We can be that for each other but we have to show up in the best female we can be.