(Written in 2017, re-shared and re-posted on this new blog)
Having meaningful, wholesome friendships are not only important but crucial! The best parts of our lives involve our girlfriends, there’s nothing better than We all know what it feels like to have an incredible friendship. But the problem is, a lot of us hold a lot of resentment and fear from our childhood & high school days. Friendship fights used to feel worse than a break up. You could also use these techniques to be a better girlfriend to your boyfriend, but that’s not the focus here!
So when I was at the peak of my career, on magazines, making lots of money, was when I actually had the most amount of people around me.
Then I moved away and went through a really hard time, they disappeared. As soon as the limo disappeared, so did they.
They say it’s lonely at the top… but that wasn’t my experience. Everyone wants to ride in the limo with you, but it’s who rides with you when the limo breaks down that matters. (I believe this is an Oprah quote) and this couldn’t have been more true for me and my experience.
I went to an all girls high school, and while I did have friends it was a lot of heart break, and like most people in their teens, I wasn’t exactly sure who I was either. If I could go back though, I would have done some more introspective work and figured out who I am and the types of friends I wanted to have. Because I wasn’t really sure, I wasn’t picky. I wasn’t selective with friends, I kind of took whoever was nice. And while that’s nice, that’s not really good. You become who you hang out with, and if you’re hanging out with people who have very different values and different people, while it was probably important to my development and was interesting to see all the different kinds of people, it didn’t help me develop or grow into who I wanted to be. I am glad I took it as a lesson to ‘this is who I don’t want to be’ but a lot of people get caught in these traps. My theory is that people who are very unhappy in friendships, don’t feel valued because they don’t really know who they are, what they offer, and aren’t appreciated in the friendship because they’re not on the same level (energy wise or otherwise) as the other people in this group. It’s so hard to look at leaving a friendship or friendship group as a positive thing, but it 99% of the time always is. Fast forward to university days, my 20s, I would say the biggest surprise I was that the ‘high school drama’ never stopped. I can tell you also, observing my parents, I don’t think it ever stops.
And you know why? Because most people don’t work on changing their patterns. They don’t work on themselves, they don’t work on becoming who they want to be, and at the end of the day we are all human and as long as we are human we will have conflict. How we deal with these conflicts is everything.
I would say ‘I have been lucky’ with my female friendships but that isn’t true either. I have worked hard on myself, and I know my value and who I am as a friend. I know with my whole soul that I am a great friend. I set out my boundaries and who I am early, I set out my values early, I am honest about who I am, and I convey who I am no holds barred all the time. I make it known that I am the honest friend, I have set values, I am fun and not always the best influence because I value fun over everything (although this is changing), and I am very chilled. I think it’s so important to know who you are in order to be a good friend, so you can ask for what you want and be clear about what you offer!
So, like most other things in life, like our fitness levels, our diets, our view on the world, these things and relationships come down to how we view ourselves.
Friendships are important. Humans need to connect. It’s just in our DNA. Women are very, very tribal. Females need female friends- we’re wired hormonally that way. When we have stress in our lives we are WIRED to reach out for female connections, and when women connect over positive things (think best sleepovers with girlfriends) your body releases oxytocin. (Happy drug)! I really truly believe that human connection, unconditional love, and loving other people are at the core of our being and important to longevity and happiness. Girlfriend, you NEED girlfriends!
So. Maybe you’re alone in a new city and you have none (Like I was, four times) or maybe you have gone through a really rough time and pushed everyone away. Maybe you just have never gotten along with females so you don’t try. Maybe you have been busy with school or work and you have only friends in this school or work sphere and you know in your heart you need to branch out.
Cool. Absolutely doable, lets do it.
- Start with yourself. Do online quizzes, hire a coach, get to know yourself, write down your goals, values, try to get this picture of you right now. Not who you used to be, not you yesterday, you right now and YOU who you want to be.
- Join an online community, and put yourself out there! Online girl squads are SUPER important. Don’t underestimate this, join as many as you can, and you will see your timeline change from negative political posts to positive motivating quotes.
- Go for coffee with someone you really admire, someone who makes you happy, and open up to them about your new journey to make some new girlfriends. Hear what they have to say about you and what they suggest, if they know and love you, they may have some good insight.
- Read. Read lots of books. Lots of self help, lots of business books, lots of mental state books, friendship books, relationship books, everything. EVERY single thought you’ve ever had, is somewhere out there in a book. You aren’t alone. And these thoughts you have and these worries you have, have been worried and processed by someone else out there and maybe they have a solution you may need to hear!
- If your fear of girl friendships is deep rooted, one of the best things you can do other than getting a coach, is to see a psychiatrist or counsellor.
Things to consider:
Know yourself, then know what you like.
It’s important to know what you like and who you are! This way you can set boundaries and lay it out exactly how you roll!
Questions to consider and answer:
What type of friend are you?
What type of friend do you WANT to be?
What type of friend do you want?
What type of friend do you admire? Think about the top 5 qualities you admire.
When was the last time you did self reflecting work?
When was the last time you sat down and thought about what you want in your friendships ?
When was the last time you thanked your friends for being great friends to you?
It’s never too late to change or start becoming a better girlfriend, or to find/create your girl squad. Even if you have been living in a shell of self protection, all you need to do is start reading, start talking, apologise, open up, and get honest with yourself! It takes time and you have to be brave, but it’s worth it.
You have a huge huge network of women in the Ambition Women facebook group who would love to hear your story, I myself would love to hear your story, and although a lot of us can feel lonely a lot of the time, all you need to do is reach out to someone.
I just want you to know that it does exist. Amazing, nourishing, encouraging, soul-fulfilling friendships do exist! They are out there, and you absolutely are worthy of them and can find them. Building your girl squad is easier than you think, and it starts with you!