It’s no surprise to many that I love my girls! My “day-ones”, the ones who I can proudly celebrate today more than 15 years of friendship!! Truth is, not many can say this and I guarantee you that none of this was without real work and effort. Life took us into separate paths and for a good while post high school, we struggled to find the time to hang and be our old selves – without worry, no responsibilities etc. All this changed really quickly and I feel that it is at this stage that many of us lose touch and sometimes interest in continuing a friendship, this may happen for various reasons – you simply outgrow your old friends, you find new and better friends you wish to associate with and everything else in between life, work and self-discovery can impact this pre-course.
Some how even in my early adolescence I made these friends knowing that I wanted to keep them for life. We just went through way too much and overcame so much together – I recall sitting in a shopping mall one day, on the floor in the middle of a walkway because I needed to open up to my girls about a situation I was going through, all I remember is them crying with me and suddenly everything felt better, I knew I would overcome that hurdle once they knew what was happening. I knew it then, that I could never part from them. Even after high-school, with time as scarce as it was, the laughter never got old, the catch-up always took off where we last left off (sometimes we spoke ourselves to sleep when catching up), all I remember from those intimate and very few conversations was that no matter what the situation, we were never quick to point fingers and judge each others choices in life, we in fact helped each other think of ways to better our situations whatever they may have been – boys, work, career, school and even new friendships, we helped each other navigate through some situations, even though not all but nonetheless we were always appreciative of the little-big roles we played in each others lives.
Fast-forward to 2017 – reunited like we never left each others side. We were so thrilled and we knew the catch-up session would be long, loud and way too real that we needed a mini-vacay in the city so we got a hotel room just to ourselves, had an amazing dinner and then went clubbing. Ladies, take note, this is the way to do it – independently! #NoBoysAllowed [Thank you Shana for the amazing idea and for the orchestration of the entire weekend, you’re a Boss Babe for life].
And of course, yours truly had to capture a few moments of glam…
In these pics, which were taken from our GIRLS WEEKEND this past weekend, are two of my high-school best friends, Dominique Reeby (left) and Shanell Badary (right). It’s always such a celebration when we link up… but I have to mention that there are three other phenomenal women missing in this set that I’ve carried with me for the longest time, this is an ode to them too – Ternielle Nelson, Millien Hendricks and Malieka Salie, I love you ladies. Truth is, I don’t think I go a week without checking in on them, sharing silly memes in the DM’s and sometimes just having the biggest heart-to-heart sessions.
I’ve gone through an amazing self-discovery journey in the past five years and every single one of these five women have played an integral role in this journey of “self”. Through this experience, I feel that I can deduce “5 Real Life Hacks” to forging lasting and true friendships with fellow women. Truth is, we are complicated, not just with the opposite sex, but with our common sex counterparts too. Jealousy, envy and so many other negative attributes can come between something as beautiful as a decade long friendship… and why is that?
Professor Robin Dunbar, head of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, says that male and female friendship groups are in fact very different.
“Women have what has become known as a best-friend-forever, who is another woman. The relationship is very intense and they are constantly on the phone to each other (especially if they move away), but it is also very fragile – when it breaks, it breaks terminally. Men typically don’t have such intense relationships, but instead a looser set of take-it-or-leave-it male friends whom they can easily replace if they move away.”
Sometimes a little introspection helps, ask yourself a few difficult questions such as: ” “Could I have been a better friend?”, “What if I had been a better supportive friend through that relationship that I didn’t agree with her on?”, “What if I had called more, cared more or reached out more?”, or “Maybe we just need an honest conversation to air out what’s been heavy on both our hearts?”
In my view however, girl-friendships like any other form of relationships – are an ongoing process of a good communication base, understanding, trust and unconditional love. I wish this on every single girl / woman out there, simply because I believe that – Women need women in their lives.
There’s so much to learn from one another and so much understanding to draw from each others experiences and in the end creating the best support system to help each other grow and elevate our levels of consciousness so that we can become great leaders and nurture even better leaders for the future.
5 REAL LIFE HACKS TO LASTING FRIENDSHIPS
So ladies, in an effort to create real, lasting friendships, here is what you can do:
- COMMUNICATE & SPEAK FROM A PLACE OF LOVE. For example, try being less judgmental. We often judge other women without even realizing we’re doing it. What you think you know is typically never the full story. Give someone a chance to show you who they are before you place any judgments.
- INTENTION IS EVERYTHING. For example, are you approaching a friend with an agenda? Are you forging a friendship for the right reasons? Are you willing to reciprocate? Or are you friends because it will help you climb a social ladder or get closer to someone else? What is your intention when you “share” information about someone else? If your intention is not loving it will surely catch up to you in the worst way. This spells insecure and bitter – normally the other woman can sense this a mile away and you may be faced with hostility and trust will forever be broken.
- ASPIRE AND INSPIRE HAPPINESS.For example, seek your own happiness so you can then learn to be happy for each other! Be happy for your friends’ successes. Support them, uplift them. Let them have their moment, allow them to shine even when your situation isn’t looking favorable. Chances are you will have your turn and you can then expect the same from them.
- PLAY YOUR ROLE & RESPECT THEIR SPACE. For example, they might make new friends, cliques don’t concern you. Don’t take that personally and don’t try to control who they can be friends with. Of course occasionally you may feel the need to warn them about certain “bad vibes” but don’t impose your disposition (refer to Hack 1), find a positive way to communicate your concerns. Your friends need to experience other forms of friendships too, just as much as you do.
- RESPECT BOUNDARIES. For example, not even your closest friend has to discuss very private matters with you – finances, marriage, kids etc. If they do, that’s great, it’s another level of trust, but they certainly don’t have to. When referring to “boundaries” I also cannot help but think about avoiding DRAMA and GOSSIP. Grown women don’t gossip maliciously about the people they care about – discuss, intervene, confront the situation or situations positively. If you love drama, respect that your friend might not enjoy that or want that in their lives.
That is my 2 cents on how-to build strong and lasting friendships with your girls. I sat and pondered on the 5 key things that have helped me maintain mine.
No matter what ladies, remain in LOVE & GRATITUDE for one another.
Hope you enjoyed the read!