I assumed by the time I hit my 30s all women would just get along.
Yeah, of course some people are destined to be better friends and some women’s personalities mesh better than others — not everyone has to be best friends — however I never thought there would be groups of women that didn’t make you feel wanted, a la high school mean girls.
Does this reality really exist beyond episodes of Real Housewives (which by the way, I love the series but hate, hate the petty arguments and women tearing each other down)? Sadly, it’s out there.
I’m not sure why, and it makes me sad to think about. I’m fortunate to have some phenomenal friends, the ones who build each other up, who back each other, who even though we’re all different are in it to make each other feel our best. We help each other, either personally or with our businesses, guy advice, picking out a cute dress, and we’re there for each other when things suck.
Then there are other women — and it hurts my heart to even say it — that look at me as if I’m less than. And they do it to others, too. Why? It’s not even worth speculating and they either don’t realize it, don’t care to realize it or won’t admit they do it. There are women who have excluded me or left me out of conversations.
That hurts like hell.
If we’re being honest though, want to know what breaks my heart even more? A year ago another woman told me I had put her in a few group situations that didn’t make her feel her best. Me? I did? I strive to be so inclusive, to be so friendly. The details are unimportant as are the hours trying to think through why I, albeit unintentionally, had done that except that I did something that hurt another woman and that’s so far from the woman I am or want to be.
I know the pain of feeling left out and I’d never want to do that to another woman. I think most women who know me say I go out of my way to be kind and inclusive (even more than I should at times), which is one of the traits I find most important in myself and in others.
Whether we realize it or not, we could have hurt others. I’ve been to parties where I’ve reconnected with old friends and likely didn’t make as much of an active effort to include the new girl. And, sometimes I’ll make an over-active effort to speak to the new girl, so much so, that I realize I never caught up with old friends.
We’re all human. What’s important is that our actions are filled with good intentions. And, that if we make a mistake, we own up, realize our faults, learn from them and try our damnedest not to do it again. Yeah, I’ve forgotten to call a friend back or an email gets lost in the gmail black hole, but I own it and feel confident that my 95% positive interactions make up for that 5% of life insanity, brain freezes, exhaustion and plain old forgetfulness.
I only want to be one of the nice girls and I’ve worked hard over the past few years to only surround myself with fellow nice girls. Making friends can be really hard and I feel incredibly blessed that I’ve become close with a handful of awesome, kind, talented, gorgeous and fun women.
Make sure that each of your friendships bring you joy and recognize when it’s time to part ways if someone is not building you up. Friendships are absolutely quality over quantity.