I truly believe that we as a whole—the whole of women, the feminine, the female species—are going through a major, significant transition. Never before have we had such pressure and expectation upon us. And, never before have we had the opportunities combined with the knowledge and resources that we have now. We are all being called to be our higher selves, to become all that we’ve been ultimately designed to be. It is imperative that we understand that we are here to work together. To change our worlds—personal and the large one—we must support and encourage one another. The time of doing it all on our own is over. We can’t sustain it without killing ourselves.
WE MUST LET GO OF JUDGEMENT! We must give up shaming, blaming, competing, etc. with each other. There is enough room for us all to have what we want most and to be who we are supposed to be.
Rules for Being a Good Woman Friend
1) You Are Not Her
You may have a lot in common. You may have a long history together. You may know what she’s thinking and what she’s going to say before she does, but you are NOT her. You cannot know what is best for her. AND ‘mistakes’ (or ‘lessons’ as I call them), are necessary for her to get where she’s going. Sometimes avoiding an experience just prolongs the journey. She does NOT need your criticism or reasons why she’s bad and wrong. She’s already got that covered. As a matter of fact, this goes for every person. Stop criticizing and judging. You simply don’t know and you’re not in their shoes. Or, as Brene Brown says; you are not in the ring. Even if we are in the ‘same’ ring, we are to have our own experience in it.
2) She’s Not Your Competition—Use Jealousy as Fuel
If your girlfriend is doing something, or has *something* you want or feel that you can do better than her, instead of ‘taking her down’ or stealing her idea, use it as inspiration to build on and rise. Tell her that she’s inspired you. Tell her you admire what she’s doing and it caused you to be and do better. Give her credit! Giving her acknowledgement does not take away from you. There is more than enough for us all.
If your girlfriend causes you to feel envy, look at that. *What has she got that you want? * Then ask yourself, are you willing to do what she did to get that? Envy/competition means there is something that is being triggered in you that wants attention. Find out what it is.
3) Be a Grown Up About Your Feelings
If you feel misunderstood, offended, betrayed, hurt or angry by your friend, like all relationships, you must deal with it. Remind yourself that you have these emotions because you risked being vulnerable and open. You needed/wanted something from your friend and were met with something else. Figure it out. Is it them? Is it you? Once you are clear on what’s going on and can move from a place of curiosity not blame or hurt, be the mature, bigger person and go to your friend, sincerely wanting to work things out. This can only deepen your friendship or end it. Take the risk. Either way you win.
4) Gossip Has Got to Go
If she’s dropping juicy tidbits or bitchy asides about someone who’s a ‘friend’ of hers, you can know 100% that she’s is saying similar things about you to others. Do NOT tolerate it. Stop it as it’s happening. Teach her that you will not participate in the taking down of another sister. Explain to your friend you are willing to listen if your friend is willing to address her real problem with her other friend. If she won’t say it to her, then she should not say it about her. And, the same goes for you! Do NOT go to someone else about your friend. Ever. If you can’t or won’t say it to her, don’t say it about her.
If she asks you to keep what she tells you to yourself. Keep it to yourself! You will not die from keeping a secret. As juicy as it might feel and hard to resist, do not allow your friend to ‘dish’ on someone else to you.
5) Call/Show Up
Make your friendship a two-way street. Call her when you are going through something. Ask for help. And, when she needs you, show up. Even if you can’t physically show up, texts, emails, notes, flowers, etc. help so much. This goes for good things too! Share and celebrate successes. One can never have too much support and encouragement.
6) See Her as More
The greatest service you can be to your friend (your child, your spouse, any one) is to see them as more, as better, as their ‘higher self.’ As I mentioned at the beginning, her self-judgement is already causing her to feel small and less than if your friend is acting from her fear and her self-criticism. She needs to be reminded that she’s bigger, that she’s capable of rising. She needs you to believe in her and for her until her ‘sanity’ is restored.
7) For Heaven’s Sake, Have Some Fun
Remember how much you and your friends laughed when you were young? Poke fun at yourself. Find a way to find humour in what’s going on in your current circumstances (if it’s not too dire). Regularly do something that reminds you that you know how to enjoy yourselves.
I know I have failed as a friend on all of these points in my lifetime. And I’ve had friends fail me. But, we are here to learn, to grow and become our better to best selves. I'll keep showing up for my friends and I sincerely appreciate my mom, sisters, daughters and friends who have helped me through when I needed them most, know all about me and love me anyway.
We ARE the change we need to see in the world. Our actions inside our relationships with our girlfriends matter. There is always a ripple effect. Supporting, encouraging and growing one another is what the world needs.
(Helpful Hint: All of these ‘rules’ apply to our relationships with ourselves.)
*Something she has that you want? * This does NOT apply to significant others! If you are entertaining romantic notions about someone that your girlfriend is intimately/romantically involved with, seek help now! You are not ‘meant’ to be with someone that is with your friend. And, ‘he/she/they’ is not a catch if they’re with her and flirting with you.
Now, go call your friend and discuss.