Category Archives: Relationships: Interviews & Insight

Qualities In A Mate//Fix My Relationship

Morning Cyber Family!

How often do you consider your values/standards when considering a mate?  Is this a no negation type of situation?

Sometimes we can’t help who we’ve grown attached to. Maybe this person completely took us by surprise, and now we are left with a list of qualities that we believed we needed in a potential mate, but isn’t as necessary as once before.

I strongly believe that it’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for. You need to be comfortable enough to know what you’d be willing to put up with. Even if you’re new to dating and haven’t figured out the specifics yet…you can eventually decide then what comprises you are willing to make for love.

I normally live a pretty structured life. What I mean is that I have an idea of how my weeks will look like. This helps keeps me grounded. Relationship wise, I could not be happier. The both of us had general standards that we used to make the decision of whether or not we’d even be interested in one another long-term. Initially, we had similar plans for the future, enjoyed one another’s company, and were and continue to provide support, love, and laughter for one another.

In honor of the Fix My Relationship series, a few people were able to provide me with some feedback on what it is they look for when considering entering into a new relationship.

Here’s the results from the mini interview I completed with those willing bodies. 

In my mate, I am looking for someone who is…

*God fearing, secure (don’t want nobody that’s not confident in themselves), comfortable to be around, funny, intelligent, goal oriented, and attractive.

*1.Intelligent (and by that I really mean insightful ) 2. Beautiful 3. Moral 4. Loves black people and culture. The 4th things is important because I may make personal/ career sacrifices to help black folk, and I would need a significant other who was cool with that.

*God-fearing, family oriented, has good morals, a job/career (LoL), has goals set for himself, someone who has a sense of humor! Someone who is spontaneous! Someone that I know can help me grow as a Christian! Someone I can talk to and confide in…The list can go on and on lol!!

*I would like for my mate to be supportive, trusting and family oriented with an ambitious never settle attitude. I’m a guy who wants to build an empire.

*Believes in God, well-mannered, smart and intelligent, has goals, respectful, humorous, handsome, well-kept (dresses nice).

*Takes a while to figure out the right formula. After a lot of trial and error…I think I have a pretty good list. I look for someone who on the same page with education and career goals. I look for someone who is intrinsically motivated to succeed not just get by. I look for someone who treats me well and makes me laugh. Someone who I can bet self around. If I’m not comfortable enough for you to see me without mascara and wearing a headcap…you’re not the one lol! I’m looking for someone who I can have a conversation with, not just a physical relationship. Someone who has similar interests and family desires. Preferably someone who is physically fit. Race doesn’t matter.

How likely are you to stand by your ideal qualities in a mate?

Did your current mate match your pre-determined list?

~FreeBryd

Image: http://www.wikihow.com/

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Building Relationships//Research Results

In an earlier post, I wrote about finding ways that women could improve their relationships with one another.  If you missed that post, click here to read more about it.

In a nutshell, I’ve realized that it is not often that women can come together to mingle, without the sole purpose being on family.  For example, men typically use sports as a way to connect.  Usually they can meet at a number of local spots, and bond over this experience together…I want the same for women.

Today, I wanted to post the results for those of you who are interested in finding new ways of networking with other women.

women

Here are the questions that I posted earlier to help me obtain this information:

  1. What is currently available to women where they can go to mingle and network (places, activities to complete together)?
  2. Of these places, what is the primary focus (family/relationship/work oriented, etc.)?
  3. What would you like to see women do together, if there are currently no places that meet your needs/expectations on networking with other women?

From Blogger: Ladycamecu

1).Places women tend to go to socialize tend to exclude men like shopping or are centered around things that they are doing with other moms or something like play dates. In my experience I tend to go wine and design classes, dinner dates, find fun races (adventure races) or cheap groupon activities that are new to do together like bowling, spa dates and the like.
2). We talk about small talk to get it out of the way but then we like to focus on each other’s goals, future plans, fun, and how to make those moves. We also like to talk about health and how to change it and relationships are a biggie as I am a counselor but we are in our own right so I’m sure that is a big one for all of us).
3). I would like to see women do more physical activity together, I do not see that as much as I should. I see some walking, but there are other activities that can be fun such as ropes courses, team sports (even casually), mental games like escape houses, photography classes (confidence building) or pole fitness (fun, fitness, and confidence building) etc…

From Blogger: Sammy

1 and 2- the spa, nail shop, beauty salon, SEPHORA!!! I can only think of places for grooming.
3-I’m thinking these places are great for women. But I usually am flying solo or hanging with my friends. These are not really places that women go for socializing with strangers. If these places had lady’s special or nights, they may draw in larger quantities of women and this may result in socializing among women.

From Blogger: Nena

1)I started a Ladies Night that we do each month with some close lady friends of mine. To give you an idea we have:

~Gone to a local restaurant that offered a ladies night deal
~Done a Paint Night where we go to a local restaurant or bar to do some guided painting:)
~Celebrated birthdays at one of our homes and made high-heeled cupcakes we saw on Pinterest and played board games

2) We usually like to just have some fun together since we rarely hang out with just the women. We use it as our time to just relax and get away from the regular routine.

3) I agree with ladycamecu about having more physical activities to do together…for women only. Like having a Ladies Mud Run. Dance classes (like belly dancing) and in the continuing education seminars for my professions.

From Blogger: Daisy

My friends and I did plenty of the typical activities, pedicures, shopping, bars, and restaurants. We talked about going to an art class but it never worked out with our schedules. As I’ve tried to transition into a more active lifestyle and make some changes I try to plan more outdoor activities like hiking or even just a walk. I’d like to try some cooking classes and more active activities like belly dancing. Fun activities that help with my change to a healthier lifestyle.

From Blogger: EGOTist

  1. I’ve been to brunches, game nights, writing sessions, birthday parties, and toy and make-up parties. I feel like most of the networking and hang-out sessions I’ve been to have been organized by women and targeted exclusively to them. Meet-Up is a great way to connect and I’ve been to some interesting events through them. I also find that salons (hair and nail) and waiting rooms are great places to have some amazing discussions. Happy hours are also great places to strike up conversations with other women.
  2. I think the focus depends on where you are and who you’re with. Conversations I have are usually very fluid in their topics especially when you have a mix of women from different backgrounds.
  3. I always like to see more work/business related networking events and I’d like to see more mentoring opportunities and open discussions about sexual and mental health.

Recently, my friends and I have been trying to meet up at least twice per month to have a ladies night out.  Nothing is off the table…lol.  Later this week, I already have plans to meet up with some lady friends for dinner, and to catch up on life.  I am really looking forward to this night! I have also been meaning to start a book club, as well as a bi-weekly potluck, where we can alternate whose house we will be hosting at.

If you have any ideas that could help add to this current list (many ideas gained from other interviewees were already on this list, please provide some feedback for yours truly! 🙂

~FreeBryd

Fix My Relationship Friday’s//Vol.1~Cont’d

Hey All!

Here is the second round of interviews from today’s Fix My Relationship series…

Click here to read the previous post/interviews, if you missed this earlier.

Interview#1

He relocated for college a few years before me, and I joined him. Higher education was necessary for him.  He went to grad school.  I also moved to another state to begin college.  I was never unfaithful. But I was fearful that he would cheat on me, because we weren’t together. Trust was our biggest challenge. I knew in my heart that he was probably unfaithful, but I still ignored this gut feeling because I loved him so much. We did not physically see one another often, but we would always be communicating. We Skyped, texted, and spoke on the phone very frequently.  We were able to visit one another once every 2 months if we were lucky. 

Advice: Our relationship was built on a solid foundation of friendship, so that kept me going. If you truly care about the person, then do whatever it takes to make this work.

Interview #2 Shana (wanted a shout out lol)

We knew one another for a few months before entering into a long distance relationship.  I went away for school briefly, while in this relationship. I didn’t know what I was doing.  I came back home after the first semester away, because I missed him.  I was in a bad mind-set at that time. I probably would have stayed away at school longer if I wasn’t dating him. I have never, and will never cheat on anyone.  I’m in it for the long haul.  I do what I can to try to make my relationships work, because this is what I want. I would rather end the relationship than cheat.  The biggest challenge, was not seeing one another often. It is very hard to develop something more if you don’t see them.  

You also need to know how they are in person, and this may be less likely to happen with long distance.  Sex isn’t my top priority. I’m more concerned about learning how to resolve our issues.  What happens if we disagree? This is something that we had to constantly work on. It was harder to talk on the phone about these disagreements. We spoke constantly via video chat, even though it kept freezing lol.  We visited one another once that month, and were still getting to know each other.

Advice: Compromise!! Make sure they’re worth it (good convos, do we argue, willing to see one another). Google “advice” on long distance relationship for tips, to help make the most of the time you have with one another. Make it fun!! Video chatting is a must. People are afraid to take risks…but, step out on faith.  New experiences make your life better. If you’re unhappy, then you need to move on, and that’s still ok.  People are also afraid to be by themselves…and unfortunatley they jump into any relationship. Work on yourself when you have that time away from your significant other, until you are able to be together again.

Interview #3:

Long distance relationships are tough. When I first got into my relationship 13 years ago it was long distance. He was in college away and I was home. We knew it would be long distance to start and it actually made us stronger being away. When we would see one another we rarely argued since we were so happy to be spending time together. We usually saw each other once a month for the first year of our relationship. We have had moments where our relationship was long distance again but for shorter periods between 2-4 months. Neither of us were tempted to cheat during our long distance period and I think that is largely due to missing one another and having great times when we could be together.

I will say that long distance is very hard, but feasible and sometimes can make your relationship stronger. As they say absence makes the heart grow fonder! It can also harm the relationship because you get used to always having great moments that when you see one another daily the smaller arguments get frustrating because you think back to when you didn’t argue, because all your time was spent doing fun things.

Advice: Be clear about your expectations. Dating long distance also sets expectations that when you are long distance, when you do spend time together you tend to have sex more during that short visit that normally wouldn’t occur if spending time daily with one another. All in all it can work if both parties want it to.

*End of Interviews*


Thanks for joining me today!  Doors are open for feedback.  Would you date long distance? Have you ever experienced this?  Would you try this again? Please share your success, struggles, never look back stories and teachable moments for others…Let’s talk about it!

~FreeBryd

Fix My Relationship Friday’s//Vol.1

Hey Everyone!

Thanks for joining me on the first official Fix My Relationship Friday series!! I’ve had the opportunity to ask several people to share their thoughts on their Long Distance Relationships (LDR).

Why this topic?  

This is just one of many topics that we will discus on this new series.  I also have more than a handful of friends, and even more family members who have experienced this as well. More and more people are deciding to try making their relationships work the long distance.

This is something that I can testify to as well.  Doing the whole long distance thing and all…is extremely challenging!! I was committed to a LDR for over 2 years.  There were long and lonely weeks, plenty of arguments, and frequent Skype dates. But, I knew I was with the right person.  If both are willing to put in the extra work (this is a must!), then both parties can grow in ways that you can’t even imagine.

Considering dating long distance?  Maybe you’re facing your own challenges on this very subject.  My hope is that you will gain a new perspective from the interviewees who have shared their story with you today…Enjoy!

*Background info: Ages: 23-31, male and female, 2/4 are still with their current partner*

Here are the questions that were provided for the interviewees:

  • How did you enter into the long distance relationship? (Did u know up front it would be long distance)? Dating since high school (for about 5 years).
  • Were you more apt to cheat because of the distance?

  • What were the biggest challenge(s) you faced with dating long distance?
  • How often did you spend time together?

  • What would your advice be for others considering, or are currently dating long distance?

Interview #1: 

We met through a mutual friend.  Originally, we lived in the same city. Then after 2 years, I left for grad school.  We decided to take a short break, due to being unable to get on the same page.  A month or so after that time, we got back together.  It wasn’t that much longer when my boyfriend took a job overseas!!  We couldn’t catch a break!  

I was definitely open to it after some time had passed, due to being so lonely. I even hung out with more people as a result. I never acted on my feelings of loneliness, but it did frequently cross my mind.

Our communication relied more and more on emailing one another. Our Skype dates faded away as well.  Our schedule was contingent on his availability, due to him being overseas. When we did get a chance to speak on the phone, I felt like my feelings were not acknowledged, because he was super busy.  His mind was elsewhere, and I was not able to share my experiences with him about what took place throughout the day. Like what grade I received on projects.  

We got to see one another 2-3x/month on weekends.  He had an extended weekend off from his job, prior to going overseas.  I was busy with school during the week, so this worked well. It wasn’t until he took another job (overseas) when things changed.  Advice: Unless you’re married, or seriously committed to the other person, don’t do it!!  Life is short.  Why spend your time pining over someone you aren’t sure you want to be with? You have to figure out the next step in your relationship.  Are there plans to relocate within the same city? Make sure this is a discussion you have early on and frequently.

Interview #2:

We met while I was on vacation so we knew it would be a long distance relationship from the beginning. I wasn’t tempted to cheat because of the distance. Finding time to dedicate to one another and communicate, since most disagreements happened via phone call, it’s hard to actually communicate your feelings and have a discussion. Physically, we were together about 1 week for every couple months…it varied as the relationship went on because we moved closer and further away. So, the distance determined how often we saw each other.

Advice: I would suggest staying away from long distance relationships unless there was a relationship that existed before it became long distance…I don’t think long distance relationships that start out long distance have much of a foundation to build upon.  For those currently in a long distance relationship, I’d say be as flexible with your partner as possible and understand that it will be a challenge.  For those considering it, I suggest you thoroughly evaluate the strength of your relationship because the distance will only make things more difficult.

Interview#3:

We were originally living in the same city.  About 2 years after dating, my boyfriend made the decision to relocate to live with parents in another city. I have often considered cheating.  We weren’t friends first, and the move was stupid to me, and out of nowhere.  I had the mindset that we could pretend we were together when he visited me, but when he was gone, I felt I was single.  This relationship was challenging, because we didn’t have a long-term game plan. We didn’t have plans to live in the same city.  There was no end goal, and we never discussed this.  We had different goals on what we wanted out of life.  He was going back to school, and I was working full-time.  A true future goal could not be established.  

Our communication remained hit or miss.  Honestly at this point, I was not as concerned as I should be.  I didn’t have a strong emotional connection with him.  I admit that I did resent him for moving.  He visited a few times per week.  But, I didn’t feel a strong desire to be with him, because I had one foot out the door. Plus, he was inconstant with coming to see me, so this didn’t help us at all. Advice: if you know in your heart that you don’t care about the other person, take this as a sign from God.  I unfortunately didn’t listen.  I kept this relationship going, when it should have ended a long time ago.

*End of First Round of Interviews*


Leave your comments below on which interview you can relate to, and any feedback for these lovely participants! I’ll be posting the second round of interviews later in the day.

Want me to share your story?? Email me here, or comment under the Relationships section at the top of the page.

Resources for YOU:

Loving From a Distance

20 Life Saving Tips

~XOXO

FreeBryd

Early Bird Special!!//Fix My Relationship Friday

Up Next on Be Free 2 Love

tumblr_lyzjhzaz5q1robbgco1_500So, tomorrow begins the Fix My Relationship #FixIt series on my blog. I have the results of the interviews that I’ve conducted on Long Distance Relationships.  I will share this info with all of you tomorrow.  🙂

While you’re waiting patiently for the results, I would love to hear from you too!  What have you learned from your experiences with dating long distance…or didn’t learn?!

Please leave a comment on the Relationships page, respond to this post, or email me at freebryd101@gmail.com, to join in on the fun! Let me know your thoughts are on the following questions, and we’ll discuss this tomorrow.

Here are the questions that I have asked the interviewees:

  1. Have you ever been involved in a long distance relationship? If yes, see the questions below.  If no, answer each question as if you were ever in a long distance relationship.
  2. How did you enter into the long distance relationship? (Did u know up front it would be long distance)?
  3. Were you more apt to cheat because of the distance?
  4. What were the biggest challenge(s) with dating long distance?
  5. How often did you spend time together?
  6. What would your advice be for others considering, or are currently dating long distance?

See ya tomorrow for #FixIt Fridays, to see what the interviewees had to say!!

~FreeBryd

You can check out my blog schedule HERE.

Image #1: http://www.wikihow.com/

Image #2: http://vodkabularies.com/long/long-hug.html

Understanding Empathy

empathy-9550064_l

Finding yourself stuck in a cycle of negativity, or similar arguments with someone you love?

Our relationships can suffer because we minimize one anothers feelings.  Even if doing so was not our intention.  Many of us lack the ability to see another persons perspective.  Often times we are too focused on our own feelings and experiences, that we completely miss the mark.  We miss opportunities to connect with others, because we are being “selfish”, or at least coming across as such.

More and more, I’m noticing that much of what we communicate tends to get lost in translation.  We attack one another simply because we believe we were wronged in some way.  The worst part is that when these messages are misunderstood, many of us fail to gain clarification on the intended message.  As a result, maybe you spend the next day replaying that conversation in your head.  Man, have I been there one too many times! I admit that I have let my imagination run wild, without taking a moment to calm those nasty convos in my head.

Then, when I am able to confront the “issue”, I often learn that I was wrong.  So, realistically I’ve spent an unimaginable amount of time dwelling over things that could have been cleared up if I was able to understand the other’s interpretation without having my feelings block my judgement.

Psychotherapist Cindy Sigal, AMFT (Relationshipshttp://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/06/08/the-power-of-empathy-in-romantic-relationships-how-to-enhance-it/) has a wonderful perspective on how to improve empathy in our relationships.

What is EMPATHY?

Cindy discussed three different types: Cognitive (we don’t lose sight of our feelings).  Here we are able to recognize others feelings without experiencing these same feelings ourselves.

Emotional (sharing feelings with your partner or others). If your hurting, I’m hurting. If you’re angry, I’m angry too.

Compassionate ( a whole person response (changing our own behavior).  With this type, we realize what our partner may be experiencing, and actively alter our behavior to increase positive feelings.  For example, you may know that today wasn’t a good day for the other person.  Instead of adding onto their current stress load, you do something different.  You may say kind words, or pick up their favorite snack.

iStock_000014331959XSmall

In addition to understanding the different types of empathy, it will also be helpful to identifying the Road Blocks from experiencing empathy.

-Getting sucked into our own perspectives (how we are feeling vs our partner): From my experiences with others including what I’ve been through personally, is that many disputes/disagreements occur when you feel the other person isn’t listening, or feel as though they do not care.  Many of us become stuck with defending ourselves when communicating, because for some reason we feel attacked.  What can possibly be resolved if both of you aren’t even attempting to understand the others perspective?  You’d don’t have to agree with them, but this will help you grain clarity.  I’m definitely still a work in progress!

-Focusing on negatives: Can you imagine a lifetime full of complaints, with no motivation to make any positive changes? #exhausting. We all have our days of picking out the “wrongs”, but what about trying to clear a tiny circle off of that filthy mirror from time to time.  This will definitely keep your relationships “stuck” in the helpless zone. Try finding at least one positive for every 3 negatives.  This may be challenging if your thinking has already been shaped by constant negative messages, but your situation is not hopeless. Train yourself to think differently…it’s never too late to learn something new. 🙂

-Treat ourselves how we would treat others: I admit that am not the best example of this.  I allow others the ability to make mistakes, and offer them my best advice and encouraging words.  But, I don’t always allow myself these same luxuries.  Yes, I want to push myself, and learn from past experiences.  How will this be possible if I won’t even give myself the opportunity to reflect on these roadblocks?

I hope that today is a wonderful day for everyone, and we all are able to improve our Empathy!

What contributes to your overall satisfaction in your romantic relationships ( past, present, or future)?

-XOXO

FreeBryd

Photo #1:http://www.canstockphoto.com/

Photo #2: http://www.lifetimeloveaffair.com/

Building Relationships//Interviews

Still searching for as much feedback as possible, on ways that women can improve their relationships with one another, socialize and network! Don’t be shy…let’s get creative I’ll share the results soon enough. Thanks for your support!

Be Free 2 Love

After speaking to those close to me, I believe that we have an idea of how to begin putting an end to this madness (see previous two posts on Woman 2 Women).  Think about this…what have women been known for doing to just to mix and mingle with other women?  Where can women go where they can be free to meet other like-minded individuals where the focus is not on family?  Men have sports that bring them together (not to say that women are excluded from this).  But, what can women do together that will help close this gap?

Over the next few weeks, I will reach out to others via this blog, randomly out in the community, as well as friends and family to begin figuring out a solution to this dilemma (yes, it’s that important).  I love research, and I am excited to see what I am able to…

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Building Relationships//Interviews

After speaking to those close to me, I believe that we have an idea of how to begin putting an end to this madness (see previous two posts on Woman 2 Women).  Think about this…what have women been known for doing to just to mix and mingle with other women?  Where can women go where they can be free to meet other like-minded individuals where the focus is not on family?  Men have sports that bring them together (not to say that women are excluded from this).  But, what can women do together that will help close this gap?

Over the next few weeks, I will reach out to others via this blog, randomly out in the community, as well as friends and family to begin figuring out a solution to this dilemma (yes, it’s that important).  I love research, and I am excited to see what I am able to come up with!

feedback_imagesSo, I’ll be needing the help of all of you!  Please comment below on the following questions, so you are able to provide me with some initial feedback before I conduct my interviews.

  1. What is currently available to women where they can go to mingle and network (places, activities to complete together)?
  2. Of these places, what is the primary focus (family/relationship/work oriented, etc.)?
  3. What would you like to see women do together, if there are currently no places that meet your needs/expectations on networking with other women?

Thanks in advance for your help!

~XOXO

FreeBryd

1)Photo #1: http://idealistcareers.org/

2)Photo #2: http://www.optimizeulc.com/

Woman 2 Women//Building Confidence

womenI am truly grateful for each of you for sharing your thoughts regarding the previous post on Woman 2 Women!  I love that so many of you share my concern with helping women build genuine, long-term friendships.  I was speaking about this with my sister as well, and she has brought something else to my attention.  We both agree that women may have been set up from the beginning!! Ridiculous right?

This may be a stretch, but think about something as simple as entering the women’s restroom…what have you noticed?  There are stalls that separate us from one another, in comparison to men’s restrooms where they normally share an open space when handling their business (sorry if I’ve already grossed some of you out).  I’m not saying that I want to do away with stalls at this point (because I’ve grown accustomed to expecting this), but I am just raising some questions about the messages that we have been receiving and sending.

In my previous post on Woman 2 Women, many commented on the fact that many women may lack confidence in themselves, therefore prompting even more insecurities.  These insecurities would most likely prevent any individual from socializing and taking the opportunity to build relationships with others. Personally speaking, if I do not feel secure in my finances, appearances, work status, or relationships, then this will pose as a major barrier to communicating honestly and openly with others.  I would spend my time focusing on whether or not the individual was criticizing me for one of the above mentioned reasons, rather than sharing this moment with them/doing more to get to know them.

Why was I ashamed?  Why was I embarrassed of having others inquire about my the status of my relationship, my finances, or comment on my weight?

What came to mind is that I lacked confidence in myself.  So, I wanted to dedicate this post to helping others find their strengths, improving their self-confidence…and running with it!

Here is what has worked for me with gaining confidence:

  • I stopped believing that I needed to compete with others
  • Wrote down my expectations and goals for myself
  • Figured out a step by step plan on how to meet my goals and expectations
  • Stopped complaining (well I cut down on this..lol) about not being where I thought I needed to be with my goals
  • Encouraging myself daily with positive messages
  • Started enjoying my experiences and being truly grateful for my family, friends, career, and health

Responses from others on how to build confidence:
1) Through prayer

2) Figuring out what you do best

3) Finding out what makes you different from anyone else, and embracing these differences.

I had every intention of linking peer-reviewed articles to this post on how to build confidence in women, but I’m having a difficult time discovering articles that don’t focus on women competing with men in the workforce!  Don’t get me wrong. There are tons of advice columns, blogs, and inspirational quotes on pinterest that discuss ways we can build confidence. But, I am also looking for research based studies that offer more insight into how to help others seriously facing challenges in this area address this issue.

c3

How do you gain confidence? Was this something that happened relatively quickly, or did you develop this confidence over time?

~XOXO
FreeBryd

Photo #1 credit: http://boujibuzz.com/category/in-the-news/

Photo #2 credit: http://www.quotesforthemind.com/

Woman 2 Women//Where is the Love?

Let’s have an honest discussion friends!
I’ve been spending so much time trying to better myself, by learning to forgive, reminding myself to think more positively, etc.  With that being said, can you tell that I spend a great deal of time in my feelings lol?  A serious question parked itself in my overactive brain, until I decided to do more research into this.  I was able to reach out to a few of my followers, to gain their perspectives on why they believe many women are unable to from long-term and meaningful relationships with one another.
Where does this come from? Why?

I have always played around with this topic individually up until now.  I only brought up this sensitive topic, based solely from my recent encounters with other women.

Like I mentioned before, I followed up with my hypothesis by reaching out to other women.  I would love to have additional perspectives from men as well.  So, don’t be shy with sharing your thoughts on this discussion. Today, I have included two interviews with this blog post.  Here are the results.


Response from Tiffany: a 20 something year old female, eager to share her thoughts! 
7
Do you think that women experience difficulty with supporting/having positive thoughts of one another? 

I have been fortunate enough to have limited experiences with unsupportive women.  However, I do feel that this does exist as I have had a few run-ins where either women or myself were catty to one another for some reason or another.  I think it’s hard for some women to see other women succeed, especially when they feel that they are equally as deserving (if not more) of that same success or perceived happiness.

What do you think is the main reason why many women have been unable to form genuine and long-term relationships with one another? 

 I call it the “Mean Girl” syndrome and I believe it’s caused by immaturity and insecurity. In general, I feel that insecure people (not just women) are intimidated by other people who may have things that they lack.  In some cases, it’s hard for women to establish and maintain genuine relationships because of these negative personal issues they may be dealing with.  I also think the media has played into this woman vs. woman war.  Think about it, there are about 10 – 15 well-known reality shows that star and cater to our demographic (young women ages 18-40).

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How many of these are positive reinforcements of women empowerment? While some shows have glimpses of women supporting each other, the overall message is that women are against each other, and not able to maintain stable and positive friendships with other women. What you consume is what you eventually project.  If all you see every day is women fighting women, women ending friendships and being catty and petty, it’s only a matter of time before you start to take on that mindset whether you realize it or not.

bravo-renews-housewives-o-c-and-othersDo you think that you have trouble with being supportive/being non-judgmental most of the time to other women? 

To be honest, I don’t think I have an issue with being supportive of anyone, especially women.  I’m completely about Girl Power, I LOVE seeing women uplifting and inspiring other women.  There is so much for all of us to learn from one another so it’s saddening when we do the opposite. Now, on the flip side, I feel like I am quick to give a side eye and I know I am judgmental even though I try not to be.  It’s unfair, but it is something that I understand is a human trait.

What would be your advice to other women to help address this issue?

I think that understanding ourselves and exploring our own insecurities are the first steps to addressing this issue. No one is perfect, and the more we realize this within ourselves, I feel we can be less judgmental. It also helps us to accept one another for who we are.  This will in turn help us to nurture positive friendships and we can truly be supportive.

Response from Ms. Anonymous: a 30 something year old female, who agrees this is a problem! 

Do you think that women experience difficulty with supporting/having many positive thoughts of one another? 

I guess it depends on the relationship. I wouldn’t just support a random stranger. If I felt some kind of connection to the individual, then yes I would support. But not just a random stranger.

What do you think is the main reason why many women have been unable to form genuine and long-term relationships with one another? 


I do believe this is a problem for women. Women are in constant, subconscious competition with one another (financial, romantic, beauty, etc). Especially if there’s a differences in classes or social status.   I think a woman is more likely to “hate on” another woman if she feels less than. “She thinks she’s cute” comes to mind. I face this problem at work. I’m a similar age to those I work with. Most of the women don’t like me! They feel that I think I’m better than them. But they do not respond to men in the same way.

Do you think that you have trouble with being supportive/being non-judgmental most of the time to other women?

As far as friendships, I think it’s hard because….um….it may be hard to find women who are the “same” or similar lifestyles/interests. There’s a formula to friendship that has to be just right in order for friendships between women to be successful. Just being introspective, all of my friends are either childhood friends or other career driven women. I tend to prefer my career driven friends over my childhood ones. One friend I’ve known for many years.  When she had kids and I didn’t we drifted apart. We didn’t have similar interests and we couldn’t connect like we used to. I have another friend who is slightly older with kids. We were friends before I had any children, and hung out when she had free time. We connected on a professional level. And now I have kids and we connect on that too.  Another friend of mine is also slightly older with a kid. Not career driven. Different interests than me. I tried and couldn’t maintain a successful friendship. So yeah, the formula has to be just right in order for friendships to work…for me anyways.

What do you think is the main reason why many women have been unable to form genuine and long-term relationships with one another? 

For me it was easier to supper once I became secure with who I am. I know who I am and what I want out of life. So it’s easier for me to support other women…as long as they aren’t trying to knock me off my path. I kind of see things differently now. I see that all women are just trying to do the best they can for themselves and/or family. I guess it comes with confidence. Other than my tummy (ugh) and natural hair edges, this is the most genuinely confident I’ve ever been. So I don’t see other women as a threat.

*End of Interviews*

My goal is to promote “girl power” as Tiffany suggested earlier.  I first have to believe things can get better, so I will.  I’ve had so many great experiences with getting to really know, love and value each of my friendships with other women. Those who I’ve known since playing house in elementary school, my siblings, my girls who first introduced me to club hopping, my goons who I’ve met in grad school, to those I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with in my adult life. I appreciate all of you! I realize that your circle becomes smaller as time goes on, and life takes you in unexpected directions.  I just wish that we were still able to remain open to meeting new people, without the pressure of believing that they won’t like you anyway, so don’t even bother.  Ok..this may be extreme, but sometimes I feel this way.  I can’t force someone to get to know me, but a girl can hope for a better tomorrow, and hope for change.

How many others are out there who share these views?  I’m also quick to place judgment onto others.  I have feared that my judgments have prevented me from getting to know some pretty amazing women. What am I doing to give off the vibe that I’m unapproachable?  Did I look at someone wrong?  Where is the Love?
Let me know what some of your experiences have been!
~XOXO
FreeBryd
A look at some of my lovelies ❤
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