How REAL Are Your Relationships?

Hey All!

Let me just start by saying…I’ve missed the blog world. I won’t make excuses for being away for some time now. I wasn’t the greatest at balancing my new work schedule with everything else I had going on. I have some draft posts just waiting to be acknowledged, but haven’t been keeping up with writing. I’m really excited to shake the dust off.

Secondly, this topic was inspired by my home skillet Chanelle. She’s one of my besties, whose been in my life for over 10 years now. 🙂 She’s one of the same friends who I mentioned starting the GroupMe app with…where we can keep track of one another’s progress towards our fitness goals. That has picked up lately as well. I was talked into completing a 21 day clean eating challenge. No worries, because it will be ending right in time for Thanksgiving lol.

Any who, as my friends and I were chatting, Chanelle asked my friend Shana and I a series of questions. She wanted to know how we perceived her.  Specifically, what were some things we may have noticed that she may not be aware of.

Talk about being caught off guard haha. I was happy that she felt that she could easily come to me with such a loaded question. Providing feedback to her wasn’t extremely challenging, because we have a healthy relationship.

Honesty_survey_image

How well do others know you? Are others comfortable enough to share openly and genuinely with you? 

This may be a no brainer for some, and can be extremely important in assessing the quality of your relationships with others.

I was asked to share some of my personal thoughts about her as a person. This is something that I honestly don’t find myself doing enough of. Not that I have a laundry list of negative things about anyone that I keep to myself. But, I’ve realized that I probably don’t share those “personal” thoughts and feelings as often as I’d like to.

For me, I find having honest conversations about how I perceive the other person as a benefit. I’m honored that my perspective can mean so much to so many people. I hope that others feel the same way when considering me. I also understand how difficult having tough conversations with others can be.  I still cringe a bit when having to “confront” the elephant in the room.  But, how else can we move forward? What helps for me is to just come right out and say it.  The more I wait and analyze exactly how I want to word things, the more nervous and uncomfortable I become.

I’ve also realized that I put so much thought into many of these conversations, when the other person doesn’t feel the same sense of awkwardness that I’ve been experiencing.  It was mostly in my head…!

I truly appreciate the relationships I share with so many wonderful people.  We inspire and challenge one another daily.  I prefer to keep it real, and not just dance around the difficult issues.

If you don’t feel completely comfortable with sharing honestly with friends and family, then what is getting in the way of knocking down these barriers?

~FreeBryd

Images: http://arts.mq.edu.au/; http://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/

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Connect With Me//Over a Cup of Coffee

Hey Blog Family,

We had such a great turnout for the last Mix and Mingle…so, it’s time for another one!  Let’s take a moment to say hi to someone new, and possibly gain a long-term friend!

Let’s pretend that we are sharing a cup of coffee (or some other fancy drink if coffee isn’t your thing).  Over this cup of coffee, we will share details about our week with one another.  This idea was inspired by the Writing 101 course that I’ve signed up for via WordPress.

As always, thanks for joining! Now, let’s grab a cup of coffee!

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If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that I’ve recently wrote an Open Letter To My Father.  I’ve never been so transparent before with him.  I was able to share most of my thoughts and feelings that I’ve been keeping safe since childhood.  My father and I have grown much closer over the last couple of years, so I felt that we were in a better place to be able to communicate more freely and open.  In response to the letter, he let me know that I wasn’t actually a headache for him…lol. He shared some personal feelings of his own from these earlier experiences. Nothing but smiles from me! I am even trying to plan for a family reunion…something we’ve never done before with my father’s side of the family.

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that in about a week, I will be traveling to Mexico for 7 days!! I am excited for the well deserved vacation, the food, the activities, and dancing!  I’ve been trying my best to eat healthier, and become more physically active.  I do worry that my healthy lifestyle will suffer…just a smidge, because I’ll be in such an exotic place.  Anyone who knows me, understands how serious I am about my food.  I’ll plan  to do some outside activities to keep my heart rate up…in exchange for eating any and everything, and relaxing on most days.

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that while I’m away in Mexico, I will miss blogging as often as I’d like.  I’ve honestly grown to look forward to connecting with all of you.  So many opportunities to meet such wonderful people, and become inspired by your posts! But, I’ll be happy to update all of you on how awesome this trip has been when I return!

In recognition of today’s Mix and Mingle, I ask that you do the following:

  1. When you share an update, begin with “If I were drinking coffee right now”.
  2. Leave a link to your blog so others can check out your space.
  3. Want to share this post with others? Be sure to pingback and reblog this post.

*Share as little or as much as you’d like*

Happy Sharing!

~FreeBryd

Image #1:https://www.contentwatch.com/

Image#2: http://www.firehousejavacuisine.com/

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.

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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