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

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Learn Something New//Book Review

Hello World!

Starting this Wednesday off with a book review, for my #TeachMe series.  The book I have been reading is, The Dance of Intimacy, by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

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Well, I made it through the first half of the book so far! This book was written as a “woman’s guide”, to changing significant relationships. For all of you who are not familiar with this author, her books can be utilized by anyone.   Stay tuned, because I wanted to include all of you with sharing your thoughts on whether or not you would continue reading this book, and the reasons for doing so. You can help by taking the toll at the end of the post. 🙂

Now! Let’s get started with peeling away the layers of this book, shall we?!

“It is the will to change that motivates us to seek help, and it is the fear of change that motivates us to resist the very help we seek”-Lerner.

The main theme throughout this book is understanding the process of change, to increase intimacy.  What I mean is, when we feel “stuck” in your relationship, we often blame the other person.  Maybe it’s their fault for starting the argument with us. Maybe our partner is at fault for not calling us back? But, I challenge you to think of what could possible be contributing to these sources of anxiety? It could very well be the most obvious concern, then indeed a quick fix is needed.  This will not always be the case…

I believe Harriet Lerner is justified in her belief that there are many books available that offer specific guidelines, and how to’s, in regards to improving your relationships with others.  But, what are we learning from many of these books? How can we learn to sustain long-term changes, when many of these recommendations may have been based off of a quick perception of the problem? I agree that these books can and have been helpful, but what we should focus on is becoming more knowledgeable in getting to the root of these “issues”.

To give you a better example, think about going to a friend to talk about your day…you know, just venting about what happened that caused you to become upset.  Next, this friend has the best advice on what you should have done, and the reasons why this advice will help “fix” everything. Either this can be good really good advice, and you are thanking your lucky stars for such an amazing friend, or perhaps this friend has completely missed the mark? Without really understanding what happened in your day, how can anyone offer you meaningful suggestions that would be satisfying for you?

Not even do the significant people in our lives get to take the fall for providing us with the “wrong advice”! Many times WE are quick to jump to make decisions on how to resolve the “immediate” problems.  Of course this may seem logical at the time.  On the contrary, if you’re having the same argument for the 5th time this week, this may cause you to feel hopeless right? Been there. Done that too many times to count.  What this just means is that you really haven’t figured out why these arguments are truly happening…I’ve learned that my expectations can get me into a ton of trouble.  Come on guys, I can’t be the only one out there. 🙂 Many of my past disagreements, (with anyone), boiled down to me not feeling comfortable with accepting that life happens. I won’t have the ability of predicting what should happen or when (even though this would be…awesome).

headacheInstead of discussing my expectations before the disagreement, I chose to say nothing.  I’ve also learned that I needed to speak up for the things that I wanted. I was tired of hiding, and dealing with huge blow ups after the fact.  :-/

In a nutshell, this book provides you with ways on how to begin understanding where your feelings of anxiety stem from, that may prevent you from changing your behavior to improve intimacy within your relationship.  Does your symptoms of anxiety originate from earlier experiences? Or is it something more recent in your life/relationship that needs your attention? Lerner provides case examples, and personal narratives about how to begin this process.

My question to you is, how do you resolve issues in any of your relationships? Are these changes typically a quick fix, or do you feel that you need to constantly address the same issue?

Help me Rate This Book:

Based on this book review so far, would you continue reading this book?

Thanks for your feedback!

~FreeBryd

Photo Credit #1: http://blog.prepscholar.com/how-to-improve-your-low-sat-reading-score-6-strategies

Photo Credit #2: http://www.harrietlerner.com/pages/intimacy.html

Photo Credit # 3: http://www.unhs.co.uk/unhs/your-health/health-advice/headache.aspx