Tag Archives: relationships

Upgrading Your Support System

What are some of the ways that you take care of yourself?

I spend a lot of time thinking of new ways that I can improve my overall well-being. I read new books (mystery and suspense appear to be my new thing), blog, listen to comforting music, and planning mini getaways.

Out of all of these options, nothing is more important to me than spending time with the significant people in my life.

I absolutely love being with my support team!

IMG_3930They give me life, and they help me to recharge. I’ve realized that being around others helps me to relax.  If I’m having a not so great day, I actually sit and reflect on how to make things better, weigh the outcomes of any pros and cons of my day.

But!

What works best for me is being able to communicate with others. Not just anyone, but someone who I can honestly trust with my feelings. Someone whose perspective means the world to me.  I enjoy being able to bounce ideas off of, and just vent to these listening ears.

I’m fortunate enough to have a huge group of people who will always have my best interests in mind. Being around these individuals helps me to reduce any unnecessary stress, make me laugh, and help to get my mind off of the latest “issue”.

Those of you who may be struggling to find energy, find yourself becoming more irritable and unhappy, and have tried different ways to recharge, with very little success…try reaching out to friends and family. They may not even know how much of a positive influence they can be in your life. You may not even know how helpful these individuals can be.

How do you make new friends?

While away in Mexico for my recent vacation, I pushed myself to meet new people. Instead of waiting for someone to “notice” me, I initiated many of the conversations with others. For the 7 days that I was in Mexico, I figured that I’d make the most of the trip, since this was basically my home away from home. I participated in activities that I would normally shy away from (pool volleyball is an example of this). The sound of the activity didn’t necessarily appeal to me, but I gave it a try anyway.

These structured activities were a great way for many new people to meet. My team obviously had a shared goal in mind, and we definitely worked hard with achieving this by any means (quite successfully might I add).  As I discussed in my previous post (My Time Away In Mexico), I was able to gain new friendships. I plan on keeping in contact with each of them!

You can also try to:

  • Join a gym to find a group of people who share similar interests (different classes: zumba, cycling, etc).
  • Have a potluck at your house (I plan on doing so this week). Each person can bring a friend in addition to a dish.
  • Spend time with co-workers (get to know them outside of work? Maybe you’ll have more in common than you think).

Don’t have any close family or friends whom you would consider confiding in? Take it outside then, and meet some new faces!! Many of us enjoy blogging, and even share some of the most intimate details of our lives with others within the blogging community. I think this is great! I absolutely love blogging, and look forward to continue meeting such wonderful people.

Group of young friends chatting outside

How about using that same confidence used via Internet connection, and use that in our everyday lives as well??

Share a little bit more with others, be open to trying new things, and starting conversations with a new face. I’m hoping that you’ll be able to make some healthy, long-lasting relationships with new people. Your health just might depend on it!

But first, you’ll have to be willing to put in the work. I personally don’t thrive on relationships where I don’t feel as though I’m benefiting from. I want to share details about my life, and want others to be willing to do the same. So, be sure to have an idea in mind about what type of relationships you’d like to have with others.

How do you make new friends? What are you looking for in a friend?

~FreeBryd

Image #1: http://kushsrivastava.com/

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

How To Communicate//Learn Something New

To follow-up with my previous post on Learning About Yourself (discovering your values), I wanted to continue with this theme of understanding more about ourselves.

I would argue that communication is the most important foundation for any relationship to prosper.

Today, I would like to provide you with the basics regarding the different styles of communication.  If you are not sure what style you are most comfortable with, hopefully you will gain a better understanding after this read.  If you are a seasoned veteran, and are already familiar with these communication styles, than kudos to you! But, a little refresher course wouldn’t hurt, right? 🙂

What do you know about the different styles of communication? Maybe you’re not familiar with the book terms for how you interact with others.  That’s perfectly okay too.

I for one have always heard the different terms being tossed around, but have never actually researched them on my own until grad school.

Here’s some info on the different styles of communication:

anger-management

Aggressive: is a style in which individuals express their feelings and opinions and advocate for their needs in a way that violates the rights of others.

– try to dominate others
– use humiliation to control others
– criticize, blame, or attack others
– be very impulsive

Impact: – become alienated from others, generate fear and hatred in others, and always blame others instead of owning their issues, and thus are unable to mature.

Non-capisco-image

Passive:is a style in which individuals have developed a pattern of avoiding expressing their opinions or feelings, and getting their own needs met.

– often feel anxious because life seems out of their control
– often feel depressed because they feel stuck and hopeless
– often feel resentful (but are unaware of it) because their needs are not being met
– often feel confused because they ignore their own feelings
– are unable to mature because real issues are never addressed

Impact: Increased anxiety, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness

Passive-Aggressive: is a style in which individuals appear passive on the surface but are really acting out anger in a subtle, indirect, or behind-the-scenes way.

– mutter to themselves rather than confront the person or issue
– have difficulty acknowledging their anger
– use facial expressions that don’t match how they feel – i.e., smiling when angry
– deny there is a problem

Impact: become alienated from those around them, remain stuck in a position of powerlessness, and discharge resentment while real issues are never addressed so they can’t mature.

Personally, I am admitting that I would become easily irritated when I felt that I was unable to express myself completely. Honestly, for the majority of my life I’ve felt that I’ve probably gravitated towards the passive aggressive style of communicating.  I kept hearing people say that when referring to me, and still I had no idea what they meant exactly. I assumed this was a funny way of reminding me to check my attitude :-/. Needless to say, I learned a lot about myself.

How-to-be-a-More-Assertive-Parent_Article

Assertiveis a style in which individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings, and firmly advocate for their rights and needs without violating the rights of others.

– state needs and wants clearly, appropriately, and respectfully
– listen well without interrupting
– feel in control of self
– not allow others to abuse or manipulate them
– stand up for their rights

Impact: – feel connected to others, feel in control of their lives, are able to mature because they address issues and problems as they arise, create a respectful environment for others to grow and mature

Once I understood more about my own patterns, I was able to make a decision on where I wanted to be, to get to a place where I could communicate freely. I wanted to be understood, respected, someone whom others would consider when making important decisions, and confident. My next course of action was to do the research on reaching these communication milestones. I wanted to be assertive, and this is the style that I have been practicing for the most part more recently. I still have those days when I fall back into my old pattern (sorry guys). Good thing my family and friends are extremely forgiving :-).

What style of communicating best fits you? Has this changed over time?

XOXO

~FreeBryd

Resources:

If you’re curious about what style best suits you, take this 20 question quiz:HERE.

Full descriptions on communication styles: HERE


Image #1:http://blog.prepscholar.com/

Image #2:http://www.bacweb.org/

Image#3:http://effectivecommunicationadvice.com/

Image #4:http://www.empoweringparents.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.

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

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

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.

images

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

Encouraging Thunder Award//Thank You!

encouraging-thunder-awardI was recently nominated for such an incredible award by YOUnfolded! What an honor to receive the Encouraging Thunder Award! I am new to blogging, and this truly means so much. I love that Nena has been such an inspiration.  We connected not to long ago, and she continues to show her support by reaching out when she can.  Her blog is one I often frequent, due to the overflow of recommendations on how to improve your overall health, and ways to encourage others to be their best!

Per the rules so graciously provided to me, I will:

  • Enjoy the fact that someone thinks I’m awesome 🙂
  • Discuss my purpose in blogging
  • Nominate a few of my fellow bloggers to participate in this fun way of giving thanks to others

Why I chose to blog:

For the past few years, I have had this tug in my heart.  I felt lost.  I did not feel 100% certain that I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  This was frighteining for me, because I kept feeling as though this decision shouldn’t be that hard. I have been trying to figure out ways on how to fill that void.

After some serious soul searching, and sleepless nights, I finally figured it out.  I knew that I wanted to one day open up my own business where I could follow my passion of helping others improve themselves and their relationships, with the help of my degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.  My goal is to create a family space, where I can help lead others on the path of their choice, and provide them with useful skills to help them overcome the obstacles to their happiness.

I’ve always had some pretty big ideas about planning for my future, but I was always so quick to talk myself out of pursuing them.  I was the Queen of negative messages, and I was surely lacking the confidence to begin achieving more for my life.

Starting this blog was my way of changing that.  I no longer wanted to think about the possibilities of starting a business. I needed to make this happen.  My blog was the first step on my list of ways to push me out of my comfort zone.  I had to begin believing in my talents. I needed a way to help me find my voice, and pursue the things that I love most!  I want to continue documenting my growth in this transformation, as well as help provide inspiration, and knowledge on improving our relationships!

To show my appreciation, I am nominating these (5) bloggers for the Encouraging Thunder Award.  I definitely follow some pretty awesome people.  I’ve taken such a strong liking to the wonderful world of blogging, and have grown to look forwad to connecting with all of you daily!

  1. Family Love Does More: Angie Mc has been nothing but amazing! Her words have always been so kind! She has goals similar to my own, in that she provides wonderful tips and advice on how to improve yourself, as well as your relationships.
  2. EGOTist: One of my very first followers (not even sure if you knew that lol).  Actor, singer, AND a writer! You will be able to connect to her posts, because her style of writing makes you fee as though you’ve know her for years!
  3. Myasthenia Gravis: So down to earth and hilarious! She has left some pretty thought provoking comments on my posts.  🙂
  4. Estimating Infinity: Absolutely love her poems! They’re unique, and will leave you searching through the rest of her brilliant pieces.
  5. Lynz Real Cooking: Check out her page for delicious recipes from the Middle East! She also has some pretty cool stories to share from her experiences.

I am thankful to have connected with so many wonderful people! I wish that I could send this award to everyone individually! Instead, I am sending positive vibes your way!

Until next time loves!

~XOXO

FreeBryd

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…

View original post 101 more words

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//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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