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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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.

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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! 
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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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