Welcome to Why? Wednesday. Posts dedicated to exploring questions that swim in women’s minds on career, motherhood, and relationships.
The movies, TV shows (especially reality TV shows), and print/digital media everywhere have depicted the same type of woman over and over again — to the point where I was truly stumped upon coming across a group of girls that did not fit the mold of long hair, long legs, condescending undertones, and a particular breed of girly.
Something that all women do have in common is judgement. It’s as if our protective instincts come out the second we run into meeting another female. What exactly are we protecting ourselves from? Feeling inferior?
In a world where we all claim to be supporting one another’s businesses, parenting styles, freewheeling ideas, and unconventional lifestyles, I feel like we’re just saving face. In other words, we talk a big game and we do not walk it.
I remember feeling so relieved when I got to college. This was due to many reasons, but one of the important ones was that fresh start feeling of finding a true, core group of girlfriends.
While the female maturity level was significantly greater in college than in high school, there were still mean girls. After college, those gossipy cliques continued into adulthood, but were again, far less frequent. Things were looking up.
After becoming a mom, I thought for sure the blurred lines of female competitiveness and introduction niceties were over. After all, we were spending our days keeping small children alive. We didn’t have the energy to backstab.
Here’s where I’m at today: In a new city (again) feeling genuinely happy in my marriage and in my role as a mom, but missing that best friend or friends down the road to meet up with for happy hour.
While I’m not worried about finding a new crew, I have second-guessed my ability to make friends after encountering women who didn’t welcome me into their circle.
And here is my analysis on that: There will always be groups of girls that won’t let you in. And it has almost everything to do with the group and very little (if anything at all) to do with you. Hurt people hurt people. A lot of times we only see this in retrospect.
Why Are We Cruel For No Reason?
I feel really lucky to have the friends that I do. Granted, they are spread out all over the country, but I still have them. This is not to say I haven’t ran in the same circle of women praising one another to their faces and rolling their eyes behind their backs.
Why are we cruel for no reason? The logical answer to this — and one that I truly hate to admit — is because we’re jealous. But that jealousy is sparked from insecurity, which in no way makes middle-school-girl like behavior acceptable, but it does feel better to understand why some women simply cannot get along with the new girl.
This points to the reality that we don’t have to be liked by everyone. We forget this. We don’t have to be liked by everyone, and we need to be okay with that.
It takes a lifetime to have everything connect. Feeling purpose in your job + obtaining a happy home life + having a thriving social life + loving where you live is a hefty expectation. This is not to be confused with an unattainable life, but it’s a tall order.
Having all of those things align at the exact same time takes practice and patience. We should cut ourselves some slack.
Female Friendship Takeaways
What you focus on you create more of. Focus on the relationships in your life that lift you up. Focus on the people in your life that motivate and energize you — not drain you or make you feel like an outcast.
If it feels like you’re forcing a friendship, that’s probably a good indicator that that particular person is just not your person. While I believe sustaining an adult friendship takes effort from both sides, I don’t think it should ever feel forced.
Men flash their status by way of expensive trucks and fancy career titles, and women mark their place in the world by small waists, contoured cheekbones and designer dresses.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We could choose to care more about other people and less about ourselves — we just choose not to.
And while this may only be the truth for this painfully specific, subset type of woman or clique, our feelings remain the same. We have all been intimidated by someone new for the sheer fact that someone new feels like a threat. We have all felt jealous of someone for trivial reasons like their perfect body or their pristine kitchen. We have all felt hurt by someone who dismissed us.
Find friends that get you. Don’t settle for second or third best just because it’s geographically or culturally convenient. We deserve great friends.
Thank you for reading!