I’m not real experienced at how to mend friendships.
At this point in my life I hold dear the people I’ve laughed and cried with over the years.
Anytime there is a closeness, the road can get bumpy from time to time. Like any relationship, when you open yourself up, you risk getting hurt. But how to get through the hard times with a friend is a skill that I am just now learning.
Women can be more complex than men, in my opinion. Those relationships can support us and carry us through the most difficult times and they also give us the strength to master our own desires and achieve accomplishments because of the influences we gain from our relationships with women. Our “women” are like safety nets. They catch us when we fall and hold us up when we barely have the strength to get through life.
Often we emulate the best qualities of one another. In some ways it can be flattering and in others, quite maddening. That’s when the competitive catty like behavior can rear it’s ugly head. I’m right. Right? Who hasn’t ever dealt with this? I think we all have at some point.
It can start out with hair styles, clothes, shoes, hobbies, certain tastes … etc. The list can go on and on.
Our friendships begin because we have common ground. We like some of the same things and we learn from each other. We learn life lessons from our girlfriends. We love them. They can drive us crazy, but we love them anyway. So, it stands to reason that the women we surround ourselves with are going to copy things from us and we are going to copy things from them. We are each others “muse.” That’s a beautiful thing in moderation. Sometimes it gets to be too much. That’s when you have to remind yourself that perhaps the basis of the relationship IS that you both like the same things and all ideas are going to be shared. Like it, or not.
So, how do we get through the crazy and keep our friendships in tact? How can we voice our issues without getting too emotional or worse, holding it all in? How can we be heard without hurting someone? When we feel hurt, we begin to guard our heart. We begin to question our reasoning. Even worse when we do come out and say what’s bugging us and the reaction is not supportive, walls go up.
Is it okay to tell her, “I’m mad at your right now, but I’ll get over it. Give me some time?” Maybe, after awhile you can discuss what you were feeling once you’ve had a chance to heal. How do women get through the bumpy times without destroying the friendship?
Irene S. Levine, PhD , author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (affiliate link) writes: Because of the romanticized way that these relationships are typically depicted in popular culture, women often have unrealistic expectations that their friendships have to be perfect. Yet the reality is that even long-standing friendships require two women to overlook little things, forgive, and make accommodations to each other’s differences and even eccentricities.
Sometimes, the emotions are too deep because the problem has been festering too long. Instead of discussing our issues, we might lash out or try to explain our feelings but instead either we get defensive or our friend does. Then it turns ugly and we stop talking all together. Even when we do see one another, there is that coldness that separates the bond.
Usually neither party knows how to resolve it. Nobody wants to be rejected so that first move is optional and questionable as to who is going to extend the olive branch first. Neither wants to be the one to reach out and be bitten.
We cover our hearts and we hold on to our dignity while secretly longing to rekindle the friendship that we miss dearly. Can’t we just apologize and move forward?
I’m referring to our women friends who know us intimately. (Not to be confused with sex.) They’ve been there during our “freak out” moments. They know our deepest secrets and our likes and dislikes. We’ve shared so many precious things about our husbands, our children, our fears and joys. They know our favorite foods, our favorite colors, what kind of books we like to read. They’ve had a look into our private world just as we have seen into theirs. It makes us vulnerable. With that comes a beauty and a history that only time can create. Isn’t it worth saving?
Some are like a sister that you can have that love/hate thing going. And boy do ya love to hate’m and hate to love them… but you do. ♥ When we set our expectations of our women friendships too high, we are bound to feel disappointed and betrayed. Yet we do place those relationships on a pedestal because our “women” can be our greatest support system.
We put a great deal of faith in our women relationships. They are wonderful, aren’t they? Let’s give each other some slack and forgive.
Yes, we love to be perfectionist. Yet, who really is perfect?
Maybe each one of us should give a shout out to our women, “I forgive you for not being perfect. I love you as you are. Thank you for being in my life.”