You Can Sit With Us - The value of building a strong circle of girlfriends

mental health relationships Apr 05, 2021

I love getting together with my girlfriends, and if I had my way it would happen way more than it does!!

But what I love best, is that I have "pockets" of girlfriends. I have my girlfriends from 30 years ago who all live in Arizona, I have my Texas girlfriends, I have my Nevada girlfriends, my workout girlfriends, my scrapbooking girlfriends, my football-mom girlfriends, and my very first girlfriend, my sister.
No matter how often I see them or how rare our face-to-face visits may be, one thing is for certain---> these ladies fill a hole only true friendship can fill. There is nothing like having a wonderful girlfriend!

Girlfriends make us laugh when we need it the most. They are there to pick up the pieces when we have no idea how to put humpty back together again.

From an early age girlfriends shape who we are, who we become. By spending time together, we learn how to be there for others. How to be nurturing, loving, nonjudgmental. We practice extending friendship and compassion. We develop patience through those give-and-take relationships. We give these ladies our attention and trust; and in return we receive affirmation, security, and honesty.
But what happens when we neglect those friendships? We're all busy. And even though technology provides us with so many easy and convenient ways to communicate, sometimes those relationships are put on the back burner.
Have you ever seen an overgrown garden? Once beautiful and well tended - but overtime without the attention and time invested it is no longer lush and beautiful.
So, how often do you find time to nurture your relationships? How often do you reach out and let your girlfriend know that you are there for her no matter the distance between you? Me, I'll admit - not often enough and honestly I miss it!
I know, some of you are sitting there thinking - how can I nurture a relationship I don’t even have!
It’s hard to make friends at this age. Here are my top three tips to creating new friendships:
  • Be willing to put yourself out there. Join a group fitness class or a painting class. Send out an invite in your neighborhood page to meet up at the local park for a Saturday morning walk. Join a Facebook group and comment on other’s posts to strike up conversations, shared interests. Like any type of relationship, friendships take time and energy to grow. Start by scheduling group outings and invite some new ladies to join in the fun. This takes the pressure off and makes it a lot easier to feel relaxed and enjoy the moment.

  • Encourage a friend to bring a friend. Be comfortable inviting new people into your circle. You may be the blessing they need in their life.

  • If you follow someone on social media or are connected through Facebook and really like their posts, their overall attitude, you see that you share common interests, tell them!! I can not believe how many girlfriends I’ve met through social media that are now important people in my life.

So once you’ve developed those special relationships, it’s time to nurture them - to pour into them so they continue to grow and flourish. Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer.

Here are 6 ways to nurture those friendships:

>> Make girlfriend time a priority - meaning schedule it!! Do life together! Schedule weekly or monthly chit-chats to catch up. Be creative --> go shopping together, meet for coffee, run the track together, take a yoga class, carpool to events, arrange a "play date" to go bowling or an escape room, volunteer together, or take a girls trip!!

Some of my favorite things to do with my girlfriends include grabbing a coffee or cocktail, going hiking or running, Sunday brunch or a long weekend scrapbooking get-a-way. (Seriously that’s a thing . . . a thing I try to do at least twice a year) Get a date on the calendar - make spending time with friends part of your weekly or monthly routine.

>> Grow together - Combine spiritual and emotional nurturing. Join a women's Bible study, prayer group, book club, or painting class together. Keep each other accountable to living a great life full of things that bring you joy.
>> Let her know you are thinking about her - Send her an email, handwritten note (Yes, people still do that!), or a quick text to remind her that she is an important part of your life. Keep a list of friends that are important to you - I know this sounds kind of like something you’d do as a middle school, but honestly it works. Make a list of women that are important in your life, whether you see them once a week, once a year, or once a decade. Use that list to take the time to catch up with these women throughout the month. Schedule 15 minutes once a week to call, text, or email 5 friends on that list and let them know you were thinking about them. Asking them how they are doing - and mean it! Schedule a date to meet up so that it’s on the calendar.

>> Celebrate for no reason - celebrations shouldn’t be saved for big things only - celebrate the little things!! Get dressed up for the heck of it and celebrate yourselves!

>> Don’t forget to be there when she truly needs you!! Be there through the rough times too - no one else can support her like a true girlfriend can. Sometimes it’s scary, you may not know what to say or are trying to give her space - but make sure she knows you are there when she’s ready.

>> Be the friend that you want others to be to you!

Never forget that the best stress reliever we have is each other!

I'm always looking to fill more seats at my table, so please don't be afraid to reach out and let's set up a time to chat!

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