It almost pains me to write the title of this article.
If you are like what I believe to be the majority of women, you have probably been very hurt by at least one or more female relationships in your life. Ask women today how they would describe many of their encounters with other women and words like “catty”, “backstabbing,” “jealous,” and “fake” seem to come first.
Why is that? This question has puzzled me for a long time. I have given it a lot of thought I and believe it’s because women by nature are very relational. Almost everything in our life can be defined by the quality of our relationships.
Let’s face it – women love to talk.
It’s one of the things we do best. I have read that when men get home from work they tend not be talkative because “they have used up all their words.” That doesn’t even make sense to me. Used up all your words? I’m not particularly talkative myself, but I didn’t think that could actually happen.
There is something about having a meaningful conversation with another woman that can’t be substituted for anything else. I really believe women need other women as friends.
Now here is where it gets interesting.
Think of the number of women you know who have almost no female friends. Sure they have friends, but close girlfriends? Do they have any? Maybe that’s even you. I hear a lot of women say that they don’t want to be friends with other women because they can’t stand the gossiping and they don’t want to get hurt. They have been burned one too many times and they have had it.
Maybe you have plenty of close friends who are women. Let me ask you this question. How much time do you spend talking negatively about them to your other friends when one of them is not around? Do you suspect they may say bad things about you when you are not around?
I have a strong suspicion that most women fit in one of the two categories I just mentioned. I hope you agree with me when I say that this is a huge problem!
As women we need to build each other up. There are enough things in this world tearing us down, why do it to each other?
Really give that some thought. Why would we put our own friends down behind their back? It doesn’t make us any better or them actually any worse. Are we that insecure that we need to put our own friends down? Once you become genuinely ok with who you are, you can stop being jealous of other people, and stop putting them down.
A great way to feel better about who you are is to offer a very genuine relationship, freely and with your whole heart.
There is unspeakable value in a woman who treats her friends with respect, stands up for them when they are not there, encourages them, and loves them enough to not let them stay where they are. I think most women would appreciate it if instead of telling other people what we don’t like about them, we told them to their face! (Nicely of course)
I don’t know about you, but if I am doing something that is harming relationships in my life I want to know about it! I would actually consider you a bad friend if you were not honest with me. If the offense doesn’t warrant going to the offender about it, maybe we should just keep quiet and give the person room to grow. Real friends want you to be better and are willing to love you through the change process.
Sometimes we need to exhibit a willingness to let go and forgive.
I can’t tell you the times I have been hurt by a close friend. To be fair usually they did it unintentionally. Holding a grudge only created bitterness and resentment within me. We gain nothing from burning bridges. (Please understand I am not referring to toxic friendships that may actually need to be ended.)
Our friends need us to pour positive things into them, just as much as we desire that in return. When you choose not to forgive someone and say bad things about them instead, you block the flow of love that the person really needs from you.
If you are reading this my sincere hope is that you reflect long enough to make some changes in your life.
Maybe you have been hurt in the past. I challenge you to give a woman in your life a genuine friendship. Love them completely and see what happens. Next time a friend hurts you I challenge you to let them know and not run off and tell everyone else about it.
I can honestly say much of what I have learned about true friendship I have learned from the great girlfriends I have today. (Several of them happened to be co-authors of the blog!) They were true friends to me before I was even ready to understand what that meant. From their example over time I learned how to give a real friendship to other women.
I can also say that I have learned a lot from my own mistakes of not being a great friend. All I can hope is that the people I have hurt over the years can find it in their hearts to forgive me.
Let’s all agree that we will stop waiting for other people to change and be that change that we so desperately wish to see in others.
Just as relationships are a woman’s greatest weakness I also believe that they are her greatest strength. A harmonious friendship with another woman is such a blessing. The more women who have the opportunity to experience that blessing the better of we will all be. In my opinion the answer to many of our female societal problems is not to be more like men, but to embrace more of our womanhood by using our relational strengths for good.