Some women are amazing at connecting with other people. They’re very social. They host gatherings that appear to have taken months to organise, while only taking an afternoon of their time. And they never seem to tire of it. These women are a source of envy for their ability to connect. What have they figured out that the rest of us have not? What prevents us mere mortals from having closer connections with the women around us?
Before embarking on your journey to connect with other women, start by compiling an inventory of why you feel that you have lacked connection up until this point.
Maybe it is because you were bullied by the popular kids in high school? And now you see all of your current colleagues as those popular kids from high school? Is it because you are (or used to be) married to someone who is always the centre of attention at a party? Whatever the reasons are, write them down. Get them out of your head and on to paper.
Why do we even need to connect? Is the point of connecting just to be able to take a photo to put on social media? Are we trying to distract ourselves by filling a void that can actually only be filled if we do some internal work? For example, I travel extensively for work and while that may sound glamorous, I found myself stuck in a rut where I would get home, collapse from exhaustion and 48 hours later, get back on the road. This was a very convenient excuse.
I had to commit, in advance, to weekend activities with friends or else I would not do it once I was home. I can sometimes feel like I “perform” at work all day and that feeling is certainly not something I want to incorporate into my personal life.
My solution? I’ve found that if I make a meal for a small group of friends, invite a few gals to the movies, or arrange a play-date for dogs, these are small commitments that provide easy ways for me to stay connected. Once you’ve figured out the reasons why you may have lacked connection in your life, start small and arrange to do a couple of things with friends that you know you’ll be able to commit to. Stick to the plans you make, show up and take it from there.
Build A Community
What if you’re a terrible cook or you live in an small apartment where entertaining can be cramped? Look for something to do that interests you. For example, if you are a natural caregiver, maybe you could contact your local hospital to volunteer. Maybe you’re trying to improve your fitness? Contact your local gym to see what classes they offer. Whatever it is that interests you, look for an outlet… And if you can’t find a group that shares your interests, seize the opportunity and start your own!
Last year, I felt the need to connect with women in a way where men could not get involved in the conversation. I started a secret group on Facebook called Girls Only, No Boys Allowed with some of my close friends. Less than a year later, there are over 400 hundred members. Some of the women tell me this has become a sacred space for them and posts range from deep discussions about every subject imaginable to celebrity crushes. This group has replaced my need to connect with encouragement, support, diverse friendships and lots of laughter!
If you had to start a group tomorrow, what would the focus be and why?
Give Yourself A Break
It’s OK not to give in to social pressure. It’s OK to not be out and about, meeting up with other human beings every weekend. Connection requires effort. And if you’re not feeling up to it, it’s perfectly acceptable to say no.
However, if you crave connection, you may have to push yourself get past your initial discomfort. Don’t allow what you don’t have today to affect what you could have in the future. The connections you make with other women will feed your soul. Take a small step and explore what works for you.
If you would like to connect with Michele, visit her author page and click the links on her bio. Alternatively, if you would like to join the Girls Only No Boys Allowed group, add Michele as a friend on Facebook so she can invite you in to the GONBA group.