I had the honour of speaking at Alison Springer’s Young Women of Power conference a few weeks ago on the topic of friendships. When I asked how many gals don’t feel they get along with other females, every hand in the room went up. Women to women relationships are “interesting” and need restoration. I wrote this post two years ago in a time when I was struggling with friendships with women. Perhaps you relate.
You women freak me out. I’m afraid of your judgments when I walk in the room. Am I dressed well enough to impress you? Too much that I intimidate you? Do I come across too talkative or too shy? Should I smile at you or pretend to ignore you? Should I approach you with openness or put on an aloof facade?
Its hard to walk into a room when you all know each other and I know no one. You seem to all flock together. It would be ok if I thought you didn’t notice my presence, but that glance back with a look up and down just made me realize you’re very aware I’m there. I wish you could have seen me smile at you in attempt to reach out, but you turned back so quickly. I guess this is why girls don’t often go places alone. It’s just so awkward…..
It’s that uncomfortable moment of frantically scanning the room for a friendly soul that scares me. It’s always nice when you finally decide to come over to introduce yourself. You have no idea how refreshing! But its hard not to compare the experience to feeling like I’m in the middle of an initiation. The fact you just walked away tells me I didn’t pass….
I appreciate the attempts of inviting me out for coffee and to the party you were hosting so you could introduce me to your friends. When you’re the new girl, it’s nice to have an invitation to hopefully form new friendships. I’m just confused when the invitations stop? I guess we’re not friends then? It’s hard to read you when you’re nice, but not inclusive…….
I love deep talks with you. It’s stretching for me to be open and spill my heart out. I go away from sharing my soul with you feeling safe and free!….. until another comes and repeats verbatim all I shared with you….. You were the only one I told. I feel even more betrayed when you act like nothing happened.
I’m thankful when you’re not threatened by things I’m good at. It’s wonderful when we can cheer each other on and celebrate one another’s accomplishments. But I have to admit, I find it draining to hear you talk about yourself only to shut me down when I’ve got something new and exciting in my life I’m dying to share with you.
I was flustered after you got offended with me speaking rather frank with you. I thought you said we could speak freely to each other and not take it the wrong way?
And honestly, it drives me a bit crazy when you obsess about what other girls are doing. You become a different person when you’re trying to impress them. I’m not sure when you decided these girls are setting the social standard? Why can’t you just not care and be yourself?
Sometimes I just want to give up on you…. but I can’t. Somewhere deep in my soul I feel I was made to connect with you. I feel more complete when I’m with you. As much as I want to isolate myself from you, I long for a kindred to walk through life with.
So when you ignore me, I’ll still muster the courage to smile. When I’ve been pushed out of the circle, I’ll still speak highly of you. When you succeed, I’ll choose to cheer for you, even if its not returned. I may not bear my heart and soul with you until I feel my trust replenished, but I won’t with hold my hand from you. I will look for you when you’re the one alone in the crowd. And even though my time seems so limited, I will try to look for you outside of my comfortable circle of friends. I won’t care if you have a different style or point of view than me. I find that intriguing and fresh!
You may hurt me again and again in ways you don’t even realize, but in those moments I will run to the Father and He will give me the courage to face you again. I may succumb to my wall or standoffish behavior again. When I do, I’m sorry. Time to head back to the Father again to break down my wall of judgment ….. and hopefully surprise me with a new, deep friendship that sharpens us to be more like Him.