Do you feel accepted and liked? Geez, that’s a tough question! I don’t know, sometimes? I guess it depends on who I am around. I have some awesome people in my life who include me in their plans, and I hope that means they like me. I am so grateful for that, considering that I have a panic attack when I have some kind of social commitment. Thank you to the people who keep inviting me. There are a lot of times where I want to go and spend time with people, but then I get anxiety and cancel. I’ve been working on that for a long time, and I’ve come a long way. Maybe I just overthink everything, like I am right now. I wonder if people actually like me or why people even want to spend time with me. What do I have to offer to a friendship? I hope that people think that they can count on me, that I’m authentic, and hopefully I’m fun! I’m guarded for reasons that I’m still trying to figure out, so there are very few people that I trust with my heart or my vulnerability, which makes it a challenge to develop deep levels of friendship.
Schuster writes about finding a group of ride or die friends, and I’m telling you this is not easy, seriously is there a Tinder for finding friends? Or a Tinder for people who have anxiety, but want solid friendships? I love the idea of a best friend, but I don’t know if I have the ride or die relationships that some women have. This might be because I put up walls as a defense mechanism to protect myself from getting hurt. Or, maybe it isn’t me, maybe I’m a great friend, but I just haven’t found my soul sister yet. Don’t get me wrong, I have some close friends, who have my back, and I hope that they know I have theirs. I actually wish people would lean on me a little more. I want to be the friend who can show up at your house in my pajamas with a bottle of wine, and I want a friend who would do that for me too.
I guess I think that the perfect friendship or relationship is being totally comfortable and honest with that person. I want a friend where we can show up at each other’s houses unannounced, and no one is freaking out about it. It means laughing until we are crying. It means hard truths and thoughtful conversations; trips together and making memories. It’s knowing that we can pick up the phone (or if you have phone anxiety, like me) send a text and tell each other we are losing our minds or tell each other about our accomplishments. It’s knowing we will go out of their way for each other even if it isn’t easy or convenient. It’s I understand you and I’ve got you. Does anyone have that? I’m genuinely happy for you if you do!
A good friend will be honest with you. They will tell you when you are wrong or when you ask for advice they will give you the hard truths. Criticism sucks, but someone who really has the best intentions for you will give the best feedback. They tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. These are the people you really need to trust and be vulnerable around.
So now that we have our people, we need to think about the strengths of each of the women in our girl group. When trying to better yourself or set goals, you need people to turn to for support, guidance, criticism, experience. We all have different people who we turn to for different reasons. Schuster breaks these up into 3 categories. We need different types of support at different points in our journeys.
- Hype Men-People you go to for love, care and encouragement.
- Road Warriors-People who are in similar career/personal situations who can offer advice.
- Negative Nancy-Stay away from them. They never have anything positive to say.
Finally, even though it sucks, ending relationships with people who don’t seem to care about or respect you is a must. It is unhealthy for you, and the sooner that you figure that out, the sooner you can move on and focus on the positive people in your life. For example, the friend who bails on you every single time. Or the friend who never really listens to you when it is your turn to talk; it might be time to have an honest conversation or reevaluate the relationship. When you feel an emotional arrow pierce your heart…do something nice for yourself. “Meet hurt with loving action toward yourself” (Schuester). I love this advice. Love yourself and love the people who love you.
So, think about who shows up for you again and again? If you have a friend or two who you have been thinking about while reading this, keep investing in that relationship. This is your squad, tribe, girl group, lady harem…whatever you want to call them. Call those people now and tell them how much they mean to you. ♥