Why do women have problems making friends with other women?

It’s strange isn’t it?

If you watch TV shows like “Friends”, “Sex and the City”, or my favorite, “Grace & Frankie”, it looks like female friendships are where it’s at. In fact, I think that is what makes those shows so popular because that is what most of us want – a group of other females who know us so well they can finish our sentences and give us a swift kick in the ass if needed.

But a recent study says that 60% of 15-65 year old women are fearful and distrustful of being friends with other women. Why is that?

The overwhelming answer is: “negative past experiences.”

I had the honor of being interviewed today on the Friendshipable Podcast hosted by best friends, Manya and Terri. They have created a platform called Project BFF where they talk all things friendship. We talked about why women have such a hard time trusting other females.

In my opinion, it has become “everyone for themselves” instead of coming together and sharing our experiences, wisdom, and feelings. Hundreds of years ago, we were in a tribal system. Women of all ages got together to teach the young women what to expect as they got older. The wise women imparted their hard-won knowledge and they helped each other raise their children. Now, there is so much focus on how we run our lives, the belief system we hold, and whether others agree with what we are doing.

Too often we feel judged and completely inadequate. But here’s the thing – WE ALL FEEL THIS! Imagine what it would be like if we dropped that need to be seen as a Superwoman and actually told each other what we are feeling.

I am beautifully imperfect and so are you!

Think of yourself as a tree – a beautiful tree filled with thousands of leaves that shimmer in the summer sun.

Those leaves are seasonal. They will come and go, and this is just like the people in your life. Some will be there for a day or less. Others will be there longer, but they are constantly going through their own life cycle and will drop off your tree when it is their time to.

Then there are the limbs on your tree. These are stronger and hold up all the leaves for you. They are still there after the leaves have all dropped, readying for the moment new leaves start to appear. They may be with you forever or maybe; they break off after a storm. That’s ok.

Then you have the roots. They are usually hidden but do most of the important work like keeping you hydrated, giving you nutrients, holding your trunk up solid and strong. They protect you during the rough times and help you to show your ultimate gloriousness. There are less roots than the limbs or leaves because they are the foundation of your existence.

If you think of your friendships in the same way, you can see that you will be exposed to all types of people on your life journey. When a leaf or even a limb falls, yes, it hurts and can be scary, but it is necessary in the evolution of you as a person. Learn the lesson presented by the loss and move on.

Women need other women – period.

It’s time to open up. Let your heart be willing and unafraid to meet new people and expose yourself to their stories and experiences. We are far more alike than different and those differences are what makes this human experience so worth living.

Reconnect with an old friend or take the jump and get to know someone new. It starts with us – you cannot wait to have someone else make the first step. Remember your tree and then think of how you present to others. Are you a leaf? Are you a limb? Or are you part of the root system for someone else?

What can you do right now that will open you up to seeing the beauty in all the women around you? The gifts that we each bring to those around us are not only varied, but so very empowering.

Let’s get Blyssed!

Crista Tharp

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