There is power in female friendships. When women come together, whether it is over brunch or in the boardroom, there is the opportunity for mentoring, collaboration and genuine friendships. I can write this because I have first-hand experience. Having a tribe of supportive women will give you strength to tackle challenges you did not anticipate. It will give a circle of safety and personal growth. When you have a band of trusted sisters whom you can share and stay accountable to, it can be an invaluable gift. Yet, many women, due to personal experience believe that women generally tend to despise each other. If you are wondering which side to lean towards, or if female friendships are genuinely possible, here are a few hacks to help you build strong female relationships.
Network and follow up
There’s a quote that says ‘A man who has or desires friends, must first show himself to be friendly.’ It may not be in your nature but many times you will be required to take the first step in saying hello to someone or even just smiling at them. Attend events where you can meet like-minded people or join a social group, a department in your church, volunteer, etc, and make the effort to connect. Also, understand that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. So you have to follow up and reach out from time to time.
Put in the work
Sometimes we’re not willing to take on the responsibility that comes with these kinds of friendships. It really can’t be about you all the time; expecting others to support you, or check on you without you reciprocating. The grass is definitely greener where you water and tend to it. It’s the same thing with your tribe of women. A thriving supportive tribe of women doesn’t just happen. Everyone has to put in the work, including you. And this can be the littlest of things e.g. if you guys are planning a hangout, contribute in whatever way you can, honour each other’s invites. Or even something as small as responding encouragingly to Whatsapp messages on a group.
Cheer each other on
We all need this, it makes one feel unstoppable. So do this at every opportunity you find. You don’t even have to be close to the person. Do this to your new friends, old friends, on social media, everywhere lol. If you see someone random and you like their hair or what they’re wearing tell them. If you attend an event and you liked a speech your ‘sister girl’ gave, tell her afterwards what you liked about her speech. Don’t be pretentious though but most times, the energy you give out, is the same energy you’ll get back.
The more you do the points mentioned above, without giving up on the first bat, the more people will gravitate towards you. It’s at that point you have to be wise enough to tell who’s genuine and who just wants to drain you. But the idea is not to always wait for these things to happen to us or sit in the hope that one day we will just happen upon a tribe of supportive women. The power is also very much in our hands.