If you were asked, “What’s the biggest challenge you face to create the friendships you really want,” what would you say?
I’m going to let you in on a secret. Your biggest challenge is not time or the inability to meet new people. Your biggest challenge is you. You determine both the quantity and quality of your friendships based on who you are and how well you know who you want as a girlfriend, regardless of who’s in your circle today. Think about it. You wouldn’t consider dating or getting married without giving thought to who your mate is. Yet, even though we have close, intimate relationships with our girlfriends, we rarely give conscious thought to the kind of women they are. Instead, we choose friends by chance or duty, and with the busy lives we lead, you can’t afford to waste your friendtime on friendships based on obligation or on friendships that take more than they give.
If you’ve never stopped to ask yourself questions like, “What kind of women do I want in my life? Does my current circle of friends reflect the kind of energy I want to surround myself with?” chances are you are missing out on some great friendship opportunities, and spending too much energy on ones that don’t give you what you really want.
If you know who you want as a friend, you’re much more likely to attract that kind of person into your life. And she is much more likely to fit the life you are creating for yourself. So do yourself a favor, and take the time to get clear on who you really want to call girlfriend and why. Ask yourself the following questions using the action activities to get you crystal clear on your answers.
Questions For Creating Fabulous Friendships
QUESTION 1: Why do I want friends?
It seems like a no-brainer question. Who doesn’t want friends, right? True, but this is a question worth answering because your response will tell you a lot about what you expect friendships to do for you. We all have different motivations, most of us just don’t know what they are.
Action: Play the Why Game. The game is simple. Keep asking yourself “Why” over and over again until you get to core of your motivation. Here’s how it works: Start by asking, “Why do I want friends?” Say you respond with, “To have people to hang out with.” Then ask, “Why do I… want people to hang out with?” Answer. Then again, ask “Why…” to the answer to that question. Repeat at least four times. And when you get your final answer, ask “Why is this important to me?”
QUESTION 2: Who are the women I want as friends (regardless of who I am friends with now?)
Paint a picture in your heart of the women you want as friends, as if you were Picasso. Don’t think about the women in your life today. Imagine the kind of women you want to make your life even better.
Action: Do a Friendship Visualization. Close your eyes and imagine yourself connected to the energy of this fantastic group of women you want to surround yourself with. Look closely into their eyes and paint a picture in your mind of who they are. Let yourself see them. Are these women self-empowered? Compassionate? Living their dreams? Or are they friends that revel in drama? Play small? Or take more than they give? Feeling into them, see them for who they truly are:
- What is important to them?
- What are their gifts?
- How do they live?
- Why is friendship important to them?
Action: Create Your Friendship Story. After you’ve visualized these women, write a full, juicy paragraph or two describing them… a story that when you read it back to yourself, connects deeply to your heart and soul. Don’t just blurt an answer out off the cuff, or create a long list of attributes. Go beyond the surface and into the essence of who these women are. Tell their story. It’s the difference between painting a Picasso and drafting a PowerPoint presentation. After you write it out, read it out loud and commit to drawing these women into your life.
Causes Christine Arylo Supports
Step Up Women's Network
International Museum of Women