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Women and friendship

09.16.2015

I can count in one single hand the women friends I have in my life. They are strong, caring, empowering women. They live all over the planet; women I met while living in France, Morocco, Arizona or the US east coast. I may not see them as much as I’d love to, but calling them or emailing them once in a while keeps our friendship strong. I also ‘know’ other women, the ones that seem all fine and friendly, but deep down, I instinctively know we could never be friends. Friendship, real, true friendship is rare among women.

Have you noticed how we, women, can be very ‘catty’ and malicious to each other? Jealousy, envy, animal instinct? I don’t know the exact cause of this, but we can be so mean to each other sometimes. Instead of embracing each other, we tend to push each other down, almost as if, by doing so, we could personally raise higher.

French By Design

Lately, I’ve met two wonderful women that made me change my mind [again] about women and friendship. These 2 ladies are both in their early 40 and 50s, achieved great careers, and don’t need to compare themselves to others. We met at a social blogging event a few months ago and instantly connected. Cindy is a renowned photographer, and Kiana a very talented and highly sought-after floral designer. We organized a trip to LA for an event and had the most memorable time together. Easy going, care-free, full of laughs – you know, the ones that make you cry and give you belly cramps. I did not feel judged, analyzed or anything… No, instead, it felt like talking and confiding in women that were strong, caring, understanding, empowering. Real women. We all need to hang out with, and become, such women. Instead of tearing each other down, how about embracing each other, be there for each other?

French By Design

Do you have such women friends in your life? If you do, take the time today to text them, email them, or use the comment form below to thank them for being part of your life. Here is to women embracing each other. Here is to strong #badass women! Cheers, Si-

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18 comments

  • Lynn

    My advice in order to have that type of friend is to BE that type of friend. I have many close friends from different times in my life, and when my (French) husband asks who is my best friend or who is my most reliable friend (who I could call at 3am in a crisis), I have multiple options, and he never believes me. This is not to show off. I also have “those” friends who I actively keep at arms length based on past behavior (like you mention above). Last week, a close friend who is launching her new business was nervous about writing her first proposal, and it was due that week. She sent it to me and I edited it and gave feedback within a few hours, knowing how important it was to her. BE that friend and you will attract them. That said, in both friendships and romantic relationships, nothing can take the place of chemistry! Sometimes you just “click”.

    One piece of feedback on this page is that, based on the position of your logo, the quotes above appear to be attributed to yourself. I’m sure the logo is meant to pertain to the design, but it is a bit misleading (to me).

    • French By Design

      Totally agree with you Lynn! Be who you want to attract, although I’ve burnt myself quite a few times as a giver in front of takers.

      On your side note, the logo watermark is added because I create these quotes – in terms of graphic design – and sadly many times, these quotes are reposted without any credit to my work. When the quotes have a known author, you will always see a credit to the author at the bottom of the quote. Cheers-

  • Lara

    I couldn’t have said it better! I’m blessed with strong women in my life, and this post makes me realize how lucky I am. Yes to stronger women – and less competition among us. Great post!

  • Kiana Underwood

    you made me cry Si. So beautiful. I’m honored and cherish our friendship and look forward to many more years. Can’t wait till October! Xoxoxo

  • Sandra Fazzino

    I feel sad reading this. I realized as I read your words that I have an amazing network of women, all at varying levels of closeness, who encompass pure love, and I especially felt immediately grateful for my very best friend, Michelle who lives 3,000 miles away but nothing can keep our spirits apart. But then it occurred to me, the two women who mean the most have been hurtful to me, my own mother and sister. We haven’t spoken in years. They are in my heart and prayers and I truly wonder what God has planned for us?! That said, I have also made my mistakes with sour women including but not limited to physically assaulting them for daring to cross me. Not proud of it, but it’s true. I have let them get the best of me….they have fed my fears and insecurities and in turn I made poor decisions about the person I chose to be. Happy to say that has lessened to a strong degree. You are a dynamic soul, Si. You deserve love in all its splendor. Cheers to you and your fem power!!! Keep it strong!! Xxx

    • French By Design

      Oh, what a heartful comment Sandra! I hope somehow that you will get closure with your family members. We all have stories to tell about family relationships, sadly. That would be the subject of an entire post!
      Peace and light to you my dear! Xo, Si-

      PS : do tell more about the sour women and the assault stories, you know I’ll ask next time we meet! #juicy ;-))))

    • Lorraine

      Dear Sandra, I to was estranged from my parents because I married against their wishes. They never acknowledged my husband or my children or grand children. About 7 years ago my mum managed to track me down. I was horrified. I had completely cut myself off emotionally and geographically from my family. Going so far as to use a false name on line and never listing any details.
      Now I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to get to know her by phone (she was in Cambridge, England and I was in Australia). It was very awkward at first but I realised that as a Christian to be forgiven by God meant that I had to forgive or I was living the correct lifestyle and I was not forgiven. So we spoke every
      Tuesday until November last year. I learned so much, I had been resentful that my mother allowed us to be beaten and treated badly. I resented that my dad was an alcoholic and she did nothing. I resented that I was sexually assaulted and nothing was done,
      As I got older I realised what could she have done differently? In the 60s a woman didn’t have the resources or money to leave with 5 children. I didn’t realise for every beating we got she got two. I didn’t realise that mums headaches were from severe beatings and head trauma. So I knew nothing but had judged her based on assumption.
      So it was easy to forgive because really she hadn’t done anything wrong by the standards of the day and she had no one to turn to.
      She passed to rest November last year and I spoke to her just before when she asked me the one question that we never confronted, “I was a good mum wasn’t I, I know I wasn’t the best and we didn’t have much but we loved each other didn’t we, was I a good mum?” And for the first time I found that I could answer honestly with a yes. I told her she did the best anyone in her situation could have done and I meant it.
      Somehow, I felt lighter and I was so thankful to have had that opportunity to talk about it.
      I still don’t have any contact with anyone else in my family, and the friends I made here have become not just BFFs but family.
      I will pray that you find a moment where you have a chance to face your fears and realise that what is passed us gone, tomorrow hasn’t happened but today is what we have now and to live and love in that moment. You will find so much peace. God Bless you, Lorraine x

      • Lorraine

        Oh sorry I wanted to add I have done things I am not proud of when I was younger. I was so full of anger, I even flushed a woman’s head in the toilet. Not proud of it but the truth is the truth and it sets you free.

        • sandra fazzino

          Lorraine, thank you so much for sharing your story. What a true example of hope and forgiveness! Your honesty and openness really touched me. Thank you for extending a sisterly hand across the world wide web. You a wonderful reminder of anything is possible. And thanks to Si for laying her heart out there. Had she not done so, we wouldn’t have had the honor of sharing with each other. xoxoxo

          • French By Design

            Thank you ladies for opening up here, and for sharing your personal journey. You two ladies highlight the reason I love blogging. Some say the internet tears us apart, I think it makes us closer and stronger. Big hug, Si-

  • Cindy

    So well written, Si. I’ve never understood why certain women compete instead of empowering each other. I so treasure my friendship with you and Kiana. Xo

  • Rachel Ang

    This is so true. Awesome that you have girlfriends like that in your life! they are indeed rare! Im blessed to have a few good girlfriends too!!! xxxx

    Rachel x
    thehappybits.blogspot.com

  • Lorraine

    Hi, I love that you put so much time and effort in to a subject so close to my heart.
    I have always (and still am) that you don’t need many friends just one or two good and reliable friends. Friends who stand by you through the good bad and ugly. Friends who you can loose contact with for a while but just out of the blue pick up the phone and say hey, fancy a coffee and pick up where it left off.
    I was 19 married with a new baby in the late 70s and my husband and myself decided to leave our home in London and move to Australia. It was a heart wrenching decision but for the opportunities it gave our child(ren), knew it was right. I had a hard time because I was from a very large family, the oldest of all my generation, the first married, the first grandchild and I was practically mother to my brothers because of my mothers ill health.
    I also had an amazing career in computer programming very new in those days and it was my trade that got us over the line by emigration even though my husband was an engineer and designer. That meant as a condition of emigration I had to find work.
    We knew no one, didn’t know where it was or the climate as we were allocated a place where I was needed most and took a leap of faith and went.
    I’m explaining this so it makes sense later on and I will try to be brief as possible.
    We lived in a migrant hostel for two months while we found employment and homes. It was there I met the two most wonderful, kind, warm hearted and generous spirited friends I could ever wish to meet.
    They became family, we were all in the same position and the same ages approx. And have spent all this time as BFFs. Now we are older and I have become disabled we don’t see as much of each other as we would like, but emails and Skype are great but nothing beats getting together and it doesn’t matter what is happening in our lives we may start off crying but by the end we are laughing so hard we should advertise those Depend pads!
    It is trust, loyalty, knowing that we can share our thoughts or problems without someone telling us what to do, just listening, confident that it is in kept private and not discussed and love for each other.
    Now as grand parents we are blessed to have raised great children to even greater adults and grandchildren that want to sit with nana and learn to crochet or paint or sew etc. While they are instilled with the same values.
    One more point. I had to sons who married two of the best daughters in law a mum could wish for. The night before each of them got married I sat down and wrote a letter, in it I explained how I felt a husband should treat their wives and her family and lead a good productive life. I was shocked when our first grand daughter arrived 8 years ago when I got a letter in the mail from my eldest saying thank you for teaching me how to be a family man. Dad taught me to be a man but you taught me how to put the heart in to a family and he went on to say that he intended to raise his children exactly as he was raised, so love is key everything. Loyalty, love, kindness, compassion and humility would make this world so much better.
    Thank you.

    • French By Design

      Love, love, and love more what you are saying here Lorraine. It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful friendship journey, and I hope I will get to keep my friends throughout my life like you. Thank you so much for sharing! Xo, Si-

  • ShaliniC

    Thank you for this post and all the subsequent comments. We recently moved from mid-west to California and I’m missing my girlfriends a lot and struggling to make connections here that click and could transform into real friendships…