Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Female friendships are really anything but easy. I have a few theories on why - we are more sensitive (most of us at least), emotional and essentially thrive on a little drama to make the day go faster. Most women look at things completely different than the average guy, and my female observations assure me that we look for things in these relationships that most men don't even (or can't even) acknowledge exist. I have been known to describe some of my friendships as important as the air that I breathe. Easy though? Rarely ever.
For a few months, I was having a little crisis of conscience and was learning to look at what I want and need from these relationships. I was looking at the relationships in my life and was more than a little confused about what I was seeing. Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), what I am learning is that it all boils down to ourselves. It's all about being the queen! The queen of my own life - what a concept!! Now, I'm not talking about the queen in terms of being the ruler of these relationships. It's about being the queen of yourself. There's a big distinction between the two, so it's important to understand this queen concept if you are going to read any further.
So, what is it like to be the queen of your life? Well my gut instincts tell me that it's about making the decisions that have your own best interests in mind. It's that delicate balance between being accepted, wanted, included...and staying true to your values and morals. Where did this crisis of conscience start, you ask? I kept asking myself why I had accepted a role in relationships where I was clearly not being the queen. Sadly, I'm not even sure I was part of the royal court!
The crisis continued to get a little worse for me. I have confidence issues (ok, I know, find me a woman who doesn't). My self confidence level balances back and forth between "I'm good enough to be included" and "I'm fully aware that I may be excluded at some point." I feel sometimes like I have this hard-wired reaction to shut-er-down if I start to feel like I have too much confidence. It's a self-induced lack of confidence, a subconscious, self-deprecating reaction...it's okay to feel good tonight...but don't feel too good. I realized that there have been times when I have let my confidence issues skew my decision making abilities in these relationships.
So, how is this whole being the queen relevant? And, when does it become a problem? It becomes a problem when a women enters into a relationship where she is giving more than she should; or more than she needs to. In cases like this you are not being the queen. Instead of seeing a level playing field where both women are equals in the friendship, there is a hierarchy (real or imagined) that defines the friendship. It might sound a little complicated, but I'm sure we have all done this. Think about it, have you ever had a friend that in your eyes is completely put together, beautiful and successful? She's the person that everyone in the room wants to talk to (at least that's what you think!), and where she goes - fun follows. Essentially you are creating the hierarchy because you are consistently seeing that person above you. On the flip side, have you ever had a friend that mimicked your look, borrowed your clothes and wanted to be in the same circles? Well then, you've probably been on that other side where someone raised you up in the hierarchy.
Now, I'm definitely not a therapist; and I'm not going to get into whether these types of friendships are healthy or even normal - frankly I have no idea. What I do know is that this is a recent self exploration based on women that have come and gone from my life. So back to my crisis of conscience...for a long time I had created a hierarchy in an important friendship in my life. I knew I did it, and I didn't mind. I loved her and I loved how our friendship made me feel, so it was okay...or so I thought. I found out the hard way that there is a downside to relationships that exist like this - when the pedestal is gone, it's a long way back down to the ground.
This blog has taken me quite a while to write, and I think that's a great thing. A little time has given me clarity. The sadness has faded, and I've had some time to heal. Most importantly, it's given me time to really wrap myself around being the queen of my life. Truth be told I am flawed! I get anxious, hormonal and to say I'm emotional is an understatement...but I accept it, and you need to accept it too. I'm not going to change, so please don't try; and those hierarchies - they need to be a thing of the past. To my girls - I love you the way you are - happy, sad, borderline psychotic...so be your own queen. It's about honesty, trust and true love. In the end if we are true to ourselves...the truer the friend we can be to others.
Image: posterize / FreeDigitalPhotos.net