Importance of Female Friendships
An important thing you should know about me is how much I cherish and value my female friends. I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of having strong female friendships in your life, and, for me, nothing is more important. Well, that and family. It became even clearer to me as I went through transformative highs and lows over the past five years. Moments like earth-shattering heartbreaks, leaving my friends and family to move across the country because my soul felt like it needed to be in NYC, having an abortion, insane career growth, and finding my power. I couldn’t have gotten through any of those moments without them. With their unwavering support and love, I feel like I can accomplish anything. From the depths of my soul, I thank you.
Growing up, I wasn’t taught about the importance of female friendships. I wasn’t taught how to show up and be a good friend to the women around me. We were taught to compete with each other. We were taught we needed to find a partner, get married, and have babies. Your goal as a woman was to find the one, anyone. We’d fight over guys. We’d put each other down. We’d make each other feel lesser than. We weren’t taught that friendships are relationships that need nurturing. This type of competitive nature translated into the work environment. We were fed this fallacy that there can only be one woman in the room. We felt like we needed to compete to climb the corporate ladder. (I have tears rolling down my cheeks as I write these words.)
Fuck all of that. It’s all lies taught to keep us down. We have to reverse the script and change the stereotype. There is power in the pack. We are stronger as a collective. We will only gain strength by supporting and uplifting each other. We need to learn how to be good friends, colleagues, sisters-in-law, lovers, partners, and mentors. The entire room should be full of women. There is room for all of us to succeed and grow.
I feel a shift happening. The more I open myself up to the women around me, the more I’m finding that we are all on similar journeys and craving connections, support, and love. I feel our energies flowing through each other. I sense us channeling each other’s strength, power, warmth, femininity, intuition, empathy, and sexuality that gives us the power to push forward. I wish for everyone to experience this.
Through the love, trials, tribulations, and support my female friends have given me, here are a few ways I’ve learned how to be a friend to the women around me.
You Are in a Relationship
I’m in a relationship with my female friends. For me, these are platonic relationships, but the connection and love are as deep as any partner I’ve had. I’d say it’s even more profound. They require the same care, nurturing, love, quality time, gifts, and check-ins that any other relationship needs.
Learn to Communicate
I used to think that a fight would mean the end of a friendship. Instead, I learned when you have a disagreement or argument; you have to learn to use your words to talk it through. It will only make your friendship bond stronger.
This is the biggest gift you can give someone. Make time for them, show up when they call, show up even if they don’t explicitly say they need you, and give them companionship.
By not judging our friends, we create an environment that they feel safe in to try things, open up about how they really feel, not have to always have to present a perfect version of themselves, and to feel unconditional love no matter what. This allows us to fly high.
Hire, Mentor, and Nurture Women
We owe this to all the women that came before us and all the women that are just getting started. This is how we will change things. This is how we will empower women. We need to mentor, nurture, uplift, support, guide, fund, and build up each other. This is how we will make things better for future generations. Thinking of you Hannah, Elle, and Eleanor.
Thank you, Kaitlyn, Cris, Sarah, Leah, Carine, Celine, Britt, Manon, Willow, Alex, MC, Bri, Darshini, Arushi, Yera, Lola, Jessica, Monica, and my team at HashiCorp (and all the other women I’ve met along the way or will meet) for showing me what true female friendship should feel like.