The theme for #FriendshipConnections in June 2021 was significant relationships. What does this mean for you?
. Partner, husband, wife
We started off by considering what are desirable and undesirable characteristics in any relationship.
Desirable: positive attitude, reinforce positive self-esteem, authentic, caring, affectionate, supportive, demonstrates empathy, is nurturing and validates us.
Undesirable: selfish attitude, critical and promotes low self-esteem through negative comments, insincere, needy, dominating.
We also discussed the importance of aligning core values to create long-lasting friendships/relationships. When our values are mis-aligned, conflict arises. For example do we hold similar views on honesty, being trustworthy, similar socio/political views, environmental consciousness, are religious beliefs aligned – what are some examples you can think of? email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your insights.
A lively discussion ensued regarding how we might respond to people who have caused us emotional upset or in some cases physical harm. I challenged the group with the idea of writing letter or memo with only positive statements about the person we had conflict or challenges with. It is easy to reflect on the negative – but consider, what was the reason you became friends, lovers, married, hung-out in the first place? There was a positive ‘connection’! In the work place we don’t tend to know other people’s history or the challenges they might be experiencing. So, when tension occurs at work or with a client – again, what are some positive attributes that you can consider about that person? We discussed the importance of maintaining a respectful attitude and treating the other person with compassion. This also helps maintain our dignity, self-worth, physical health and mental wellbeing.
This discussion gave me so much more to consider. When there are challenges in any relationship we internalise “Why is this happening to me?” Often there is no answer to “Why”, so I suggest before a situation starts to escalate out of control, we reframe the question into a statement - “This is happening”. Then objectively consider:
. What can I learn?
. How am I going to respond?
. Who can I ask for help?
. What are my options?
Consider your choices and act with confidence. Reinforce a positive message to yourself: “When a challenging situation arises, I will know how to handle it – I can choose how to respond”.
The situation does not define you. The situation is always in the past. You can move from victim to empowerment when you no longer identify with “this happened to me”.
Take responsibility for your own self-care:
. remain in the present moment
Increase your self-awareness through meditation, prayer or walking in nature. Nurture you and be your own best friend. For more personal empowerment strategies order your copy of "Awaken to your life enhancement factor" here.
Many valuable insights came from sharing this discussion ( #HaveTheConversation ) with the beautiful women who attend Friendship Connections. I feel supported, validated and am building strong bonds within our community. We may at times challenge the status quo and each of us may show vulnerability. My hope is that when you join Friendship Connections, that you feel valued, nurtured, and supported.
We also aim to have fun, learn from each other, grow, be amongst like-minded women and be a better version of ourselves.