Happy Galentine’s Day!
Galentine’s Day started as a fictional holiday originally created by Parks & Rec character Leslie Knope, a hard working optimist with big vision who always inspires and lifts those up around her. This TV show holiday has found its way into real life and is typically celebrated by gal pals over brunch on February 13th. Galentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year because I have amazing gal pals… but that hasn’t always been the case.
You and I both know that female friendships don’t always come easy.
Storytime: I was in middle school in the 1980s and our school had a big Valentine’s Day dance. Picture this image: Dressed in my blue taffeta dress with matching shoes and my sweetheart Bobby on my arm. I couldn’t wait to show him off and feel like THE COUPLE at the dance. I knew it was our moment to shine when the DJ started playing Open Arms by Journey… but Bobby was nowhere to be found.
Apparently my frenemy (you know, someone who acts like a friend but is truly an enemy), Heather, had paid Bobby to take me to the dance and then break up with me. I was crushed. Bobby broke my heart but the real damage was done by another female who would go at such cruel lengths to make me feel so bad. It felt like a scene out of Gossip Girl but this was real life! My life!
It took me a while to develop the resilience and tools to overcome hurt feelings and trust women again, but today I have close friendships with five amazing women and have learned a lot about how to make friends and how to be a friend. And that’s what I would like to share with you today.
If female friendships have been elusive for you and it’s been a struggle for you to “find your people”, I want you to know to not give up on yourself or on the quest of finding your gal pals.
- Get those crystals out and start to manifest your ideal friendship. Write it down and picture it in your mind. Visualize the kinds of conversations and adventures you’ll have with this person. You can even create a vision candle (see our January intention blog post) to call this person into your life.
- Once you have this ideal friendship, rate yourself on those qualities. Are you being the kind of friend you want to attract? Where can you improve?
- Instead of searching for a friend that fulfills all your needs, think about fulfilling those needs for yourself so when you meet a friend you are coming from a place of enrichment vs desperate need to feel important and valued.
- When you have a strong emotion in response to something a friend does, take a moment (breathe) to figure out what’s being triggered, give yourself a butterfly hug and even think about responses that will bring you closer to that person. Maybe the anger you are feeling is covering up another emotion or maybe it’s a chance to set a healthy boundary.
- Nobody can meet your needs 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. Sometimes we don’t even know what we need – so how is someone else supposed to? Expecting all your friends to be psychics is not realistic. Needing someone to act or be a certain way only put pressure on that relationship. Chill out. This is why it’s great to have a therapist to talk with – together you have a safe space to explore what it is you want and need.
- Pro tip: Stop complaining to other friends about current friends. This is a cheap and easy way to bond but as your favorite aunt would say: loose lips sink ships. Be willing to address the issues head on with the person you are having issues with – the two of you will be closer for it and you will be a better friend for it.
- Ask the adult women in your life how they feel about their female friends and how long has it taken them to find their friends, set up realistic expectations for yourself.
- You might have a romantic partner and that’s amazing, but be sure to take the time to also nurture your female friendships. They can sustain you through the ups and downs of romantic love.
- Practice empathy. When you post something on social media ask yourself “How might I feel about this post if I were ____?” Gal pals gotta lift each other up – not tear each other down.
- If you’re dealing with a frenemy or a hater be sure to examine what’s in that pretty little head of yours. Sometimes people do say mean things, you get to decide what’s true or untrue for you. As our girl Taylor Swift says:
So don’t you worry your pretty, little mind
People throw rocks at things that shine
At the end of the day, you will have disappointments especially in friendships, please remember the only person you can change is the one looking back at you in the mirror. If you do right by her …. “To have a bestie, you have to be a bestie.”
Don’t stop believing…. you will find your people. We are searching for connection and belonging…what a difference the right gal pals can make in all aspects of our lives.
Favorite art activities for February:, We have several activities for you to do with your favorite gal pal or even mother/daughter. The first one is to make a valentine for yourself, using so much self-love put together some phrases that you really love to hear. There’s a wonderful ATX local shop and website that has free downloadable valentine’s some even with 80’s song lyrics, here’s a link to download and make you own Galentine’s/Valentine’s
We are also all about self-love for this month, as corny as it sounds writing a love letter to yourself. We know Valentine’s can bring up some of those shame gremlins about not having a partner, don’t believe those cute furry monsters, they don’t really know you.