As grown women, it’s likely that we’ve experienced more than one kind of break-up. The dissolving of a romantic relationship is heart-breaking. The blow-up of a friendship, especially with another woman, feels soul breaking.
When we open ourselves up to other women to be comrades, confidants, and soul sisters, we entwine our roots ourselves. We take a different kind of vow together. We are there for one another no matter what. And when that unravels, the loneliness hits us differently.
Growing up without a sister of my own, I never knew how much to give my female relationships. It was a balancing act to learn. And what I learned is that I over gave.
As an over-giver, our boundaries are flexible. And we show up for our partners and friends first before ourselves because we crave connection and a sense of belonging. As an over-giver we go through life, whether intentionally or unintentionally, developing limiting beliefs, shaped and molded by society, our environment, parents and friends. The standards of what we should and shouldn’t be, what’s worthy and acceptable are shaped by everyone around us.
Gratefully, as we age and evolve so do our beliefs about ourselves, relationships and boundaries. During a coming-of-age experience, I found myself in the throes of a toxic conversation with a woman I cherished. We were dear friends and we invested a lot of energy and time in one another for years.
And that moment I knew, the accusation I was under wasn’t about me. Once I was able to recognize this, I took a step back entirely from the interrogation and was able to watch it unfold through a lens of compassion and empathy. Now, my problem-solving mind immediately wanted to help, but I had to remind myself that this wasn’t about me; it was about her. She needs to move through her story and her beliefs in her own time.
We can’t control how people treat us. We can control how we respond to their treatment and this opportunity was a true testament to how I responded to being poorly treated by a friend.
If someone is a genuine person, they’d have our best interest at heart. Arguments happen in every relationship. When we feel we’re being attacked for who we are or what we’ve accomplished, it’s time to reflect and make a different choice.
Tips to Help You Stay True to You While In a Relationship:
Pause vs. React: It’s in the pause, we find peace, compassion, and empathy for self and others.
Life is Happening for you, not to you: What is life trying to tell or teach you? Ask yourself why is this triggering you, is this really about you? How can you handle or diffuse this situation?
Don’t take things personally: What others do and say has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Once you fully accept this, you can be at peace with who you are in your natural, vulnerable state – you.
Don’t Play Small: As you grow, you outgrow – family, friends, and most of all, yourself. Playing small at the expense of others is a huge disservice to you and your creator. Don’t let your light dim for others to shine. You have a fire burning inside, let it roar!
Love Yourself First: The amount of abuse you are willing to tolerate for self is the amount you are willing to accept from others. But why does it sting when others say it, not when you say it yourself? We tend to hold others to a higher standard and value their feedback, thoughts, and opinions. We want to feel validated, and worthy and if another calls us out on our lies and excuses, then it must be true. We aren’t worthy. Let’s learn to flip the script. See others’ lies and beliefs from a different perspective. It’s not me. It’s them. However, we have to take responsibility for how we see, love, accept ourselves. Our worth isn’t found in others, it’s found within. Know who you are and whose you are.
Know your worth and respect and what you’re willing to accept or compromise.
Ask yourself if this relationship is worth saving, weighing the pros and cons.
Every person is entitled to having a bad day. If there are more bad days than good ones, perhaps you’ve been shown, their true colors, and heart. Perhaps they’ve been this person all along, only you were too focused on meeting your own needs that you were blind to see the lack of respect and boundaries you deserve.
It’s possible that we’re over-giving without even knowing it. The next time you recognize the feeling of exhaustion or defeat take a moment to question if you’re being met halfway.