Women thrive in sisterhood. Whether your sisters are flesh and blood relations or super close friends, knowing they have your back and fully support you makes all the difference between feeling alone and feeling connected.
As women, our needs are particular to us. The needs for empathy, connection, and fulfillment are deeply rooted, and while we may live our lives for others, eventually we find that we’re tired of short-changing ourselves and ignoring our own needs. If we want to feel truly fulfilled and connected, we need genuine relationships with other women who love us as we are and inspire us to greater heights. We need a sisterhood that nurtures our Souls, gladdens our hearts, and makes us feel bulletproof. The deeper our sisterhood grows, the more we bloom into our fullest selves.
I know there’re some women out there who are catty to other women, so trying to build genuine relationships with them is a futile exercise. People don’t change unless they want to, and trying to change them just makes you feel frazzled and frustrated. This is why it’s important to know the true nature of a woman before you call her your sister or give her an all access pass into your heart. If someone feels a bit off or sets your alarms blaring, pause and get to know her better so you can make the best decision for you. You want women with positive energy, not negative or bitchy women who’ll keep draining your energy and/or tearing you down.
Your sisterhood should feel good to you. You need to feel like you can trust your friends and cohorts, be your truest self, and go after your dreams without being judged or attacked for it. It’s about being in a positive, nurturing environment of women who understand your struggles, applaud your triumphs, and wipe your tears. It’s less about having a huge group and more about having strong, intimate connections with the number of women you can handle. What’s important is to feel like you belong and you’re free to open your heart in that safe, sacred space. There’s no point having or joining a sisterhood if you don’t feel at home with the women and their values.
Of course, sisterhood is designed to be mutually beneficial for each woman. If you’re choosing who to spend your time with and lean on, then you need to be sure you have something to offer her in return. When everyone gives and takes, there’s no sense of feeling used or ripped off because you get less than you give. Generosity and fairness are key, and if they’re missing, there’s bound to be fallout sooner or later.
That said, you need to be certain why you want a sisterhood. Is it purely for social interaction, business, or both? I say this so you can manage your expectations and not expect your sisters to give what they simply don’t have. It’s unfair to expect a housewife to give you the latest business advice unless she’s exposed to your industry and avidly follows it. You also can’t expect top notch parenting advice from a single woman who’s never had kids and doesn’t work with them in her professional life. My point is we all have our different areas of expertise, and if you know ahead of time the kinds of connections you crave, you can match your expectations with the right woman and get what you need from the relationship.
When you know exactly who you want in your circle, you give yourself the chance to learn from women with other skill sets who complement yours. Even if you all belong to the same industry, chances are your niches differ enough for individual insights to exist, so you can teach each other and exchange all sorts of creative ideas. This usually happens in masterminds and with accountability buddies, and those groups can deepen into sisterhood if the women involved decide to spend more time together.
If your sisterhood is purely social, then you want women with similar values and ideals so you have something in common. It’s important you feel comfortable enough to be yourself without fretting over making a faux pas because you fall short of external standards that make you feel inadequate. When you feel at home with your sisters and they feel at home with you, that’s when magic happens and you’re all nourished by your relationships with each other.
Whether your sisterhood is purely social, business, or a blend of both, it’s important to meet regularly enough to foster intimacy and connection. Thanks to technology, you can chat to each other, hold video conferences, email, and participate in online groups and forums without leaving your desk. If you live in the same city, state, or country, you can meet up offline to deepen your bonds and hang out in person. For instance, weekend brunches and retreats are great for catching up and having a good time, so you can decide to have them weekly, monthly, or yearly depending on your schedules and geographical locations.
How close you feel to your sisters depends on how often you’re in touch with them and the kinds of conversations you feel free to have. If you’re feeling stifled, unheard, or unhappy, chances are there’s a disconnect somewhere, and if you can’t discuss it with your sisters, you won’t be able to heal the rift. This is why it’s important to feel like you belong so you can voice your concerns when they arise and not suffer in silence or isolation. The more connected you are, the stronger your relationships with your sisters and the more fulfilled you feel.
Sisterhood is a privilege and a necessity. It’s a privilege because you get to decide who to admit into your inner circle, and it’s a necessity because you need other women to thrive. Taking the time to connect with the women who make your heart sing gives you the space to bloom & unfurl into glory, and the longer you bloom, the more joy you infuse into your being. Make the effort to be part of a sisterhood that frees your wings so you can soar.