Have you ever felt hurt when your circle of friends are out – you did not get the invite and you see them on social media? It feels like they are cheating, and it does hurt, and you question yourself on why. Hello, Inner Critic and boy is she loud. It is a super shitty feeling and I have definitely been there, but I want to share with you how I battled this and came out the other side without too many scars.
Firstly let's look at how we build those close friendships – My thoughts go straight to Brené Brown on this one and recalling her story on marble jar friends. It was about her daughter and how she explained trust – her classroom has a marble jar and when the students do something well marbles go in the jar and when they do something bad then marbles go out. Building trust is like the marble jar – you share hard times, stories with those friends and a marble goes in your friendship jar, the more you fill your jar the closer the friendship, the more you can trust – so the more marbles the more you share. When there are only a few marbles you need to build up your jar before you can share big stuff with them. Side note here but ex-husband number one did use to have all these marbles and now I cannot help but giggle and imagine friendships.
Once I started on my Personal Development journey I was all ready for new friends! I know that I came into my first workshop pretty much best friendless – I had sacked my best friend as the new me was just not cutting it for her anymore. In turn, this meant, new friends needed! New people and workshops and I am surrounded by like-minded people (hello, my name is Kylie and I need a new best friend). I found out though, on this journey that I was not alone, a lot of women were exactly like me in search of new friendships as they have outgrown their own circle. We don’t want to run around solo and it is our nature to be with friends and fit in… So, of course, I wanted to make friends with these ladies (ok, and admittedly quite desperately).
You know what really stood out when I attended these events, these workshops where the women that had already created the marble jar friends? Oh wow, they were enlightened, supported each other, had boundaries and honestly were a badass tribe. Honestly, I felt like running around after the cool group and yelling - Pick me, pick me I wanted to be part of that group. You could say I was envious and if I really think about it I guess I wanted that drive through McDonalds friendship to occur (drive-through is fast food, so fast friends). Who would not want to walk into an instant badass girl tribe and just be besties straight up?
As much as I attended and talked at every luncheon or event I could get my hands on because I decided this was my new best friend tribe; these ladies did things without me. Ugh… I wanted the chair in the playground that was the friend chair – you know the one that they made in the schools so if a kid did not have friends to play with they could go and sit on this chair.… I wanted to go sit on it and they would notice me and invite me to everything. This was not the case though. For some reason, I was not invited to everything and I was watching the reel of happiness and hangouts on social media and I was sad and jealous.
As my personal development journey continued you could say while watching the badass girl tribe I again thought about Brené Brown and the marble jar. I was picturing this tribe and wondered how many marbles had they shared. As I thought about this I could see the bond and connection between these ladies and just purely imagined overflowing jars. This did give me comfort because that type of friendship was what I was aching for and the realisation is that it was something I could reach – I JUST HAD TO DO THE MARBLE THING!
Before you all start calling me out on this one, YES there is always an exception to the rule and this is the instant bestie – look the only way for me to explain this is that they are from a past life. I have defiantly felt it but magic has occurred and the universe has aligned and you are reunited in this life and you pick right back up where you left off from the last life. Instant bond. Remember this is the exception to the rule and not the rule.
OK, so with this in mind. I know to have that bond I have to do the work, I have to create marbles and this takes time. So every time my Inner Critic was talking too loud, I was back to my visualisation and you can add a thousand clichés in here but honestly ‘Rome was not built in a day’. So to have this – just like my personal development, just like my daily practices, to create those type of friendships I had to do the work.
What does that look like, well I do want to go back to point out the more marbles you have the more you share… don’t go scaring off your future badass tribe by coming on too strong. Just because you can see you are all going to be besties it does not mean they do. (I have got to stop telling every woman who makes me coffee that we are best friends – lol). To create something strong, it takes the right energy, it takes setting up boundaries (remember why you left your old friends), it is learning who the new is (no more people-pleasing), to create those real friendships of that badass tribe it will take time and effort as you grow and as you find your place. JUST WANT TO SAY TO ANY INNER CRITICS THAT ARE GETTING LOUD HERE – Yes, you do fit in, there is a place for you and you are enough. You just have to find your tribe and create your marble jar.
So off you go and this is what you do, then I hear especially Military women that they just don’t get along well with other females. OK – I am going to break your theory here. As military women, we have to move around and go on exercises, deployments and spend an extensive amount of time away from our home, family and yes our girlfriends. So yes you might have been filling that jar and you have a tribe and all is great and then you take off. What happens when you go, that tribe continues to grow with others and experiences change and so forth. I know for me when I deployed and returned home the world had changed but for me, I was stepping back where I had left off and I couldn’t. I am going to tell you a story, I met David 2 weeks before heading off on a promotion course for six weeks and then I was home for another 2 weeks before I headed off to Afghanistan – It was kind of like – you are awesome and there is something here between us and I hope you are around when I get back. I did not just switch off whilst away – I had my life back at home. So there was contact and I did the best I could to fill some marbles whilst away. Yes, it was bloody difficult and hard but all I could do was the best with what I had.
We do get blasé and have expectations that all will be the same on return. It is just not the case, work is required and it will depend on you. Military women do get along with other women, it is harder and more real energy has to be put into those friendships. Distance and no contact is removing marbles – you just got to rebuild them.
In saying all this I have found the sticky point where the Inner Critic wins. So this sticky point is when you feel that you have been badass with your marbles and you are there and you have created friendship expectations based around how full the marble jar is. THEN, some of your badass girl tribe go somewhere without you. OMG – I have made up a story in my head and the Inner Critic turns around and says ‘See, I told you that you don’t fit in, they don’t like you and you should not be friends’. Yep it is that painful. Reality half the time is there is a reason why, and come on, when did we get so so so insecure about ourselves.
If I look at my relationship with my daughter or my partner David. They are my family and I love them and they love me and guess what, our marble jars are overflowing. They do not invite me to everything, they hang out with other people and I do not get jealous. An example of a girl tribe – Sex and the City – those girls hung out separately as well and it was not always four of them together. I want to say that sometimes hanging out one on one is good, hanging out with different dynamics is great and I know that I am not less of a person because my family don’t want to hang with me 24/7.
What I am trying to tell you is that I am comfortable with me, yes the Inner Critic comes but I now trust my relationships because I have chosen them and I trust that I am enough. I am comfortable when I am not invited and I see pics on social media. I have learnt to speak up and say when I was not invited. You only get this feeling when you work on you, because, guess what this is purely a YOU issue and being insecure. I go back to what a psychologist once said to me ‘Where is the proof?’ There are pics on social media of friends hanging out without me and not once did they put a comment on there and say ‘p.s Kylie we don’t like you’. I am comfortable with who I am, I have to do my work to remove the jealousy.
If all the same people always hung out together with no variations I think how diverse my friendship would be. I love one on one time with girlfriends because we can get creative, small groups are great, mixing with new people that others invite in and so are big groups. I need and love that variety – I don’t always want to listen to the same play mix.
Look, sometimes you get it wrong. Ummm hello, husband number 3! You get it wrong and your circle is just not your circle and they are not your people. This does occur, we are human but I truly believe that it is for a reason and we learn and move on. What does Lisa Messenger say ‘Fail Fast!’ To realise it and just move on. Go be what you are supposed to be and be in the right circle.
My girlfriends are out without me, which is ok. I am comfortable and secure with who I am. Like me, they like to mix it up and there is always a story or a reason. My Inner Critic is there to protect me, I thank her but I am always going to look for proof and put myself out there. Life is too short for shitty friends, move on and enjoy a badass tribe. I am enough, ALWAYS.
I want you to be happy in your career; with my workshops we can tackle any issues that stop you from reaching that. You won't need a sea change but love who you are and what you do.