The fracturing of a female friendship is perhaps one of the more painful events that one can go through. As Lulu and I explored this aspect/occurrence in friendships, I was quite struck by how nebulous the answer for WHY fractured females friendships are so painful is. Why does it suck so much when there is conflict in your friendships? I will not posit an answer here, and I think the answer is perhaps multiple reasons, but I will invite you to ponder upon it and please share your thought with us in the comments.
I think a large chunk of conflict (particularly in long-term friendships) stems from change, growth and evolution. Many relationships struggle to make it through different seasons, rightly so, because change is afoot. And I think the wisdom that Lulu and I happened upon is simply that one must not hold on too tightly during these instances. One must allow separate growth and development to occur. It’s hard because for us as women, our friendships are anchors (or important life markers in the case of long-term friendships) and when they change or feel like they no longer fit, we may feel like our whole lives are coming undone. But what’s meant to be will be…friendships that are meant to
The other thing we ought to understand is that not all friendships are created equal. The connection and energy we share with people is different and we can’t expect “magic’ in every friendship. It helps us to manage our expectations with friends, by assessing who they are (personality) and who/how we are (i.e. chemistry), current life phase, and overall value-add to our lives. That way, we know where to place people and the importance to place on those friendships. Misplaced expectations are often triggers for conflict because someone feels under-served or taken for granted. We will do well to read the situation well, to determine where exactly people place/need us in their lives so we do not overestimate our importance to them.
Anyhoo y’all! Get into this conversation. It is quite composite to say the least, so pay very close attention. Do let us also know your thoughts about ‘exclusivity’ of titles in friendships and how much we can realistically demand of people in terms of their devotion to us.
Before I sign out, I just want to thank you all as listeners and readers. I appreciate the feedback I get directly from friends on our discussions. I also appreciate that y’all appreciate our honesty and that that has even spurred you to share our episodes with others. I think that that’s pretty much been my desire and prayer for this relationship series, to get it as far and as wide as possible, so thank YOU.