So how many of you are sitting in a coffee shop, or your house, or your favorite bar - by yourself? Thinking about how much it sucks that you're sitting there by yourself, wishing you had a friend - someone who you can bitch about your sucky job with, or complain about the guy who ghosted or celebrate your promotion or the raise that you got. Someone who you can really connect with as a friend, and have an authentic relationship with?
Making friends is really hard as an adult. We spend so much of our lives filling time with things to do, with work, with never-ending to-do lists with so much pressure to do and be everything. There are so many expectations around what it is that we're doing and less about the real relationships we build with other people. When so much of our time is spent on the things and expectations as compared to building real, in-person relationships with other people who can improve our lives infinitely - we're leaving behind a huge space that could be filled with meaning.
So how do we get ourselves to a place that we can actually move forward in building those relationships? To stop focusing on the things in our to-do list, to pause and enjoy the company of others without the intense expectations of what we think things or people should be? It starts with us being intentional.
In the four years that we've navigated the trials and tribulations of building authentic friendships through The B Hive Apiary, we've really learned how to build a real friendship. For us, it's about being super deliberate and intentional about the effort we make when building friendships.
One of the things we've noticed over the last few years is that women really like to say they want new friends or they don't want to be alone in the world - but they don't follow through. Over and over again we see the posts in groups built to help women meet other women, "I've been here for 3 years and don't have any girlfriends!", hundreds of women will respond "me too!, I so agree! I'll be your friend"! And then no one ever meets up, no one ever connects - or they'll text back and forth a few times and it never goes anywhere.
Part of our goal with The B Hive Apiary was to eliminate those types of conversations. We wanted to make it easy for women to get offline and to start connecting in person. We give you a way to be present, in the moment with other women who are seeking the same things as you. We made it easy to be intentional, to be deliberate about making new friends.
How do you change your intentions and to be more deliberate about making friendships?
Give yourself an action-oriented goal around being and finding authentic friendships. If you are really feeling that you don't have authentic friendships with other women, think about why - and how can you make the change to actually build those friendships? If you feel your friendships are shallow and unfulfilling - dig deep into why, and make a choice to change those things. Have deeper conversations with your friends, be honest, raw, and vulnerable with your friends. Don't hide behind a text message or a computer screen, be authentic with your friends in person - share who you are, what you're feeling with them to deepen the trust and relationship with them.
Be prepared to walk away from relationships that aren't serving you in the way that you want and need. Sometimes after we've looked deep into ourselves, and determined what it is that we need in our friendships it can open our eyes to things we may not have seen before. It can be difficult and heartbreaking to step back and walk away from our friends - especially those who've been a part of our lives for so long. But in order to give focus to the friendships that are serving our needs emotionally and mentally, we will need to walk away from the friendships that are holding us back and distracting us.
Eliminate the excuses that are holding you back from connecting with other women. Don't let the excuses we hold for ourselves - I'm tired, I don't have the energy or it's so far to drive etc, hold us back from building connections with others. Our excuses are ways of stopping us from living to our fullest potential, when we eliminate them we're able to open space to accomplish the things we want and need. Excuses are a result of fear. So eliminate the fears you have, get out there and commit to meeting new people and connecting on a deeper, more authentic level than just superficial stuff.
Open your mind and your heart to things that make you uncomfortable. What is the saying - nothing exciting happens inside of your comfort zone? If you really want to build authentic friendships you need to be authentic and you need to embrace being really uncomfortable. Show up to an event where you don't know anyone and start a conversation with someone new, schedule time with a friend who you've never felt very close to and share something personal with them. The more we make ourselves uncomfortable the more positive things will start happening and the relationships we want with others will start to unfold.
Building real, authentic friendships is so much more than just showing up to events or meetups. It's about being your real, authentic self with others, being vulnerable and honest with yourself and with those you want to build relationships with. It's about connecting on a deeper level and making a commitment to do so.
Friendships are a relationship - they require the same amount of work that we put into romantic relationships. If you want to build friendships that have real meaning and impact you have to start with your own internal work and communicate that with your friends.
If you're in Austin and you're looking for real, authentic friendships with other women - be sure to register for The B Hive Apiary. We give you plenty of opportunities to connect on a deeper level will still having fun and bonding over a shared love of an array of activities.