Making Friends Isn’t Always Easy For Women…
When we’re school aged, it’s easy to make friends. But as adults, women can sometimes feel on-guard around other women. In the workplace friendships can be harder to foster. Not only does this lack of friendship make going to work each day feel more challenging, but studies have found friendships, or a lack of friendships, has a big impact on our overall health and well-being.
As a counseling center for women, our counseling team understands the value of female friendships. Friends can help you fight anxiety by encouraging you to face your fears or hanging with you when you feel anxious. By getting your out of the house and making you laugh, friends help you overcome depression. Basically, having good friends around is good for your mental health. But…how do you go about making friends? Especially as a busy professional woman busy balancing work, being a mom and other areas of your life.
Here are some ways you can begin to develop genuine friendships with other women at work.
Make Developing Friendships with Women at Work a Priority
It’s easy to tell yourself you’d like to make friends with the women you work with but following up on that impulse takes real effort. The journey of friendship is one you must commit to and nurture. Ask a coworker to lunch, compliment someone on the fine job she did, and invite others into the discussions you are leading. Each day make it a priority to build a closer relationship with the women you work with.
Focus on Quality of Female Friends, Not Quantity
Depending on how many female coworkers you have, you most likely won’t be able to make real and lasting friendships with all of them, and that’s okay. This is not a popularity contest where you try to get everyone to like you. This is about seeking out women with whom you have a connection and putting in the effort to form a lasting bond. It’s about having women at work who you trust and can talk to on a bad day.
Expect Some Rejection
The truth is, there’s not a whole lot of difference between romantic dating and platonic “dating.” You may feel a connection with another woman at work and ask her out to lunch. She may say no and say it again and again.
Don’t let any form of rejection stop your efforts. Just as no one at work really knows your inner life and feelings, you don’t know anyone else’s. Some women may simply be in a bad space in their life and don’t have the energy to connect with a new person. That’s okay. Move on and keep trying. Eventually you will make a true and lasting connection.
Keep Reaching Out to Busy Friends
Once you’ve had that initial lunch or get-together, keep the momentum going. Building a relationship is like building a fire. It takes a bit of work to get that kindling to catch, but once it does, the bigger flames come. Your female friends are likely just as busy as you are. It’s hard to be a woman in the workforce these days, especially if you’re a working mom and wife. This means that sometimes women need their friends to take that extra step. Don’t give up if someone is busy the first time you ask. Maybe even write a note on your calendar to try again at a later time – perhaps a week later if they’re a colleague you see often or a couple of weeks later if that feels more appropriate.
Like anything else in life, friendships require our time and attention, but when you consider the value and meaning they bring to our life, they are worth the extra effort.
Counseling for Women in the Temecula, CA Area
At Outside the Norm Counseling, we are a mental health counseling clinic that specialize in helping women reach their full potential. We offer counseling for women from all walks of life. Whether you’re suffering from the symptoms of depression, trying to hide an anxiety disorder, filled with self doubt, struggle to juggle all of the relationships in your life or feel lost parenting a teenager…our experienced, caring mental wellness therapists can help. Maybe you just feel lost and need help finding yourself again. We want to empower you. Call us today and begin your counseling journey. You deserve to feel like the best possible version of yourself!