Ever since the book came out, I've received feedback about how it's made women think about friendships throughout their lives, as well as who is in their lives now. The goal of this blog is to open up and create a dialogue about friendships: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Each week I will post my thoughts, experiences, as well as various articles, topics or quotes that I feel are important when examining female friendships. Please feel free to leave comments; I look forward to hearing from you!

Email me: survivingfemalefriendships@gmail.com

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Trouble With Asking For Help

I'm the type of person who wants my friends to come to me if they need advice, support and/or a shoulder to lean on.  However, it's sometimes challenging for me to go to my friends; it's not because I don't think they can offer support or help me, it's because I fear I'll be a burden or become that friend who is complaining or is a Debbie Downer.  I don't know what it's about but I just can't easily ask for help.  Maybe it's a pride thing...whatever it is, I'm trying to work on it and have been reaching out more.

I think it's safe to say that some of us struggle with asking our friends for help and/or sharing stuff we're going through (you know, the icky, negative, not-fun-to-talk-about stuff).  Feeling vulnerable isn't an easy emotion for many women, especially if we fear being judged or rejected or have been in the past.  Add to that, if our friends work full-time, have a family and/or seem to be juggling various responsibilities, we can easily rationalize why we shouldn't be going to them for help.  Sometimes I feel (for lack of a better word) bad for venting or dumping on a friend; even though I know that is what friends are for: to be there for us in good times AND bad.

I recently spoke with a very close friend of mine (I'd even go so far to say she is one of my best friends).  She lives in a different state, so we keep up our friendship via phone calls, emails and text messages.  She is one of few I feel comfortable enough to share my ups and downs, so as I was sharing some emotions and situations I've been experiencing, I told her that I didn't want her to feel I was burdening her.  My friend's response was so heartwarming and accepting that it only validated why I consider her one of my closest friends.  She is the definition of a genuine friend.

Later that same day, I experienced a similar situation with another friend with whom I've known since college.  We met for dinner and since it had been months since we last saw each other, there was a lot to catch up on.  As we both were sharing - our good and bad news - it was amazing to watch how smoothly the night flowed and how much we were on the same page.  I felt confident in sharing with her parts of my life that I hadn't before, which made me feel more connected to her.

The next day, I felt very grateful for these friends I have in my life; friends who genuinely care and want to know not just about the good things, but also about the not-so-good things.  This is what a friendship is about: not being afraid to share one's thoughts and feelings in fear of being judged or the friend running for the hills because it's too much to handle (c'mon, does that really happen?!).  The truth of the matter is that we ALL go through rough times and we ALL need people to be there for us.  We'd be lying to say otherwise.

Have you experienced something similar?  Is it difficult for you to go to your friends for help/advice? 

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