I often get asked how I made my girlfriends. I love this question for two reasons. The first is because I think it exemplifies just how important friends are to all of us, no matter who we are or what we’re doing in life. The second is for a more personal reason: Female friendships used to be really elusive for me! In fact, in the bad old days, I used to insist that girls were too dramatic, and my social circle was mostly filled with male friends. (I realized later that this misconception was internalized misogyny.)
It’s taken a conscious effort to seek out interesting people, practice my social skills, and accept female friends into my life—and I’m so glad I did. Many of us expect our primary romantic partner to fulfill all of our needs, and this is simply not realistic. My man doesn’t want to talk about astrology or beauty products! When we have plenty of people in our lives, we can get little pieces of what we need from different sources—which is so healthy and feels so good!
So here are my tips for meeting your soul sisters, your tribe, your girl gang:
Mentally Invite Them In There’s so much research these days showing that screen time, especially for young adults, is making us lonely. The only way around it is to spend time with actual, flesh-and-blood people! First, get over the idea that there's such a thing as having “too many friends.” They may not all become your best friends—most people only have the capacity for two or three very close, tell-them-everything–type friendships—but expanding your social circle is so much fun. It’s great to have options when you feel like meeting someone for coffee, brainstorming on a creative project, or going out dancing. So, simply decide that you are open to making friends. This creates an energetic shift that will help magnetize new people to you!
Leave Your House Yes, we can all make friends online—and most of us do. But some of the coolest people I’ve met in the past year popped up in unexpected places: dance classes, birthday parties, book signings, and baby showers. So take that class, browse through Facebook events and RSVP even if you don’t know anyone, and explore your city. You never know who you might meet!
Be Honest With Yourself When you’re authentic with yourself, that confidence will come through in your interactions. If you’re not authentic, or feel like you’re playing a part, you may draw people in—but they won’t be drawn in by you. This is what leads to feeling lonely even in a crowd of “friends.” If you aren’t willing to allow yourself to be seen, it will be impossible to meet people who truly get you.
Understand “Authenticity” Authenticity is not complaining about your boss, your commute, or your partner—at least not all the time. Sometimes, we think we’re being authentic when actually we’re repeating old patterns, creating conflict, and being unnecessarily negative. That’s not your truest self—it’s your pain and fear coming out to play.
Embrace Your Vulnerability I’ve had many friendships over the years that never went beyond a casual coffee date because neither of us were willing to talk about the things that were difficult in our lives. But of course, not everyone is worth sharing your deepest, darkest secrets with! The key is to figure out who you trust, and allow yourself to be honest with them. Check out Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability: It’s been a fantastic resource for me.
Shake It Up! Friendships can get stale if you stick to the same-old routine. Invite your best babes to art museums, drag queen brunches, morning raves, DJ classes, anything offbeat or unique or special! Whatever you choose, you’ll laugh, experience new things, and form an even deeper bond.
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