Everyone is entitled to their own life preferences, but it always makes me cringe when I hear women say they do not believe in fostering friendships with other women.
In the instances that I've heard this statement, it is said with pride – as if a badge of honor is somehow bestowed upon those of us who choose to only connect with guy friends.
We justify these prejudicial statements by saying that women are just too messy or always get too jealous. And as I tune in to all the reasons why women choose to shut themselves off to other women, it saddens my soul and begs the question: "Who hurt you, sis?"
All of us have been there before - a little scarred by frenemies and downright mean girls who've chipped away at our trust. Yet, for each of these situations, there are bonds that are rekindled with maturity, reflection that leads to sincere apologies, and an overarching sisterhood that deserves to be embraced more than the stereotypical shade displayed on reality TV shows.
Truth be told, the very essence of my successes is tied to women.
A mother who's made sure I feel like "I ain't seen a ceiling in my whole life." A grandmother who instilled hard work and independence into the fabric of my bones. Elementary friends who guard my heart and protect my mind from the insecurities pushed upon me by society with encouragement and truth. High school buds who are willing to drive to the end of the earth at the drop of a dime to save my butt. A whole crew of law school friends yelling, "Yassss" for every accomplishment.
My girlfriends double as spiritual advisors when I can't find the light in a situation. They are there holding my hand when depression tries to seep into my life.
My girl gang motivates me to connect with my higher purpose, pushing me toward my destiny through encouraging texts and calls. They check me when I am wrong, sympathize with me when I am cramping for dear life, and love me when I'm not even sure I love myself.
And although I'm sure that your best guy friend tries with all his might to do the same things, there is nothing quite empowering as receiving love and affirmation from a woman who walks a similar path as you. She understands why you're so emotional when your dude doesn't get the big deal, knows when you need your leave out adjusted, and has the patience to take five million pictures of you from different angles to make sure you get one good shot.
There is indescribable value in woman to woman relationships that makes us better.
So when I hear that one of my sisters has shut herself off from ever receiving this type of golden bond, it makes my heart ache.
It makes me sad for a moment because she'll never know how having at least one authentic woman to share life's journey with, elevates you like nothing else this world has to offer. She will forever miss the fact that her initial attitude toward the women she encounters begets the negative response she has preconceived in her mind.
She might never realize the growth that comes with recognizing that we often attract relationships that are a mirror reflection of ourselves, or understand that fierce lady friendships start with positivity, an open mind, and the willingness to forgive not so perfect women who are evolving into more.
As women, we are programmed to be intrinsically resilient. Our magic has always been in our ability to dust ourselves off and try again despite the worst circumstances.
We hope, in spite of, for love, inclusion, and mutual respect – determined not to give up regardless of rigor. We are forever pushing the envelope and fighting like hell for the things that are important to us.
Use your resilience to work just as hard to foster love among women.
Understand that sisterly relationships are the fabric that strengthens our cause. It binds us together in ways that make us unstoppable.
Share a smile with someone as they walk through the door. Think positively about the pretty girl that you'd normally deem "boujee" or "stuck up" before ever getting to know them. Give compliments like it's your full-time job. Be intentional about forming valuable bonds with those in your industry, your church, and your PTA meetings.
And, if along the way you bump into a woman who just doesn't get it yet, gracefully love her anyway – choosing not to let her negative reaction ruin it for us all. By doing these things, you will find solace and peace that motivates you to keep elevating so high that you change the climate of the world.
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Kandice Guice is a lifestyle and beauty writer who doubles as an attorney and entrepreneur. She prides herself on helping multidimensional women discover personal and professional fulfillment by encouraging them to live with ambition, sass, and a whole lot of pizzazz. When Kandice isn't closing corporate transactions or writing blog posts, she is usually cheering on her husband as a football coach or looking for new travel adventures with friends and family. Check her out at kandiceguice.com and follow her on all things social @kandiceguice.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The first big leap was moving to a new city and getting settled into my new home. The next big leap? Was finding community and belonging. Moving to a new city excited me! I looked forward to having my own apartment, decorating it, and exploring what the city had to offer. I also found excitement in the thought of meeting new people and expanding my connections. When it actually came down to it, I felt nervous. I heard that making new friends as an adult can be hard because we all have different responsibilities and schedules that may not align. I knew in order for me to really feel at home in my new city, I had to create community.
Having a community of people who I can share memories with, lean on in times of need, and inspire each other is something I always valued. I took a moment to truly center in on what I desired from the new friends I would make. Then I realized it all would have to start with me. I had to be centered and confident in who I was to attract who I desired to be aligned with. As someone who moved to a new city and established quality friendships, I gathered these six tips that helped me feel grounded and create community in hopes that it will help you, too.
6 tips to start building community and making new friends in a new city:
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Be true to yourself
Do you know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in three words, what words would you use? In order to develop deep friendships, you must be a friend to yourself first. Know what refuels you and what zaps your energy. Self-study your habits and why you do the things you do. All this will be important to keep in mind when looking to create bonds with others. Every day there’s all kinds of people telling you who you should be, how you should act, or what you should wear. At the end of the day, the only opinion about yourself that truly matters is your own. Spend some alone time with yourself indoors or out at an event you like to truly discover who you are in this season of your life.
Pray about it
Before you step out into the world and cross paths with all kinds of people, it’s important to pray about building your community. God outlines what true friendship looks like in numerous Bible verses such as "Iron sharpens iron." - Proverbs 27:17 and “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. If you desire friendships that last, pray about what you seek in friendship. I remember praying for mentally stable, happy, and whole women who moved through life with abundance mindsets. Take a moment to journal about the community you want to build and then pray on it.
Go to fun events to meet people who share your interests
Most metropolitan cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Atlanta are known to have strong young professional communities and events where you can connect with others. I highly encourage you to attend events in or near your community to see what the city is like and meet people. It’s likely that the people at the event have the same interests as you, which is a great way to start a conversation. You can start by searching for events on Eventbrite or following Instagram pages that highlight events happening in your city.
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Accept that you won’t be compatible with everyone you meet
While living in your new city, it’s likely you’ll meet a variety of people. Please know that everyone you meet will not bud into lasting friendships, and that’s okay! You are uniquely created and not made for everyone. Then you’ll meet people who are good for only surface-level connections, and then you’ll have your girls who you can get deep with. I think sometimes people can look down on surface-level friendships, but not everyone needs to fully know you. That’s a privilege to have and to accept within yourself. Continue to check in with yourself and be real about who you crave to spend more time with and who is nice to see for a monthly or quarterly catch-up.
Join Facebook groups & GroupMe chats
If you haven’t used Facebook in a couple of years, it’s time to dust your profile off. Facebook Groups is a great place to join online communities for people who just moved to a new city like you. Typically, you have to agree to the group’s guidelines, and then you can join. For example, you can search for groups in the Facebook app by using keywords like women, Black girl, or [the name of your city] foodies. With the GroupMe app, you’ll have to be invited to join an already existing group. While you’re out and about networking, don’t hesitate to ask if they’re in any online groups/communities they recommend you join too.
Be friendly to folks in your neighborhood
When I first moved to my new apartment, I spent the first week walking around the complex and working in the community spaces to get a better feel of it. I was able to meet people in my neighborhood, enjoy small talk, and learn more about what the community has to offer. Step outside of your comfort zone and work in your apartment’s community space or a local coffee shop to connect with others.
Overall, you may feel alone in your new city, but I guarantee you’re not. There are other people experiencing living in a new city too, and all you need to do is find each other. I hope these tips help ease the nervous feelings you have about building a new community and inspire you to make a new friend today!
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