This is a Guest Blog Post originally published by Andromeda, Founder of Women By Choice. A woman I have proudly been inspired by through her amazing Empowerment and work on Instagram. It is an absolute honor and privilege to feature Andromeda on the Brown Skin Women blog.
If you’re a loyal reader of my blog posts then you know that I usually begin with an introduction to the topic. Well, it’s “Truth Tuesday” so I must keep it real. Today, I am totally exhausted after a 3-night bachelorette weekend in Las Vegas. Between the time difference, late nights, and little sleep, I am beat. So, I’m going to get straight to the point.
For some, getting along with other women comes naturally and for others, it’s a conscious daily effort. If you find it more difficult than it seems to be for others, I have some secrets to share with you that might make it a little easier.
After spending 3 whole days and nights with 5 other women with strong personalities and set ways of doing things, without pulling each other’s hair and calling each other names, I think it’s safe to say that I’m an expert in getting along with other women. Here’s how I did it:
1. I can’t give myself all the credit. All of the women in the group came with the mindset to be team players. Some people don’t make it easy to get along with them. In every relationship, there’s a part you play in guaranteeing its success or failure. It’s important to understand that you are only responsible for your part. Before you go out of your way to compromise your habits and ways of doing things, make sure that the other person in the relationship is willing to meet you halfway. If they’re not then don’t waste your time sacrificing yourself for them because you will only end up feeling resentful for giving more than you’re getting and that’s no fun for anyone.
2. I communicated often. Before arriving, I shared what my expectations were for the trip including what I was willing to do and what I wasn’t. When expectations are clear on both sides that leaves little room for disappointment and confusion. Communication is key to the success of any relationship. People can’t read your mind. If you don’t tell them what you want or don’t want, they will likely make their own assumptions and create expectations of you that you can’t or won’t live up to. Be clear about who you are and give people the opportunity to decide if they want to be around you. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself for fear that others won’t like you. If they don’t like your honesty, they aren’t meant for you. Simple.
3. I had to know when to bite my tongue. Yes, I just told you to communicate often AND bite your tongue. The key is to know when to do which. Not everything is worth speaking on or arguing about. For example, I was sharing a room with 3 other women. At some point, I was trying to nap while everyone else was awake, talking, and watching videos on their phone. I was slightly annoyed with the noise from their conversations and cell phones because I couldn’t sleep. Although I had a moment when I wanted to tell everyone to be quiet, I decided instead to tough it out in silence. Why? Because I’m a team player. The majority was up and we were on vacation. It just would not have been fair for me to ask them to stop enjoying themselves because I wanted to sleep. Eventually, everyone fell asleep and gave me the silence I needed to nap in peace and I avoided a potential debate, which I’m sure would have gone all wrong because I was already cranky. Every action has a consequence. Before you move, think it through and determine the best possible option. Ask yourself if what you’re about to say or do next is really worth it.
4. I knew when I needed a break and took it. As an introvert, I reenergize by being alone. I require space and quiet time to maintain my sanity. There wasn’t many opportunities to be alone, but when they presented themselves I took them. In order to get along with others, you must be in tune with yourself. I know that I get cranky when I’m tired. I know that I PMS a week before my period. I know that I can’t be around people for long periods of time without taking a break to have time for myself. Other people may not understand it and that’s okay. I know what I need to be a pleasant person so I do what I have to do. I’d rather people not understand me than for them to see me act out of character because I’m unhappy or uncomfortable. To give your best to others, you have to do what’s best for you.
5. I was always respectful. Respect goes a long way when you have the intention to get along with other women. Although, I had my own thoughts on how the weekend should go, I left room for the other women to share their thoughts and opinions. I remained open to new ideas and options. Before I opened my mouth, I thought about whether my words would be helpful or hurtful. Although we all had different habits and ways of doing things, no one passed judgement or criticized anyone for their choices. We respected each other’s space and each other’s things.
Women are much more alike than you may realize. Many of us are very simple and don’t ask for much. Most of us just want to be treated with courtesy and respect. You know how you like to be treated and what things people do to annoy you so only treat other women how you want to be treated. Before you make a move, consider what it’s like walking in the other woman’s shoes. Everything isn’t always about you. Healthy relationships are about give and take. The goal is to surround yourself with people who understand that winning is a team effort. “When Women Support Women, We ALL Win!”
“Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.” – Maya Angelou
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“When Women Support Women, We ALL Win!”