Who’s in Your Inner Circle? (Read Time: 3 min.)

women 1I saw my therapist today and she asked me a question that stumped me:

Who’s your social support system here in Los Angeles?

I didn’t know how to answer that question.  Other than my husband and my close friends (who all live out of state), I couldn’t think of more than one or two people in California (and none who live within driving distance) that I could have a hot chocolate with at Coffee Bean or plan a girls night out to the movies with.  It’s great to have close friends you can trust but when they live over a thousand miles a way, who do you connect with in person?  Oh yeah, you don’t…

And that’s when today’s blog topic was born.

Men know how to do this really well.  Even children get the idea of what I’m about to say but, for whatever reason, women (esp. women breadwinners) haven’t learned the art and science of creating AND maintaining an inner circle.

What’s an inner circle?

That core group of 3-5 women who get you, see you, love you, and truly desire the best for you.  They are the like-minded, equally ambitious, fervently loyal people in your life who will challenge you to step up to the plate, force you to take a breather, or inspire you to move in a new direction because they refuse to allow you to settle for less.  The more women work, the more this inner circle becomes dire.

One problem: we live in a technology driven world that makes a tweet more inviting than a live chat and we’ve become a society where we’d rather go it alone because getting together takes too much time.

Especially as women breadwinners, it’s time that we stopped that (I’m talking to me too here).  We need in person, live, physical connection with like minded people.  We need to have relationships that grow over time, that weather life’s storms, and we especially need those connections to be with women who understand where we are in our lives.  And the bottom line is this: it’s not going to happen over a tweet or an FB message.  It might start there but it certainly won’t develop there.  If what we want is a WHOLE life, we have to begin to cultivate and create those relationships that nourish, encourage, and inspire us.  It’s as critical to the quality of our lives as breathing.

So how do we begin?

Here are 3 things I’m going to start doing:

1) Join social groups where you’ll meet and connect with other like-minded women.  There’s a women’s running group that meets every Saturday that I’ve wanted to join for months and as soon as my Achilles tendon is cleared to go back and run, I’m going to start putting that on my Saturday schedule.

2) TALK to people in social environments like the grocery store, the book store, in a doctor’s office, or at the gym.  I am notorious for going into Equinox  with laser vision on one thing: my workout.  Maybe it’s time I started to actually look at other people and, oh my goodness, smile, engage in conversation.  What a revelation!

3) Join professional specific or age specific groups.  There are all sorts of Meetup groups for moms in their 30s or women lawyers or stay-at-home moms.  Finding a group and attending even one even can go a long way in developing those connections.

So let me ask you a question.

What will you do this week to create or develop your inner circle? 

I’d love to know…

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