Struggling when it comes to cultivating a supportive sisterhood? Here’s how to easily make new connections with awesome soul sisters who share your values.
Adult loneliness is real, y’all.
And it’s on the rise.
As we become more connected in the digital space, we seem to be losing our true connection to each other, especially as women.
Plus, as we get older, our friendships naturally evolve.
We outgrow people, we go in different directions, our circumstances change.
This isn’t necessarily a problem… unless we don’t actively seek out new connections to help replace the old ones.
Friendships may not last forever
Friendships – like all other relationships – can break down. And it can be super painful.
A few times in my life, I’ve lost or “broken up with” certain friends.
For example, I realised the true nature of friendship when I:
- Quit drinking (there go my drinking buddies)
- Changed jobs (there go the co-workers I actually had very little in common with)
- Grew as a person (there go the folks who took advantage of my people-pleasing nature)
Too often, I’ve built friendships based on little more than convenience.
This left me feeling hollow.
The solution? Consciously creating friendships with people who share our values.
The vital importance of sisterhood
I realised lately how incredible I feel after being in an environment with other women – particularly in workshops, ceremonies, and sharing circles.
But a sense of sisterhood isn’t a concept I grew up with.
If anything, I’ve always felt more able to connect with men than with women; I held toxic beliefs that women were “catty”, “judgy”, and “shallow”.
This is partly a cultural issue (women are generally raised to see each other as competitors, rather than collaborators), and partly a personal issue (I got burned by female friends in the past).
Without a supportive sisterhood, however, I rarely felt totally seen and understood.
When we deeply connect with other women, we often feel able to:
- Be our true selves
- Share openly and allow ourselves to be vulnerable
- Offer support to our felow sisters
Cultivating a strong sense of sisterhood is currently super high on my list of priorities, simply because it brings me so much joy whenever I feel it.
The 3 levels of sisterhood
Not all friendships are created equal; our connections with our soul sisters usually fall under one of three categories.
Primary: we consider these women our family, our closest friends, our partners in life. These are the folks we regularly confide in, or ask for help when we’re in crisis.
Secondary: these are women we see on a regular basis, and get along well with, but aren’t quite as close as our primary friendships. These could be friends who share our hobbies, our work colleagues, or our old schoolmates.
Periphery: we see these women around a lot, and we may like them, but our friendship is superficial and mostly based on convenience (i.e. being in the same place at the same time). This might include work colleagues, people we see at events, and Facebook friends.
Try this: a fantastic test for evaluating your current friendships is to write down all the women you interact with regularly, and notice who you’d feel comfortable hanging out with one-on-one.
The people who don’t make the cut are probably secondary, or even periphery, connections.
Get over the fear of looking silly
When it comes to cultivating sisterhood, self-consciousness is the enemy.
If we want to make new connections, we have to get over the fear of:
- Asking people to hang out
- Being rejected
- Going to events solo
- Being alone (in general)
None of this is easy, of course.
But as someone who deals with social anxiety, I can tell you: it’s totally do-able.
The only way to get over this fear is through exposure.
Once you try it, you’ll see how easy it is. Keep trying it, and it’ll become completely natural to you.
Try this: reach out to a woman you’d love to build a deeper connection with, and invite her to join you for coffee/dinner/cake/drinks. See where it goes!
How to cultivate sisterhood
The best way to meet new soul sisters is to:
- Cultivate an interest, hobby, or passion
- Join a community that centres around this
I’ve made so many awesome connections through yoga workshops, meditation groups, energy healing courses, dance classes, and life drawing meetups.
The reason they’re awesome is because the women attending often hold similar values to myself (i.e. they value growth, creativity, and fun).
1. Finding an interest
If your life revolves mostly around home and work, don’t despair.
This is an opportunity to let your mind run wild; to think about what you want to explore.
- Activities you enjoy
- Workouts you could try
- Skills you like using
- Things you used to do as a child
- Creative projects that intrigue you
- Anything you’d like to learn
Remember, this doesn’t have to be for any practical reason (e.g. to boost your career).
In fact, it’s often way more enjoyable if you explore it just for the pleasure of it.
2. Joining a community
Once you’ve got one (or more) potential interests, hobbies, or passions narrowed down, do a little research.
For every interest, there’s a community – guaranteed.
And with Google on your side, you’ll be able to find it in an instant.
A few suggestions to get you started:
- Do a standard Google search for activities or communities in your area
- Take a look at upcoming local events on Facebook
- Troll through event sites such as Eventbrite
- Look up local interest groups on Meetup
Schedule a time to attend one that peaks your interest, and actually go.
Try this: brainstorm at least 10 activities you used to enjoy, love doing now, or are curious to pursue. Pick the one that calls to you, and do a little internet research to find an event to attend in the next week or so.