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Feminism > Pushing Away Female Friends

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message 1: by Caitlin (last edited Jun 25, 2017 10:42AM) (new)

Caitlin (Caitlin_Victoria) | 3 comments Hi! I am new to this group and have enjoyed reading many of the previous posts.

I have had an issue lately with other females--specifically, females who are, what I consider, "settling." I have a few female friends who are, to me, not living up to their full potential--they are content to wait around for their husbands to make all of the decisions and their only goal in life is to have children.

Now I feel TERRIBLE for even saying what I just did because I believe a core value of feminism is accepting and supporting all individuals and their choices. And I do tell myself this when I start to feel negatively towards these friends of mine, but another part of me feels like their choices are fueled by the belief that women can ONLY be wives and mothers.

Does anyone else have similar feelings? Do you have any ways to think about the situation that helps? Do you have ways of approaching your friends to have this discussion? I am consistently pushing away my female friends whose life is like I mentioned above, and I would love your thoughts.

I want all people to live up to their potential, but maybe I am pushing my idea of their potential on them and consequently pushing them away...

Caitlin


message 2: by Ragini (new)

Ragini  (TheUnreadShelfies) | 11 comments Have you ever asked them about it?

I have some friends and their thinking bothers me. But I talk to them about it. Their thinking is different but that doesn't means that they think less of themselves.

sometimes they just want to do it for other people's happiness as it makes them happy and sometimes they just love the house life. You just ask them.

If they are happy Like that, you go girl.

if not, you can only advice them.

But pushing friends away gives you nothing.


message 3: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin (Caitlin_Victoria) | 3 comments It is a hard discussion to have because anytime I bring it up, my friends get very defensive and that is what pushes them away. I appreciate your insight into possible different motivations for happiness.


message 4: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 1 comments My question is this: do you have children ? The reason I ask is because knowing how my thoughts were towards motherhood and being a wife has changed since I am not both. I have always been ambitious and had many dreams. Some of those dreams have morphed over the years into other things. Honestly though, in my personal experience nothing has brought me such satisfaction and pride as being a mother. Some of my dreams may be on hold for a while but I am raising two beautiful girls who I hope and pray with be strong, kind, independent, world changers. That being said, while I am a stay at home mom some of the time, I also run a business with my husband and I have a dream of starting another business among other things. The reason your friends may be defensive is because they are happy with their life and it's hard for others who are not in the same stage of life to understand. Being a mom is probably one of the most under appreciated, difficult and demanding jobs ever. It's hard when you're taking care of children that involves caring for their basic needs: feeding, baths, changing diapers, etc. then add on top of it making sure they are healthy, taking them to pediatric appointments, keeping the house clean and safe, running errands, paying bills, budgeting, and also making time to spend with your husband. It's a give give give all day long and it's easy to feel like a failure, to feel alone, to feel unappreciated, but then when you open Facebook, or see something on tv or hear from a friend or relative that you really should be doing something more, something else with your life, the guilt and the feeling alone and like a failure intensifies. So my challenge to you is this: instead of pushing your friends who have chosen a different path in your life, try being there for them without judgment, take one out to lunch, go have a cup of coffee, maybe load their dishwasher or do something nice or helpful for them. Be open to their struggles and celebrations. Just because we are wives or mothers doesn't mean we are no longer feminists, or that we have buried our dreams or settled for less. Feminism is supposed to be about equality and acceptance regardless of that person chooses.


message 5: by Meelie, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Meelie (meelie_) | 1351 comments Mod
I sort of see what you mean.

I have, unfortunately, been through it with both female friends who have settled down, and single friends.

It's not that my friends with families have no ambition, they do. But they're expecting me to be like them, and trying to enforce their beliefs onto me, and expecting me to follow suit. And, because I don't spend my time doing 'local things with local people', they rarely talk to me. And when I try to make the effort (these are old school friends, by the way!), to get nothing back, I give up trying. I'd rather not be friends with people who expect me to be there only when it suits them.

I also have single (ex)friends who are so stuck in their ways, they can't accommodate me or my lifestyle/personality. One said person once said "I only came to
London for dinner because it was your birthday. I hate London.." I'd have more respect for someone if they said they don't like London but hey, let's do something before or after here? I'd hate the idea of putting someone through something they didn't like doing. I've more respect for honesty rather than 'trying to make me happy'...

These are poor examples (haha!), but I've lost touch with these females, and to my mother it looks like I'm pushing these people away, but their attitudes don't necessarily benefit or reflect me. Especially when they expect me to conform to their lifestyles. We just don't get on, anymore.


message 6: by Georgios (new)

Georgios Caitlin wrote: I have had an issue lately with other females--specifically, females who are, what I consider, "settling." I have a few female friends who are, to me, not living up to their full potential--they are content to wait around for their husbands to make all of the decisions and their only goal in life is to have children."

Allright. I will be polite in this: Allow people to make their choices freely. If they are happy and content with this then so be it. You cannot impose your own strict standards to them.

Danielle wrote: " Being a mom is probably one of the most under appreciated, difficult and demanding jobs ever. It's hard when you're taking care of children that involves caring for their basic needs: feeding, baths, changing diapers, etc. then add on top of it making sure they are healthy, taking them to pediatric appointments, keeping the house clean and safe, running errands, paying bills, budgeting, and also making time to spend with your husband."

You are way, way, way wrong about this. Motherhood is definately one of the most appreciated roles of a woman. The fact of the matter is that feminists should have supported the role of the mother in society, not undermine it.

Meelie wrote: "I also have single (ex)friends who are so stuck in their ways, they can't accommodate me or my lifestyle/personality. One said person once said "I only came to London for dinner because it was your birthday. I hate London..""

So they were doing you a favour? Thats not a friend. It's a good thing that you are not in touch with them anymore. You dont need toxic people in your life.


message 7: by DebsD (new)

DebsD (debstr) | 8 comments Georgios wrote: "Allright. I will be polite in this: Allow people to make their choices freely. If they are happy and content with this then so be it. You cannot impose your own strict standards to them."

I completely agree. Whether any person wants to be a full-time parent, or a working parent, or not to be a parent at all, whether they choose to spend time caring for others or not, whether they choose to have a high-flying career or spend their time doing volunteer work or engaging in hobbies, whether they choose to be sexually active (or inactive) in whatever way they choose...it's their choice. If it doesn't infringe on anyone else's rights, it's nobody else's business, and nobody else gets to judge.

That, for me, is at the core of what feminism is about: choice, and nobody judging that choice.

Georgios wrote: "You are way, way, way wrong about this. Motherhood is definately one of the most appreciated roles of a woman."

Disagree strongly with this bit. Motherhood is absolutely not valued - oh, it might be on paper, but it's all lip-service. There's no actual official or societal support for anyone who chooses to be a full-time parent. No pay. No holidays. No promotions. We don't give motherhood (or parenting in general) the respect it deserves. It's rarely supported in practical terms by governments, and even less often by society in general (which is why it gets labelled as "settling" or "not living up to their full potential").


message 8: by James (new)

James Corprew | 547 comments Georgios wrote: "Allow people to make their choices freely. If they are happy and content with this then so be it."

^This.

If feminism is about gender equality and freedom of choice than you should allow them that luxury to choose their own path.


message 9: by Georgios (last edited Jun 27, 2017 04:21AM) (new)

Georgios True. But this does not mean that I do not have to debate with them. They are free to choose what they like. Likewise I am free to discuss it with them.

However I do contend the points that feminism is about gender equality and freedom of choice.

Besides constructive critisism is the very base of social evolution. However I do agree that marginalisation, because they have different ideas, does not lead to social evolution. But... again I must point out that the "anti" mentality might be largely responsible for that.


message 10: by Taylor-Marie (new)

Taylor-Marie | 2 comments What about what to do when your friends all talk badly about you? My friends all said some really nasty things about me, and I just found out yesterday. I've noticed a lot of girls in high school tend to talk sh*t about each other and won't confront the person if they have any real issues with them. I really don't even know how to address them because they're all making it seem like I'm the issue. Any advice there?


message 11: by Annushka (new)

Annushka | 4 comments There was a time when women could only be placed into the mothering, child bearing category or else be shunned. By placing or rather forcing women to be only one thing it was necessary for women to step out of that box so as to be seen and respected. After all we aren't all of the same ideas and interests.

Society has now reached the stage where females have the freedom of expression and are seen as a kaleidoscope of colour rather than just one. But from the struggle of those with differing ideas and interests was born another constriction. One where those admired women who took the chance to be different, their steps are revered and taken as the only way to live up to being a woman, rather than just a way to escape being placed in box. Being a mother and living a life taking care of a husband and children has now become something to be treated with scorn and shunned, a flip in conditioning. We are now conditioned that an education that leads to a promising career and this urge to do everything one can to be different is praised and anyone who doesn't want this is automatically seen as wrong or 'settling'.
Which is once again society placing us in a box. If you can rationally understand that there is nothing wrong with someone's life but yet still feel a supposed instinctual wrongness for them, then that is a long ago born conditioning. It isn't instinct.

A woman's life and happiness is her choosing and whether or not it appears simplistic in nature such as caring for a husband and kids or it is an ambitious one where she is with multiple degrees and has a high paying job, neither is wrong in anyway. What's wrong is perception. We have to ask whether or not her life is harmful to her? Fulfillment and peace in life is for only the person living that life to know.

I've noticed even myself when it comes to how I was brought up to have immediate contained responses that rationally make no sense. It is a struggle in finding that balance in remaking that response, not forgetting.. never forgetting where it stems from but also realizing that maybe the conditions that once made this reasoning necessary are no longer relevant.


message 12: by Elizabeth (last edited Jun 28, 2017 02:30PM) (new)

Elizabeth | 82 comments I don't think it's fair to blame women for making choices that happen to fit in with the traditional view of womens' roles. But I don't necessarily think that feminism is all about women being able to choose any path they want. Remember that feminism can be about the freedom to choose only in an ideal world. As things currently stand, the surrounding workplace culture and many other factors kind of funnel women towards certain choices being easier or necessary. Should change come from the bottom up or the top down? We have to change the surrounding enviroment so that women and men truly can make the best decisions for their families, and some of that comes from individual levels, but an individual woman should not be blamed entirely for her decision to not swim upstream in a difficult workplace culture that is not designed to accommodate pregnancy and nursing, promotes men over women, etc, etc.


message 13: by Pam (last edited Jun 28, 2017 03:00PM) (new)

Pam | 615 comments Any sort of relationship is going to be about how much both parties put into it. And most of it comes into shared moments.

This is easy when you have an outside force controlling it: work, school, etc. Both of you HAVE to be in the same place at the same time and do this repetitively.

This is a lot harder when you aren't because you do not have the constant reinforcement of time together or shared experiences. You then have to be the force that drives time together.

- You have to communicate with each other. Is it everyday? Once a week? Every quarter?
- You have to schedule times to meet up: Birthdays, holidays, once a quarter, for promotions?
- You have to be the one that tries to stay up to date in their life.

And you will find that this is incredibly hard once you no longer have an annoying coworker or homework assignments to commiserate over. Or when you no longer live down the street from each other.

Because more often then not, these feelings of settling - as you put them - are not new. They probably had these aspirations or desires to do something like this for a while. It's just that most of your conversations have been on that annoying coworker or that homework assignment or based on how close you lived. It might not have been as serious as their dreams of the future or their desires to be a mother.

So long story not, I agree with Ragini... have you talked to them about this? Have you called them up and asked them to hang out?

If distance is an issue, have you watched a netflix show together? Have you sent each other articles of interest, or inspiring messages - aka kept the conversation going?

Now, are all relationships worth saving? Not all of them. Some can be toxic as Meelie and Georgios pointed out. But you were friends with them for some reason. Was it because of THEM or because they were the only ones around?


message 14: by James (new)

James Corprew | 547 comments Taylor-Marie wrote: "What about what to do when your friends all talk badly about you? My friends all said some really nasty things about me, and I just found out yesterday. I've noticed a lot of girls in high school t..."

Hard to say, i dont know how deep the friendship is that you have with your friends. Is this normal gossip that generally happens within your circle of friends? In other words, do they talk crap about other girls of the group when they are not around?

If so, thats probably normal to some degree. Even now i notice my wife and i are not always saying flattering things about some of our friends due to some specific topic regarding them. But, if this is a constant thing and you seem to be the focal point of their ire and talking than maybe they are not really your friends to begin with.

At one point in high school i thought i had a lot of friends but after a year or so i found out just how many actually were not, especially when things starting getting tough after high school. So maybe the group you believe to be friends are really nothing more than friendly acquaintances?

It just all depends on the history of friendship, are these childhood friends or just people you met through school? Never the less, the fact they are gossiping about you doesnt necessarily mean they are not your friends, but maybe they just have a specific issue with something you may have done or said.

You will probably just have to step back and evaluate how good of friends they are to you.


message 15: by Tanya (new)

Tanya | 17 comments I would agree that it is hard to fight the initial urge to push your way of thinking onto somebody else, even though you do have good intentions.

My best friend lives in Italy which is where i am from and it just really annoys me that she has no other aspirations other than cook, clean, go shopping, gossip and be a mother one day. It got to the point where it was difficult to have conversations other than recipes and gossip, and i actually ignored her text for a few days just to wait until i had calmed my self down. She does not work and never has, and clearly has no intention to. We have a common friend who works hard at her job, she lives and breathes for it and spends all her time working on improving herself, which means that we don't hear from her much, but i can respect what she is doing and admire her work ethic. My friend simply cannot understand it. She says things like "When is she going to meet a guy?" "She can't have a family if she stays home all day working and not meeting guys" and even "the clock's ticking! she's not getting any younger!" (i mean, not that it matters, but we are only in our 20s!!). I have tried to explain to her that our friend may not aspire to be a housewife or a mother now and maybe she never will, and thats okay!! what she will have is a fulfilling career and all her hard work paid off. But still, it was like talking to a brick wall.

What I will say is that I have recently approached the subject of jobs to my friend recently, and I must admit that I do feel much better for it and a lot of the resentment that I had built up has dissipated. I can't see myself ever not being friends with her because she is indeed a great friend and person with a great heart... she is just different from me, and that's okay too.


message 16: by Dana (new)

Dana | 21 comments I am a stay-at-home mom with two degrees. At first it started as me unable to find work near where my husband was working. Then came babies. Then after babies, it became a fear to leave my children with other people all day to make almost no money after childcare. This was not the path I planned on BUT it has taught me something. It has taught me that feminism HAS to be about giving women the right to do as they please because at it's core it has to be about the equality of all people INHERENTLY. Not when they participate in society the way we deem fit. Not when we decide they are using their full potential. Not when they appear in a way that meets our agenda. Only when we are all inherently valuable... as humans.

It is a humbling experience to be in a position where your path is muddied. It is a humbling experience to fight for women when women want to place you in the position of submissive. Just because I fell in love and had children, I am seen as somewhat lesser. I am seen as a woman wasting potential. Because raising children to be good and whole people that believe int he tomorrow I believe in is wasted potential? Because being a partner to a man who loves me deeply and fights for me daily is being submissive? Because I am not proving that women can be independent? Married women, women with children, women who do not work are not any less oppressed or any less vilified than the women who do not meet those criteria. And I can view myself as wasted potential OR I can enlighten people that the fight for feminism HAS to be inter-sectional. It has to include all women.

As for me, I am part of a relationship that is 100% give on both sides. My husband has a good job that he loves. Part of a working relationship is compromise and for me to work a job that pays less than half of what his pays, struggle by with childcare costs or have him stay home and us to live on so little just makes no sense. I'm not saying we don't reevaluate every so often. I'm not saying we don't take time to rethink or try to rework the way it is. We do. But we are also realistic about how we can move forward in the best way that works for us. I would not be happier on my own, a successful business woman without the person who ignites my soul. I wouldn't. I'm not saying everyone has to feel that way about another person but those of us that do, should not be shamed for it. What I am saying is what other people think of my life CANNOT matter to me if I want to live authentically and powerfully. I can keep fighting for equality. I can keep hoping the options will open for every woman and fighting for that day but I will not be shamed.

On top of that I would say that women who feel a calling to be a mother and a partner should not be shamed. Potential is not wasted. You can educate the masses on what it is to be a feminist from a distance but you can also educate your husband, his brothers, his friends in a close an intimate way. There is no wrong or right way to make ripples. Take Emerson and Thoreau for example. Two different approaches preaching a similar story and making ripples in different and important ways. What you see as someone's potential is not necessarily in line with their dreams, wants, needs. Love is predicated on trust. Therefore we have to trust that our friends and family are seeking what they need if we really want to love them fully.

I'm not saying you can't be a shoulder. I'm not saying you can't express your different opinions. I have friends who tell me quite frequently that there is no way they could stay home, they would rather be broke. I don't begrudge them that at all. I completely understand. I am thankful they don't feel unable to express that to me but also that they are not putting me down for my choice to stay home.

The point is, it may annoy you, but honestly, that says more about you then them. And that's okay. I would implore you to ask yourself how much you can possibly know about them and what lies deep inside them and what they want. I would also implore you to ask yourself why this bothers you so much. Perhaps you need them to value your ideals of success and potential to validate your own pursuits. I know I have done that in the past. I feel the best way to approach this is to release judgement on others and you will also, inadvertently, release that judgement on yourself.

I am 100% a feminist. I will be the first to argue women can wear what they want, do what they want, be who they want. I believe gender is as fluid as sexuality, I believe men can be feminine and women can be masculine and people can be whoever they want because all humans are valid and valuable. I believe feminism is taking all the things we place in the box called "female" and saying "Hey, these maybe different from those 'masculine' traits over there in that box, but they are equal. Let's unpack the boxes. They are all important." And in doing so all people win because if you are a mix of those traits, or fit tightly into one box or the other or any variation thereof, you will be accepted as an equally valuable member of society.

I think the quickest way to push people away is to set a predetermined goal for who that person should be and then hold them up against it. Or to put them on some kind of pedestal where it is likely they will fall more than once. Because in doing that, we, again, are placing that person in a box that we have made. I would suggest feeling your feelings, examining what they mean for you and then choosing a path out of those feelings that is surrounded in love and joy for others.

Sounds like a bunch of hippy bullshit I know, but honestly, expectations of others is the reason we need feminism in the first place and a life where you push everyone away is a life that is not going to gain you much ground in the realm of creating peace and unity. You have to live in the world, be part of the world, and change it from the only place you can... you.


message 17: by Dana (new)

Dana | 21 comments Debstr wrote: "Georgios wrote: "Allright. I will be polite in this: Allow people to make their choices freely. If they are happy and content with this then so be it. You cannot impose your own strict standards to..."

I have to agree with the bit about being a mother. If you look at the laws and the way we treat paternity and maternity leave it is not valued. It is a sentiment to say "Mom's are so important." But that sentiment is meant to suppress women into the role where they will find no support or value beside what they make of it. This is a very hard thing for women without children to understand because we do SAY we value mothers but when you are in the role you find the support, the compassion, it is gone. One of the things cultural anthropologists are taught when studying to do ethnographic work is to take down all the societal rules via word of mouth and then start over, taking down all the societal values you see put into action. There is often a huge leap between the two. For instance Christians might say "No sex before marriage is a tenement of our faith" but the statistic of Christians getting pregnant out of wedlock is much higher than 0%. My point is, mothers are said to be valued but are often not supported in a way that actually SHOWS that we value them. And I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone without children when I say that it's hard to know when you don't have kids, but it's one of those "you don't know what you don't know to ask." I was there before kids. The societal pressure on women to have children was SO GREAT that you would think the only value you had as a woman was giving birth, how could they not be deified?! But then I had kids... and now I see that the value is not of any worth, except that perhaps now you are more likely in a place that can be controlled.


message 18: by Georgios (new)

Georgios Taylor-Marie wrote: "What about what to do when your friends all talk badly about you? My friends all said some really nasty things about me, and I just found out yesterday. I've noticed a lot of girls in high school tend to talk sh*t about each other and won't confront the person if they have any real issues with them. I really don't even know how to address them because they're all making it seem like I'm the issue. Any advice there? "

At least you found out about it. But thats the way gossiping works. You talk shit behind people's backs, without them finding out.

What YOU need to find out is who started this and why. Which of these people was envious about you? Any serious frenemies there? Do some do some damage control. Find out who is in teh circut exactly.

Here are a couple of tricks that I learned. Feed them with a lie, one at a time. Seeing a difference in the behaviour of people will tell you who is talking to whom. Make sure that you can refute that information easily so you can point them out as liars and sycophants later on.

Once you have found the head isolate it. Talk to the others and try and get as many as you can to your side. You need to find her adversaries. Talk to them. Cause trouble to her reputation. Let her secrets leak out.

Cliques are hard to be broken. They think that because they are friends and they are close they can do whatever they want to others. Whatever she has said and done to you must be said and done to each and every one of them individually. Thats the only way to deal with cliques. Every single one of them has done to you as much harm as the entire group has done. And they need to be accountable for it.


message 19: by Dana (new)

Dana | 21 comments Taylor-Marie wrote: "What about what to do when your friends all talk badly about you? My friends all said some really nasty things about me, and I just found out yesterday. I've noticed a lot of girls in high school t..."

Be the change. This sucks. This is advice you won't want to hear and it's taken me 32 years to learn but you CANNOT CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE. People are resistant to change. If they sense that you are attempting to change them, they will resist. They will wonder what is so wrong with them that you cannot accept them as they are. Gossip is a childish way to deal with emotions and it's also very common. As we grow we face new challenges and sometimes we learn to face those challenges down in ways that are not perfect. Gossip is one of these ways. Just as tantrums are the way that small children try to face down the problem of not getting what they want. The power structure in school is evident and gossip feels like an easy way to release steam and also to manipulate the structure. BUT it is not effective or healthy. Because the only way we can truly enact change is to be the change. So first, if girls gossip about you behind your back you confront them in a safe and public place, in a graceful and calm manner. If they deny it, give them the benefit of the doubt and drop it. If they say the did it, express that you feel owed an apology but you are willing to forgive. In doing this you show that you will not play the gossip game and talk behind anyone's back. You also show that you understand people screw up and that you too screw up and aren't above forgiveness. By walking away you show that you will not let this take a toll on you. The temptation to play the game will ALWAYS be there BUT at the end of the day you have to live with how you acted, how you responded, and who you are. I was bullied relentlessly in high school. I played the game. I was hurt a lot. Now I just walk away from toxic people. I treat people the way I want to be treated. I rise above when they try to cut me down. My mom used to say "don't cave to their level" and I finally get what that means. These things will blow over because, and here is a secret, they are ALL as insecure as you feel. Confident women do not push others down. Their confidence is internal and not based on anyone else. They are very few and far between at that age. But as time goes on it develops. I genuinely feel for you. You couldn't pay me to go back to a younger me. You are being hit with everything all at once. The pressure is high. The best advice I can give is be the best version of you that you can be. Rise above. Lead by example.


message 20: by Georgios (new)

Georgios Dana wrote: "Be the change. This sucks. This is advice you won't want to hear and it's taken me 32 years to learn but you CANNOT CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE...

...Gossip is a childish way to deal with emotions and it's also very common."


Right. I think that this has went past gossiping though. This might have went as far as slander and caused actual damages to reputation, and even the way that she sees herself.

Being attacked by your friends with no apparent reason can be extremely damaging to self esteem too.

Taylor-Marie I also suggest that you notify all your suroundings that you are being slandered. Your parents, her parents, friends and people that you know. I would talk with a layer too.


message 21: by Aimee (new)

Aimee (AimeeJackson) | 1 comments Girl, just love your friends as they are and allow them to do the same for you. Everyone's journey is uniquely her own. Right now your friends probably feel judged by you. Feeling judged/judging is the reason most female friends separate from each other. How others live their lives doesn't change or diminish yours—unless you make it about you. Know that everyone struggles and everyone is looking for acceptance. Live the life you want for yourself so that others can do the same.


message 22: by Georgios (new)

Georgios Aimee wrote: "Girl, just love your friends as they are and allow them to do the same for you. Everyone's journey is uniquely her own. Right now your friends probably feel judged by you. Feeling judged/judging is the reason most female friends separate from each other. How others live their lives doesn't change or diminish yours—unless you make it about you. Know that everyone struggles and everyone is looking for acceptance. Live the life you want for yourself so that others can do the same. "

Well, a bunch of advent girls steamrolled her with slander and gossip and you want her to love them and call them... "friends"? That will be a great detterant for the ones that want to do the same to her next time. If she does not react she will be victimising herself.


message 23: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin (Caitlin_Victoria) | 3 comments I think when women make their own choices freely, that's a beautiful thing. However, I disagree that every woman feels they have that freedom. The hard part is that some women don't realize they are restricted at all. To make this point clear, have you ever visited a rural town (I grew up in one)? Most women are stay at home moms, nurses, or teachers---all amazing paths!! My mom was a stay at home mom. Many of my friends are now nurses or teachers. However, just from the place they are born, there are still cultural and societal pressures pushing these women towards these paths and often the women do not realize it.

This is the core of my issue--when you realize your friend/loved one is choosing a path without realizing there are these outside pressures pushing her down that path, how do you help show her she has expanded options? The problem I have is not in the ultimate choice, but I hate seeing friends feel they can only take one path.


message 24: by Dana (new)

Dana | 21 comments Caitlin wrote: "I think when women make their own choices freely, that's a beautiful thing. However, I disagree that every woman feels they have that freedom. The hard part is that some women don't realize they ar..."

I get that. I really do. But again you can only show them by breaking that path on your own. Also, you cant assume they dont know other options exist. I am from a rural town as well. I understand. But again, the best you can do is be open and always phrase it in terms of you. You will get absolutely nowhere if you push. You arent just fighting their beliefs but a mentality, which is all the more reason to lead by example, not place pressure.


message 25: by Lou (new)

Lou Gómez | 17 comments I had a similar issue some years ago with my ollege friends. I decided to take a post graduate program so I was so busy I hardly have time to spend with them, even I had moved from my hometown. One of my girls got married and she changed A LOT! And now... we'll, we don't have a lot in common and some times I feel uncomfortable with her. An other friend of mine became so conceited because she had the chance to live a while abroad. Now I don't really like her chatting. I don't think I pushed them away, is just we made different decisions and took us to different ways. We as humans are constantly evolving and changing, that's not bad, just part of life!


message 26: by Keith (last edited Jun 30, 2017 10:43PM) (new)

Keith | 632 comments Caitlin wrote: ".....but maybe I am pushing my idea of their potential on them and consequently pushing them away......"

I think this sentence says it all.

Who are we to judge other people's choices in life? We should always lend support and help to those who ask for it - isn't this friendship after all? - but pointing out what we see as their deficiencies is just going to bruise egos and turn them off.

As lives move on, people's priorities change; not everyone wants to fight through the envelope and it is very rare that the grass is actually greener on the other side. What suits you may not suit someone else.

We all want the best for our friends, but it is up to them to choose their path and, as important, make their own mistakes. All you can do is support them in their decisions and, if you drift apart, so be it. Other friends are always waiting around the corner.

Everyone has regrets in life; its only natural. But that is for each of us to find out for ourselves.


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