Developing close friendships with women

May 24, 2010 4:44:31 PM PDT
Do you envy the close friendships of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte? You too can have your own 'Sex in the City' girlfriends.

With "Sex & The City" coming up, Little doubt that it heightens women's desire for having her own circle of friends. And yet, The American Sociological Review published research in June 2006 that showed almost 25 percent of Americans claim to have no confidante that they share deeply with.

Add the 19 percent of people who claimed to only have 1 such person in their life (most likely a spouse or significant other) and you have almost 50 percent of Americans who have virtually no close friends outside one relationship (imagine what happens after a divorce, break-up or death?) The other half aren't much better off with the average being two close friends. So what's with the disparity between our lonely reality and out ideal connections?

Shasta Nelson says there are 3 reasons:

  • We don't know when-- "No time."
  • We don't know how-- "Too awkward."
  • We don't know who.-- "They're just not my type."
Three Tips for Improving the Reality:
  1. Time: A friendship simply has to have consistency in order to form. (This is why it was easier when we were in school- we saw our friends every day! And why many of us make friends at work that we wouldn't otherwise have clicked with!)

    Tip: Schedule a standing date into your week/month so you save the time/energy it takes to go back and forth in emails, trying to figure out when/where, etc. (i.e. Lunch every Thursday, drinks before the networking meeting every month, cheap mani's every other Monday evening, watch favorite TV show weekly)

  2. How: It is weird to figure out how to start new friendships... No one wants to use pick up lines or seem needy.

    Tip: Figure out where there are women already meeting that you can connect with (i.e. GirlFriendCircles, hiking club, book club, career association meeting) and work on expanding that normal time into something a little bit more.

    The goal is to add something on that doesn't seem out-of-the-blue the first time: If you see her at yoga every week, see if she'd be open to grabbing a smoothie afterwards. If you see her in your parenting group, see if she wants to go to a sing-a-long with you and your daughter. If you work together, ask her out for lunch during your break.

  3. Who: We get so hung up on this feeling that our friends need to be just like us, and there is certainly a time and place for that. But we can all afford more meaningful connections, no matter the perceived differences!

    The girls on Sex & The City couldn't be more different and when Samantha met Charlotte, they probably would have guessed they didn't have much in common.

    The truth is, we can become friends with a wide range of people and they'll energize our lives in new ways! There are lots of benefits to being friends with women who are in different life stages!

    Tip: Figure out who you know that you sense some potential with and pursue it regardless of whether there is an instant bond. Friendships takes consistency. Be open!
About Shasta Nelson:

When it comes to mental health and happiness, Shasta Nelson knows firsthand the importance of lasting, local friendships in women's lives. Her passion for helping women foster meaningful friendships has turned into a career as a friendship expert and life coach, all of which began through each encounter with a new element in her life - new clients, new home, new city.

Shasta's natural affinity for connecting in a genuine and authentic way, and with a penchant for transitioning a somewhat awkward first introduction into meaningful connection has led to the founding of GirlFriendCircles.

With a Masters Degree in Spiritual Growth, and a Bachelors in Communications, Shasta is poised to communicate the lasting impact that friendship has on women's lives. Sourcing her nearly decade long experience in short-term counseling, coaching leaders and teams, she has identified a gift in women's lives, each other, and the need for women to connect.

With the organizational skills of launching & leading two non-profits and managing a multi-million dollar company, GirlFriendCircles is apt to be at the forefront of discussion among women today.

In a new city, San Francisco, Shasta brought together an impromptu group of women who had never met - women who became a tight-knit, supportive clan simply by sharing their lives with regularity and authenticity.

As she watched her own social circle blossom and coached her clients in leading healthy and fulfilled lives, Shasta began to notice a common thread among her contemporaries.

In an age where women's lives had become more independent, more flexible, and more transient than ever before, they had also become something more pervasive: lonely. And with too little free time and few local connections, women had come to see having friends as a luxury, rather than a necessity.

Knowing the crucial value of a close, local circle of friends, and realizing that no effective resource existed to bring women together for the purpose of forming those vital relationships, Shasta created GirlFriendCircles.com - an online community designed to help women make new friends off-line by broadening their social circles, and creating connections in their local cities.

Shasta speaks internationally at events and academic institutions as a trainer, teacher and key-note speaker. She also writes and blogs regularly on the subjects of personal growth and relational health for women:. www.girlfriendcircles.com/Blog.aspx.

About GirlFriendCircles.com:

Today's women are bolder, busier, and more independent than ever - staying single longer, traveling solo, and independently driving the success of their careers.

But when friendship expert and GirlFriendCircles.com founder Shasta Nelson examined the thousands of online resources that have cropped up to help women navigate the ins and outs of their lives - from getting a date, to finding an apartment, to networking for a great job - she found that the suite of available services were missing something vital: Friendship.

For women with busy personal and professional lives, making and keeping a circle of great friends can mean the difference between fulfillment and loneliness.

Recognizing the important of those connections to women of all ages, Nelson combined her expertise as a life coach and trained community facilitator with her own personal experience to create GirlFriendCircles.com: a one-of-a-kind online service that fosters offline friendships by matching members to other compatible women in their area who are also looking to expand their circle of friends.

GirlFriendCircles is founded on the scientifically proven importance of meaningful, local friendships - one of the most oft-cited factors in our day-to-day happiness and health as human beings.

Using a unique model developed through social research, the service differentiates itself by connecting its members with small circles of women that meet in local cafes and then provides features to help foster relationships that transcend the superficial.

Unlike other friend-finding sites that require time-consuming profiles, self-directed searches and an emphasis for online community, GirlFriendCircles ensures that women get offline by initiating the invitations into groups which creates a more organic experience that eliminates the awkwardness of large-scale networking.

Nelson, a friendship expert and the founder of GirlFriendCircles, noted: "Our lives have become much more transient - with relationship changes, multiple moves, busy schedules. We want to belong, we want to be connected in meaningful friendships, but those factors make it difficult to foster the circle of friends that enhances our lives.

There's no protocol for simply walking up to another woman and saying, 'Hello, do you want to be my friend?' GirlFriendCircles bridges that gap -not only introducing members to each other, but also providing a platform for them to engage with each other in member-initiated events & activities which helps them develop long-lasting friendships that go beyond merely meeting more people.

GirlFriendCircles fills a major void in the world of online services aimed at women, where sites like Facebook offer a host of ways to preserve old friendships, but fail to provide a way to forge new ones. With its matching system and emphasis on interaction via small groups, GirlFriendCircles is poised to revolutionize the way that women grow their circle of friends.

Enter the discount code of "VFTB" for 15 percent off your membership to GirlFriendCircles.com.


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