The decisions and choices that we make early in life, will have a lasting impact on the rest of our lives. So choose wisely. Among your most critical choices in life will be who you decide to associate with, love, marry, befriend and go into business with. So choose wisely at the beginning so that you will have very few regrets in the end. (excerpt from, The Woman Code)
Today we celebrate women and sisterhood across the globe, In honor of the day I wanted to share some powerful life lessons I have learned in my over 25 years of being a professional woman, and about the power of choosing the right women to share in my life and to be in my circles. I have been incredibly blessed and lucky in the friendship circle of women (and some men). I still have my circle of friends from grade-school, high-school, college and law school. My best friend has been my best friend for decades, and my “love council” is my closest group of women advisors, guides, prayer warriors, and girl posse! They are Ride or DIE. We don’t fall-out. We don’t fight. We don’t envy. We love. We correct. And we protect each other by always telling each other the truth “in love” and by sharing the same life CODE!
Today I heard a very powerful sermon preached by Pastor Ed Young, who was filling in for Bishop TD Jakes at the Potter’s House in Dallas. The title of his sermon today was, “Fifty Shades of THEY”. His basic premise was right out of what I share in “The Woman Code” Code: 17 Know Your Front Row and that is this: You have to choose your friends and associates very carefully. You have to choose your inner circle carefully. You have to be equally yoked by CODE, Values, Faith and Character. Truer words were never spoken.
We know from core leadership principles that the five people we associate with most closely in our lives, are actually a mirror of who we are and what we value. So it’s time you did a ROW check to see if the people you are hanging around are good for your life. If not, it’s time to get some new friends. However, before you go unfriending and cutting folks you better take a long hard look at you. If you are not right you will attract what you are. If you are a cheat, you will run with cheaters. If you lie, liars will like you. If you have bad character or bad code, you will attract similar people into your networks. This is the hard part about assessing others because the truth is if you have some bad apples around you, you have to ask the question: Why did I choose this person to be around me?
So before you check their CODE of conduct, check your own. Here are five types of women that I have run across in my life
The Drive-By Friend: This friend is only interested in linking herself to your success. And she really is quite transparent about it. She only shows up when you win at life. She is never there for you, unless you are throwing a party, invited to the A list events, in the spotlight, or connected to people that she is dying to be linked with. She is a user and she is proud of it. Stop her in her drive-by tracks. Wave her onto some other poor unsuspecting soul. Let her drive by.
The Drain (non-reciprocal) Friend: This friend is always depressed, Broken. In some kind of drama and she loves to blow up your phone and drive you crazy. She has no clue how to give or support you because her favorite person is HER. She takes, takes, and takes as much as you are dumb enough to give. And she never gives, and if she has to she is not pleased with having to do so and she will let you know it. She is a lazy person. She is also a narcissist. Stop supporting women like this who NEVER ever support you. Ever. Reciprocity is not in their vocabulary. Let her be. She needs a therapist and that person is so not you.
The Friend of Your Enemy Friend: This chick only befriends you because she knows that you hate someone she hates or wants to get close to. She worms her way into your life under the guise of friendship and sisterhood. She befriends you, while still being “good” friends with someone she knows has hurt you deeply. She does it to be a gossip. She thrives on gossip! This woman loves to stir up strife among other women. She is very insecure. She likes cat fights where she can play the two dummies fighting off of one another (Oh, have I been there with this group I call “the Coven” in a certain city in the Southwest US). I have a rule about this–I do not do it anymore. I cut off anyone who is associated closely with someone I know has done me harm or who means me harm. You cannot be friends with the friends of your enemies. It will never work. Their loyalties will divide against you. It’s just a big mess. Nobody has time for this kind of person. Cut her off before she get’s too close.
The Silent Hater Friend: This is the saddest of the lot. She admires you, but the truth is she wants to be you. She wants your life. All ENVY starts out as admiration. She never celebrates you or reciprocates to you. She and “the drain” are first cousins. She doesn’t get why everyone likes YOU so much and not her. She wants what you have because she has NO clue about what you had to do to get where you are. She has no clue the sacrifice, hard work and years you put into becoming YOU. Love her from a distance. She is basically harmless because she lacks self value and worth. You cannot save or fix her. So let her go.
The Mean Girl Friend: This girl here is just bitter and most of all she is broken. Life has done her wrong and she wants YOU to pay for it. She means it when she tells you that she does not “do women friends” (what she means to say is she does not like women). She means it when she says that she likes men better–so let her go be with them. She wears her mean bad ass girl attitude like a badge. I befriended someone like this once–loved her like an older sister. It was the worst, most horrible experience I have ever had with another woman. She cut me like we were in a street fight over a dumb misunderstanding (see Code #9 of The Woman Code for a fuller explanation). She cut me, character assassinated me, had her minions stalk me, and it took me a couple of years to get over the pain it caused. This type of person is dangerous. You need to avoid her at all costs. You cannot fix her. She actually is a good person in there somewhere, but she TRUSTS no-one ever. She has been abused by the men in her life. And sadly, too many women in her life. She is broken, untrusting and HARD. Your pollyanna, give all you got, open the doors up, nice girl scout self (I am talking to me) cannot love her or like her enough. She wants to trust you. She wants to love you, but she can’t. So she will kill your good name and sully you so that you know how she feels everyday of her life. Let her go. Quickly.
I promise if you keep these 5 kinds of women out of your life and your circles, you will avoid so much drama, pain and mess. Have a great day ladies. And by the way, gents, this applies to men too–just change it from women to me. These are human character flaws. We all have them. The goal is to learn, so we can teach others how to do better.