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12 Moments You Feel Grateful For Having A Close Female Friendship

12 Moments You Feel Grateful For Having A Close Female Friendship

Friendships are hard. They require unconditional love and a lot of devotion, but each emotional investment you make in this relationship has a way of coming back to you when you need it the most. Although all friendships are different and unique, we can all agree that there are certain characteristics that distinguish female from male friendships, right?

Somehow, the whole world came to realize that female friendships are insincere and superficial, but I’d have to strongly disagree. Unlike boys, girls tend to get more emotionally involved and I believe that that’s what makes female friendships more turbulent. Fights and makeups are generally louder and with more tears, which is where this stereotype comes from.

All of you out there who are lucky to have a BFF will most definitely recognize precious moments I found to be the core of female friendship, and I’m sure you’ll have more than a couple of things of your own to add here.

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1. A Secret Language

People say twins can be weird because they sort of create a world of their own, but they are no stranger than BFFs. The fact is that most girls talk a lot – and I mean a lot – but sometimes just a look is enough. However, you’d be foolish to think that’s an everyday ordinary look girls are exchanging. Years and years of practice led us to the moment when a minor difference in a facial expression can add a whole new meaning to the situation.

But that’s far from all – I’m sure that every female friendship is programmed to react on at least one keyword, no matter if it’s the notorious nickname of an ex-boyfriend or a euphemism for “save me now”. It’s like constantly reading between the lines, and most of those lines aren’t simple to decode.

2. Confessions

There’s probably isn’t a situation that makes a person feel more accepted than the moment when you make a confession without being judged or having that awful guilt feeling. Girls do this all the time, and they do so elaborately. This is like therapy, because it helps you deal with your conscience, for me at least.

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3. Breakups

Well, this one is not a particularly positive moment, but it’s inevitable, really – relationships end and that’s a fact. However, having to go through a breakup is somewhat easier when you know that there will be someone who will pick up the broken pieces and put them back together. It doesn’t really matter if you and your BFF decide to go with ice-cream and wine or clubbing, the point is quite the same.

4. Trash Talking

Speaking of breakups – that bitter aftertaste is only natural and it’s important to get it out. That’s what friends are for; I don’t believe there’s a person other than your best friend who’d know what things to say and which exact words to use in order to make you feel better by… well basically, by making your ex look worse. Trash talking isn’t something any of us are proud of, but it’s kind of an essential part of getting over someone. We know men do it, too, just not quite the same way.

5. Shopping

Being friends for that long usually results in you knowing each other’s bodies well and understanding what flatters them. Combining that with detailed knowledge of current trends makes shopping a whole lot easier – it’s like you’re a fashion duo that has a doctor’s degree in finding perfect outfits for any occasion. A quite practical side of having a BFF, isn’t it?

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6. Texting

The thing with female friendships is that they are codependent, at least most of them. But a bit of mental instability is nothing compared to sharing every minute you want to with your BFF by texting. Everyday things and huge events in our lives become real the moment we tell them to our friend, and that’s when they gain their true significance. No matter what’s going on, texting throughout the entire day simply makes it better. It’s like never being alone.

7. Inside Jokes

Having a sense of humor that another person in this world fully understands is priceless. It’s a whole new level of feeling appreciated and like you belong with someone. Whether they are practical, intellectual, petty or sarcastic, inside jokes are one of those small things that really make life worth living. It’s a way for two people to express themselves simultaneously, and it’s pretty awesome.

8. Moving

Getting a new place is usually overwhelming and time-consuming, and it’s a cause of stress that seems to be never-ending. Having your bestie at your side at that moment is very reassuring – there’s some thorough cleaning that needs to be done, additional shopping for all sorts of products and pieces of furniture, and so on. Besides, asking someone else for help may just creating more work for you – considering the fact that your two minds think alike, your BFF and you will be a lot more productive.

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9. Sincere Advice

The truth may sometimes hurt, but it’s not like it will become any less of a fact if you decide to ignore it. Some of them may go unspoken, but recognized, while others simply must be told out loud, so you can go through a healthy reality check, and that’s when your bestie comes in. It’s usually not pleasant nor easy, but admit it – you love your BFF and her moments of sincerity.

10. The “No Matter What” Vow

Whether you two decided to go with a magical ritual or if it goes without saying, the “no matter what” vow is a big part of every female friendship. It’s a safety net, and no matter what you do or where life takes you, you know that you’ll always have a home wherever your BFF is.

It’s a short list of what makes us feel grateful for having a bestie, I know, but I believe it’s universal. This is a relationship that needs to be nurtured and cherished, but it’s eternally worth it. What would you add to my list?

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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