Navigating Female Friendships


[Rachel Strella]: 0:00

Welcome to episode seven of the Light Her Project podcast, Real Women.

[Vixen Divine]: 0:05

Real talk.

[Rachel Strella]: 0:06

I'm Rachel Strella.

[Vixen Divine]: 0:07

and I'm Vixen Divine.

[Rachel Strella]: 0:09

Thank you so much for tuning in today. Today's topic is navigating female friendships So.

[Vixen Divine]: 0:20

Can be a little tough.

[Rachel Strella]: 0:22

Why are we dedicating an entire podcast to this topic?

[Vixen Divine]: 0:29

Well, females, we tend to be a little catty and we need to know how to not be so catty. There can be problems with, it's worth an entire podcast. Let's go, when we go into it, you'll see why.

[Rachel Strella]: 0:46

It's the truth. And it can be tricky and not just our age at any stage of life to have female friendships. One of the questions that's been asked of us from my team is, have they changed over time, your friendships, the quality and quantity? And I would say, yes, it did. And I think more so as like I changed I grew up a little bit more as I went into the business community and it did change. There was less pettiness, I think. But in certain situations, it's easy to still get pulled into cattiness. There are certain situations there that happens.

[Vixen Divine]: 1:33

Absolutely, absolutely. The amount of people in my circle, for instance, has always been small. I've just always been like that, real picky like that. And I can count on like one hand. Like it's always been that way. It didn't get smaller. There's just slightly different people in it. But the quality of my friendship, like kind of what you said, is definitely different now. I am not afraid to walk away from a friendship. I look for honesty. positivity and self-security. If you're not securing yourself, it's going to be a problem.

[Rachel Strella]: 2:14

Yeah, I'm with you. I have a handful of very close friends, you know, men and women, but I've never tried to be somebody who was everyone's friend. You know, you don't get a lot from that. You get better friendships with the ones that are really close, the quality that you have

[Vixen Divine]: 2:35

I agree. I agree. You get very, you get lost. If you have too many friends, I mean, some people have that brain where they can keep up with everyone. Most people don't. There's too many things going on in your regular life that you can keep up with this person, that person, that person, this person, where you don't need to keep up with the person who's, I'm going to say, like there's your first row, your first line of defense. That's the people on this hand. After that, you don't need to keep tabs on row number four back there, Lisa in row number four back there, that's too much. Too much. Well, they say you're doing extra.

[Rachel Strella]: 3:17


[Vixen Divine]: 3:18

I'm using it right, this is extra.

[Rachel Strella]: 3:20

That's the new word.

[Vixen Divine]: 3:22

That’s the new word.

[Rachel Strella]: 3:25

Well what, do you find female friendships more fulfilling than friendships with men?

[Vixen Divine]: 3:34

Well, no I just find them very different. The female friends I have, I just, I can talk about feelings, compare experiences and struggles that only women go through. See men, as much as they can be empathetic, they can't actually relate to those things. Oh, I'm feeling so bloated because whatever I'm having my cycle, whatever the case is. They can be empathetic, they don't really know, you know, what you're going through. So, and because I'm married, I don't have like male friends, I have more men associates. And so I don't put myself in a situation that could be perceived as promiscuous, where that male and female friendship thing, it can get really, really tricky. Even if you're not doing anything, the perception of doing something can really,

[Rachel Strella]: 4:40


[Vixen Divine]: 4:42

it's touchy, it's touchy. So I, nope, and nope.

[Rachel Strella]: 4:47

I agree with you completely. It is different. And I do have male friends, but I don't confide in them like I would a female. And like you, my husband is my friend, and he gets some confidence. But we have male friends. We like have friends that my husband and I are friends with. We hang out together. It's not like I go with those male friends and we go out and do stuff all the time. They're more of just part of our posse. You know, so I definitely do think that female friendships are a little bit more intimate and you can be more open. I think women in general are a little bit more natural to be open to their feelings

[Vixen Divine]: 5:34


[Rachel Strella]: 5:35

and share. Yeah.

[Vixen Divine]: 5:39

I have to say though, women really, ladies, you have to listen to this part what I'm about to say here. Even if you're not doing anything in that perception, if you have that male, because this is very common, my work husband or my work wife, have you heard those terms? These are the people that you really, really click with when you're at work, when you're at the job, when you're at your place or wherever you work. But you have to be careful. You do not need to be going to lunch with your work wife, work husband. You don't need to be after work going to drinks with your work husband, work wife. Even if it's so-called innocent, you go out with, like if everybody from work is going out, okay, you go out. But just that if you need to work on a project, because some businesses, they have projects that they have to do. So you're working with the opposite sex, whoever it is, you don't go out for dinner and talk about it over dinner. Oh, no, you don't. No, no, don't do that. If you need to work late, then you go home where your husband is in the living room where he can freely walk back and forth. You don't go somewhere else. You give them that respect and that layer of comfort. So you gotta know that in these male, female, relationship, friend things, you keep it as transparent as possible.

[Rachel Strella]: 7:13

Yes. Yep. I totally agree with you. You know, when I was in college, I wasn't married, that was different. You know, we would hang out with everybody, you hang out with a group, you know, it's different. When you're married, it's just different.

[Vixen Divine]: 7:27

Or when you're in a committed relationship as well.

[Rachel Strella]: 7:29


[Vixen Divine]: 7:30

The committed relationship is if you have that commitment, that's the same thing. You have to have that respect for the other person. Don't leave room for questioning.

[Rachel Strella]: 7:42


[Vixen Divine]: 7:43

And they might not question you, but that's building up in their head. I can guarantee it.

[Rachel Strella]: 7:47

Oh, I guarantee it.

[Vixen Divine]: 7:48

If they don't ask, they're still right here. She's been hanging out with John a lot.

[Rachel Strella]: 7:53

Yes. So how do we balance your friendships with everyday life? I know for me, my friendships are already weaved into my life. They're colleagues or their service providers, you know, they offer a massage or my hair or whatever it is. So I'm seeing them on that time. That's kind of self care or self-necessity, whatever it might be. And then I also have, you know, couple stuff, like I have people that are friends with us and they're couples. So we can weave all of that in too.

[Vixen Divine]: 8:25

That makes it easier, honestly, when you have friends like that who kind of double up.

[Rachel Strella]: 8:30


[Vixen Divine]: 8:31

You know, that hair appointment might go a little bit longer or

[Rachel Strella]: 8:34


[Vixen Divine]: 8:35

that, you know, massage might take a little bit longer on that sort of thing. But for me, I know that my friends know that I'm busy all the time. So they're OK with what I call waiting in queue in my life because they understand that I'm not, necessarily going to answer right away. But they're okay with that. They understand that it's not that I didn't see you, you know, but I'm doing this and I'm doing that and I'm doing that. So, but I'll get there.

[Rachel Strella]: 9:07


[Vixen Divine]: 9:08

And so, because they have their own lives too. And that helps too with somebody that it's a mix match. It's just a mix. It's just doesn't work. If you have a friend that basically doesn't really have a busy life and you're busy because they're kind of waiting on you. answer that, to answer that text. They are sitting, but you don't have time right then, but they do. So they're, they're waiting. And why aren't you answering them? Why aren't you? Cause they, they just, that's never going to work either as a friendship because they're going to be too dependent that they want to talk. They got time. They need a hobby and you're not it.

[Rachel Strella]: 9:48

Yeah, yeah, you're right. And I've got a variety of friends, some that don't work anymore, some that are stay-at-home moms, some that work part-time, some that own their own business and have children. It's all about respect for other person's time. When you realize that another person might just be a lot busier than you, it's not like we're throwing shade or anything like that, because we're not getting back to them, it's we're busy, you know.

[Vixen Divine]: 10:19

And you know what, if they understand that, then it'll be okay. They don't actually have to have, they don't have to work, they don't have to have kids. They don't have to be busy, but if they do, like you said, respect, but that understanding as well, that it's okay that they're not gonna get back to you. We're not gonna get back to them right away. And they're okay with that, then it'll be fine.

[Rachel Strella]: 10:47

Yep. Yeah, exactly.

[Vixen Divine]: 10:49

But I've seen people that almost are clingy, you know, clingy to the other person. Like it's exhausting if you're not, if you're not that kind of person, you know what I mean? It has to be both ways. Like we're hanging on the phone because you know, I got a couple hours. Yeah. Yeah, I don't have that. Yeah.

[Rachel Strella]: 11:18

Yeah, that's where the balance does get tricky because then the friendship feels like work. Yeah.

[Vixen Divine]: 11:25

Yes. That's a very good way to put it. I never, I don't need another job.

[Rachel Strella]: 11:32

Mm-hmm. Yep, I hear ya haha. Why do you think some people have negative experiences with, you know, female friendships? Why do they get characterized as stereotyped in this way?

[Vixen Divine]: 11:51

Well, I think most people just see what's on the surface of the other people. Like, this is what they do. Okay, so you're not friends yet. You just met, oh, maybe you're both trying on shoes at Macy's and you like the same pair, something where you ran into this person and you're having conversation, just chit chat, and they seem interesting. Okay, so maybe you want to chat further. Text, Facebook, whatever it is. Okay, what they've done is they've judged someone basically on what they're wearing, how they spoke in like five minutes. And already they think that this person can be a friend. Well, for me, those first couple of interactions is an interview.

[Rachel Strella]: 12:45


[Vixen Divine]: 12:47

I am seeing, yeah, you wanna see the good in people, you wanna see the niceness, but you know what? I'm really seeing before you, like you're penciled in, you're not like actually in the book until like later, because you're not instantly, we don't do instant friends.

[Rachel Strella]: 13:09


[Vixen Divine]: 13:09

We do, yeah, we can have a conversation, we can, you know. hang out for a minute, see? We're seeing though, we're interviewing, we're checking this out. How can this go before?

[Rachel Strella]: 13:20


[Vixen Divine]: 13:20

Because as women, a lot of women have intuition that they don't pay attention to

[Rachel Strella]: 13:28


[Vixen Divine]: 13:28

We really have to start paying more attention. Everything that we see, we love to give second chances. We love to make excuses. Oh. You know, she was just doing this because of this, you know, not looking at what really happened in front of us. So, yeah, so for me, my first couple of interactions is just the interview. So I think people just they pass that they just go on and be friends. So it's the negativity in the friendship will happen if you're basically matched with the wrong friend. And women tend to do that. We like the same designer. We like the same car. Oh, we like the same shows, superficial things.

[Rachel Strella]: 14:24


[Vixen Divine]: 14:25

And then when the personalities don't actually mesh, that's when we have the drama and we're characterized. We get stereotyped because that's what happens. That's the truth. That's what we do. And we'll have drama because we didn't actually go through the process of seeing if that person's gonna match with us or not. We just went on and did it.

[Rachel Strella]: 14:49

You bring up a point that I hadn't even really thought of. When I think about negativity, I think about how women tend to handle a problem or challenge with another woman versus a man. You know, you've probably heard the stories like a man gets mad at another man, clocks him in the face, problem solved. When you're mad at another woman, it's a little different thing, you know? There could be a load of different reactions there. It could be cattiness, it could be undermining, it could just be saying things behind somebody's back, it could be full-on blow up. And we just don't handle every interaction the same when we have challenges with other women and we really don't often do a good job of communicating our feelings with other women because we're afraid of hurting their feelings or afraid of causing friction. You know, we always want to play nice. Um, so I think that's where this cattiness comes in. We really struggle with how we express, um, you know, any type of challenge that we have with somebody.

[Vixen Divine]: 15:59

I feel like also it's, we're afraid to be straightforward. With what example you gave with the guy, there's a problem, let's take it to the street, let's get it over with, we're done. You know, the problem is solved. Whereas we will drag stuff out from 2000 years ago. Like, we will say, oh, wait a minute, I remember when. And oh yes, you know. Women do that. They can't. It's not solved. It is lingered. We will sleep on it and we will figure out. It's like it can't. What they say for relationships, they say never go to bed angry. Okay, but they don't say that about friendships. And we really should be saying that also about friendships and make our lives so much easier. If there's a problem, you should get it out of the way at that time. But like I said, no. That's the problem with us. And some of us really like drama. Why, for instance, the Kardashians, why is it still on after forever? I mean, come on, forever and ever. It's because the drama is happening there, but not necessarily in our lives. So it's exciting to look at. So when you're in drama, some people like that. So when you're in drama, you're in an episode.

[Rachel Strella]: 17:28

It's funny how much you can watch drama and you're just happy it's not you. And then you're in drama and you're like, well, shit. Yeah, you know, it's not nobody likes conflict, but drama is a whole different level of conflict.

[Rachel Strella]: 17:44

It's unnecessary conflict is really what it is.

[Vixen Divine]: 17:48

But it’s exciting. For some people it's exciting because then they’re whether it's negative attention or positive attention they are the center of it and people are talking about them

[Rachel Strella]: 18:01

True.[Vixen Divine]: and they're on the minds of all whoever's in this

[Vixen Divine]: 18:05

this conflict here they're on the mind they're on the lips of all of those people whereas if they went back to their regular lives nobody'd be paying them much attention.

[Rachel Strella]: 18:17

You are so right. I mean, you know, this is a great segue into a podcast that somebody on my team told me about. I do not know who this young person is, but others may. Her name is Emma Chamberlain. And she's somewhat of an influencer. That's my understanding. I don't know who she is. But she lives in LA Hollywood lifestyle. Um, she did an entire podcast on a similar topic in June. And she, she talked about how when she's in friendships with women, she tends to have blowups, like really bad, catastrophic blowups. And then like, that's it. They don't, they're done. And she feels like, you know, she really struggles to find. You know, healthy, positive, genuine relationships. And she talks about why. Why this is and she said a couple of things that I kind of agree with. So one of them was competition and we talked about that before. You know, there's this competition with women. It's an unwritten sort of thing, but it's there that causes that catty-ness. Lack of loyalty. A liking to see each other fail. Copying, imitating. And then people who are nice to you and then talk smack behind your back. Any of those resonate with you?

[Vixen Divine]: 19:50

Well, this is why I have that, if you recall, this is why I have those things, honesty, positivity, and self-security. That self-security is really big because you don't have the competitive feeling that you have when you are secure in your own self, in your own being, in your own job, in your own career. You're not Even if it's a different career, if it's the same career, you're not really worried about, I mean, sure, you hope they had a good day, you know, you hope all your friends are good, but you are not having that snarkiness that, oh, hoping that they fail. Oh, I want to be better than her. Why? You don't need to be better than her. You're already good. So if you, it's all about looking at who's in your circle and not just looking at them superficially because just because let's say Jill, Jill's personality matches with Kara's personality does not mean that Jill is gonna match up with your personality. You can take that person for like a little while, but they're not really gonna be a friend friend for you.

[Rachel Strella]: 21:11

Absolutely. You know, she talks more in this podcast about what she's learned over time from these friendships that didn't work out. And she's older, so she's trying to be a better friend. And she's like us, she's learned quality over quantity, but she shares that she's worked on herself to become a better friend. Building confidence, walking away from friendships that aren't healthy anymore. And that goes to your self security and assurity, you know, that you have with what you look for in other women friends, because, you know, if somebody has really low self-esteem or low self-confidence, they are going to compare themselves to you and they will bring up catty, petty things, you know, because they're feeling insecure.

[Vixen Divine]: 22:08

And they wonder why, if someone's like that, they start with the, why not me? Because if you're secure and you're doing fine and you're, that's the person who has, oh, I don't know what the it car is everyone, I'm just gonna pick one. So say you have a Lincoln Continental, I know that's a car. So you have a Lincoln and they have a Honda. And they very well may say, well, why does she have that? Why not me? Because this friend is not doing so well. But that's not why you're her friend. You're her friend strictly for personality because you get along. But if she has that insecurity in herself, she's going to start comparing. You ever heard of keeping up with the Joneses?

[Rachel Strella]: 23:00


[Vixen Divine]: 23:01

There’s a saying, keeping up with the Joneses. Because in order for them to feel secure, and positive about themselves, they have to have everything, or at least close to everything that you have.

[Rachel Strella]: 23:13

Yeah.[Vixen Divine]: And that's their comparison. Yep. I agree with you. Well, let's go on to another sort of trending topic. The Barbie movie! All the buzz! I have to admit, I have not seen it and I don't really have an interest in seeing it. However, I am pleasantly surprised to find out that maybe my prejudgment of it, I kind of thought it was superficial based on what I've seen. But one of the members of my team saw the movie and she actually really, really had great things to say about it. She said, it is more of a female empowering, kind of supportive, lift each other up type of movie, which I would not have expected based on that trailer.

[Vixen Divine]: 24:04

Well, the reason that you didn't expect that because it was too much pink, it blinded you. I'm certain it blinded you. How else can you enjoy that? I mean, come on. But aside from that, I also thought the same thing. I think in which case, if we both thought the same thing, maybe the trailer wasn't that great. Maybe the trailer didn't give the message because people are going to see Barbie because they love Barbie. That whether, no matter really what the trailer said, there are just some people that are just Barbie fans. They've collected the Barbies. They got a million Barbies. They had Barbies when they were children, that whole thing. So that was a lot of it too. But the fact that it did have a positive outlook and gave a positive message is always welcome in this day and age because morality right now is out the frickin window

[Rachel Strella]: 25:01

Absolutely. And so I'm very glad to hear this, you know, that this is a positive movie that's lifting other women up, you know, and it made me think, you know, was there a time when a female friend has supported you or lifted you up?

[Vixen Divine]: 25:17

Well, there is, because like I said, even though we may have what we need, every day is not gonna be peaches and roses and unicorns.

[Rachel Strella]: 25:28


[Vixen Divine]: 25:28

There's going to be times that you're wondering, how am I gonna get through it? And depending on the subject, your husband might not understand. And the fact that you and I, for instance, We're both entrepreneurs, but our husbands are not.

[Rachel Strella]: 25:49


[Vixen Divine]: 25:50

But they support us. But they're not going to understand the ins and outs of the entrepreneurship part. Do you know what I mean? So when I have an issue, for instance, when I want to hire, and then I get talked to a friend, no names mentioned. that will convince me. She’ll tell me stories, which gives me a definitive answer that I don't want to hire.

[Rachel Strella]: 26:26

Right. Yes. I mean, you have to have those. My entrepreneur friends are probably my closest. They get it. And I, but you know, we've obviously, Vixen, you and I have developed a friendship. And, you know, I know just this past weekend, I was text messaging you on Sunday and I said, I need a pep talk. You know, because I just. There are just days when you get overwhelmed with life. You know, it could, it doesn't have to necessarily be because of business. It could be personal. It could be a lot of different things, but, you know, I can always count on Vixen. To give me a pep talk. She doesn't know what my problem is, but she knows what to say, you know? And sometimes you just need that every once in a while.

[Vixen Divine]: 27:13

Sometimes you just need backup. That's, you know, you just need backup. Yes, our husbands are there. They really listen to us. I know Nathan's a good husband to you. Allan's a good husband to me. And yeah, we all have our disagreements, but basically we're good. And we would never wanna start over. Oh God, no.

[Rachel Strella]: 27:35


[Vixen Divine]: 27:36

But sometimes you just need somebody else to validate what you're thinking.

[Rachel Strella]: 27:44

Exactly. Yes.

[Vixen Divine]: 27:45

To have some back up.

[Rachel Strella]: 27:49

Well, this has been a really great topic and we're going to come to the end of the podcast here, Vixen is there anything else you want to add on this topic?

[Vixen Divine]: 27:57

I just want to reiterate, if you vet your friends the same way, honestly, if you vet your friends just like you would in a job interview, have your criteria. If you know what you're looking for, if you know, and listen to your instincts. When you feel that she's not going to be a good friend, she's probably not going to be a good friend. I mean, just listen and do your due diligence, and you will likely not have most of the drama that you have now.

[Rachel Strella]: 28:36

I'm gonna go more to the cattiness side of things and say that you know if you're feeling a certain way about Somebody or let's just say they ticked you off with something they said. Rather than you know go into it sleep on it Before you really respond because it can go from 0 to 60 very quickly when you get emotions involved in conflict. So sleep on it before you decide you're gonna say something.

[Vixen Divine]: 29:08

Ahh the old think before you speak.

[Rachel Strella]: 29:11

I can't tell you how many text messages I wish I could have never sent when I was angry or you know whatever. Like it was what Lauren called a keyboard warrior. You know I've learned to say, oh man why did I do that? I should have just let it go for the night and came back to it the next day where I was feeling less emotional about it. Because a lot of times you just need to have compassion. Not everybody is thinking about, gee, how can I not offend somebody? You know, they're just being them, and they probably didn't mean any ill harm, but it's easy for us to misinterpret feedback.

[Vixen Divine]: 29:52

Well, I tell you, there are plenty of Facebook responses that I have typed and then deleted. I didn't hit send. I wrote them. Ooh, I was.

[Rachel Strella]: 30:07

Yeah, I realize like, why engage at that point? Sometimes it feels good to get it out and then you're like, I'm not going to send it. Well, I appreciate everyone tuning into the podcast and you can follow the conversation online with our hashtag Light Her Project. So in the meantime, keep it real Real women.

[Vixen Divine]: 30:30

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