Written by: Dr. Leslie Davis, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Be honest. Being a female boss is not always pretty and at some point, you may begin to question if it’s all worth it. The boss life presents challenges of balancing the growth of your business and maintaining healthy relationships. With all the time and energy you need to be successful in your career, you might feel as though you can’t do both well. Over time you may begin to see a shift in your friendships cause your anxious attachment style to rise to the surface. If this has been your experience, here are three signs your friendship has changed.
1. Communication with your friend becomes less frequent
Before you bossed up, you likely spoke with your female friends quite often, maybe several times a day. If you felt really connected, communication occured using several methods such as calls, texts, and sending Instagram posts to brighten her day. Over time you may have noticed you don’t talk as regularly, and when you do, you sense the disconnect with her short answers or her frequent response of “I’ll call you back.”
2. You sense that your friend doesn’t support your success
We don’t want to believe it but sometimes it’s absolutely true that our friends will not be our biggest supporters in our business. It hurts to accept this knowing that before the boss up she was always in your corner. Unfortunately, with every moment of your success, her presence seems to fade away. She might decline requests to attend your events. She might not like your social media posts. She may never recommend your business to someone who could benefit from your expertise. You look for her to show her face, but she’s nowhere to be found.
3. You stop receiving invitations to attend special moments in her life
The life of a Boss Lady is extremely busy and sometimes mentally exhausting, so it’s understandable that you may forget to call your friend on her birthday until 11:59 PM. But hey, you were there. Your boss life might even take you out of town to build your brand, causing you to miss her special moments, including her children’s birthdays. She might begin to assume you won’t be here, so the invitations cease.
If you’re starting to question yourself and worry if this change is really happening, let me tell you…itis. The disconnect is real but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Check out these tips to rebuild a healthy connection with your bestie.
1. Be honest and tell her how you feel
I know that seems scary, but it would be worse to lose a friendship because of silence. I always think of Romeo and Juliet and how their lives could have been different if they would have said what needed to be said. Don’t sugarcoat it. Tell her that you miss her. Tell her how much you love her. I promise you she’s probably feeling the same way you are and waiting for you to speak first.
2. Be intentional about connecting with her
Saying yes to a business commitment doesn’t always mean you have to say no to your friend’s need for connection. Show your intention to connect with her by scheduling a time that works for both of you, especially around important days in her life. Celebrate early or commit to checking in for a few minutes at some point of her special day to let her know you’re still there. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter.
3. Speak her love language when you can’t be physically present
If your schedule does not allow you to be present but you still want your presence to be known, speak her love language. If she likes nice things, find a gift that reminds you of her. If she prefers acts of service, send her a gift card for a service such as cleaning or food delivery. If she needs words of affirmation, set aside time to have an uninterrupted conversation or send her an audio or video message. If she needs quality time, schedule a visit or time to connect when you get back in town. If she needs physical touch, well that’s tough, but ask someone who’s close to her to give her a hug from you.
4. Identify the possibility of new roles in your friendship
When we are fully in our Boss Lady mode it can feel like our friends don’t quite understand our new mentality. They don’t understand the grind, but that’s okay. You can decide to be more selective with the information and moments you share with your female friends, recognizing they may not even want to hear all the details of your entrepreneur lifestyle. This is a time to take advantage of the new connections you’ll make with other Boss Ladies in your circle.
5. Accept when it’s time to step aside and walk your own path
When you’ve done all that you can to give life to the friendship, but it refuses to survive, give yourself permission to move aside. Notice I didn’t say walk away or put up a wall around your heart. Remember, some people are meant to be in our lives for a season, not always a lifetime. As much as we want them to stay forever, it’s not healthy for us or them to maintain unhealthy attachments. True friendship allows room for growth. If you sense that you’ve outgrown her, be honest with yourself. You may choose to reduce communication but that doesn’t mean you have to hide from her. Love her from a distance and allow each other the space to walk your own paths.
If you and your female friends are in need of restoration, connect with me, Dr. D, to sign up for my new program, using an emotionally focused approach, called “A Cup of Tea with My Bestie.”
Dr. Leslie Davis, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Dr. Leslie Davis is a licensed counselor, relationship coach, mental health consultant, and podcaster. Using an Emotion-Focused approach, she empowers women and youth with tools to develop healthy connections. Her work with clients focuses on attachment styles, self-esteem, and empowering women to cope with anxiety and depression. As the Founder and Executive Director of Hearts in Faith, NFP Dr. Davis also brings awareness and addresses the needs of single mothers, single fathers, and youth in her community. You can find her podcast, She Matters with Leslie Davis, on various platforms including Apple and Spotify.