I recently sat in a meeting with ten women who didn’t know each other.
We went around the table introducing ourselves, and every single lady led with their version of this,
“Hi, I’m Stephanie. I’ve been married to Shawn for six years and have two children, Campbell and Eli.”
Valid information. None of which is about the actual woman.
Arguably, your family does define you. For many of us, myself included, we get our worth and our work there. But everywhere I go, I meet women who are desiring more intimate friendships with other women. We’ve never been busier, yet somehow more bored and alone.
But if it’s connectivity we crave, I think we have to start introducing our real selves to the world again. Which requires the use of that often overused word: vulnerability.
Vulnerability doesn’t mean spewing every deep, dark secret. I certainly don’t lead with, “Hi, I’m Stephanie. I suffer from depression, have experienced two miscarriages, and can oftentimes be incredibly insecure.” That’s not necessarily vulnerability, it’s oversharing (and depending on the context can be perceived as attention-seeking).
But true vulnerability is this: dropping your shield—even if it means being judged.
I was sitting at that table because I wanted to meet other women who understood me, but there was no chance of that occurring if I only identified myself as a wife and a mom.
So next time you have an opportunity to introduce yourself—which in some small way is every day—maybe shoot with something like this:
“Hi, I’m Stephanie. I’m here to meet new friends—but I’m afraid I won’t because I’ve forgotten how to have fun. I’m bogged down with motherhood and I’m looking to regain a piece of myself again. I like working out and writing and trashy reality TV, and occasionally a late-night Taco Bell binge. Oh, and I’m married with two kids.”
A little truth goes a long way in finding forever friends.
Likely they’re just waiting for someone to start so they can chime in with, “Me too.”
To More Love,