Keren Smedley | 15th July 2016

women supportingI’ve had the privilege this week to have worked with a number of older women individually and in groups who are all looking at ways to improve their lives.

Between us we’ve all had years of experience and a lot of knowledge and understanding about the world. However, once they started talking it was apparent that everyone has a number of concerns, and for many this included a  lack of confidence and concern about the ageing process and what this would mean for them. All desired a rich and fulfilled life as they age. When I say rich I don’t mean financially, although that is an issue for many but fulfilled, enjoyable, interesting and diverse.

I was struck by one of the stories one of the women told. (I always have permission to use others stories).

She talked about having been single for six years and so had a close friend of hers. They both wanted to find new relationships and tried various things together. Her friend had fairly recently met someone and she knew she should be pleased for her but felt really envious. She said, ‘It’s not that I want him, but I want someone and I want my friend back; we hardly ever see each other now. Last week, she suggested we went out because her new partner was away. I said no as I don’t want to be a time filler.’ She asked the group if she was wrong.

What followed was an interesting discussion about being in a couple and how many of the women there who were single had similar experiences. One talked about never being invited to her friends for dinner after her husband died. She was asked to pop in for a coffee or have a snack in the kitchen. But never to a dinner party. Another relayed a story about when she divorced she wasn’t invited out much. She decided one way to re-engage with her friends was to have a party. She had arranged it a few weeks before and in the meantime had met someone. One of the guests said to her, ‘Now you’ve got a man you must come over to dinner!’ needless to say when she was invited she declined.

It made me wonder about how as women we support each other and what we do that feeds into our friend’s insecurities.

I am curious to know what experiences you’ve had both of where you have felt ‘put down’ by your friends and also where you’ve been supported.

I’m sure that we’d all benefit from being supported by the people around us.

I look forward to hearing for you

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