Black women tend to have echo chambers within our relationships–safe sounding boards where we can bounce off anything to each other from our wildest ideas to our deepest secrets. We live in these sacred spaces and lounge in the freedom of being our most beautiful and ugly selves inside of them.
While I honor these safe spaces, our intimate conversations with our girls can become detrimental if the advice being given isn’t coming from the best place–especially when it comes to our romantic relationships.
And it’s not all malicious or rooted in bad intention (even though sometimes, to keep it one hunnid, it can be). So you have to be very selective of who you invite into your love story, even if it’s your girl of 15+ years. Here’s why:
- Her Wounds Aren’t Your Wounds. A lot of women (understandably) have a lot of wounds from past relationships. In optimistic situations, those wounds can breed wisdom. In other cases, those wounds can breed bitterness, unforgiveness or harshness. You simply telling your girl that your man didn’t call you back one day, can trigger that abandonment feeling she had from her ex. Next thing you know she’s saying you need to break up with him. Hold up. It’s best to ask her for advice when she is on the other side of her own pain and rejection. You don’t want her wounds to bleed all over your relationship.
- You Can’t Trust Advice Coming From Someone Who Isn’t Practicing Healthy Decision Making In Their Own Lives. Not to diss your girl who consistently makes reckless decisions, don’t we all? But if you notice she continually participates in behavior that seems degrading and risky, she may not be able to provide you with the best advice on how to cope with your relationship ie. Molly & Issa on Insecure.
- She May Not Be Happy For You. This one is probably rare in best friend relationships, but sometimes when a woman isn’t happy with her own situation, it’s impossible for her to be totally objective when giving you advice about your life. She also may want you to be single again so you can spend more time together. Or, put simply, she’s jealous. Again, this could be a more subconscious thing, she may not even be aware of it—but if you all aren’t kicking it like you used to and she misses ladies night, she may not be rooting for the success of your relationship like she should.
- She May Hold You To Her Standards Instead Of Yours. She may need a man who tells her she’s beautiful every moment. She may need a man who makes six figures and takes her out on dates every weekend. You may be totally happy with a man who does poetry for a living and gives you your space. Everyone deserves to get exactly what they want and need. But her standards may become a problem if that’s not actually what YOU want for your life. Just make sure you can separate her desires from your own.
Lastly, this works in reverse too. If you aren’t in a healed place to give advice, abstain from the conversation and direct her (if you can) to someone who may be of help. The best way we as women we can be of service to each other is to be aware—of our limitations and our strengths.