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At the Club

It can be complicated to be a female and have male friends. I wrote before about being friends with men and that many declare they have a significant other. When I wrote about this, my point was that stating the attachment was supposed to let ME know that they were not available, whether fending off or being pro-active. Sometimes, though, that didn’t stop THEM from trying.

Here’s the flip side – men respecting their significant other by not even considering women for social event invites unless their significant others are present (wives/girlfriends in this case). I understand this. Really. It’s a form of protection and a way to show that you want to do the right thing. If it’s a guys’ night out – that’s cool. Women do their version for girls’ night out. Purely social.

The Connection

Where do you tend to meet people?

There’s proximity, such as neighbors, or other parents at the same school or parents of your kids’ friends.

There’s work – I mean, you probably spend a lot of long hours with these people. When you get along at all, your relationship might move to social outside of work.

Then there are community organizations – they may be a religious community, such as a church. Or they may focus on leadership, a particular cause, or social activities.

What If

Let’s say the organization is in the last category – community – and it is not something your entire family would be a part of, such as a church. This organization is something specifically you have chosen that family members may be a part of occasionally. Let’s also state that the organization tends to appeal more to men, yet all are welcome. You spend a lot of time with people from this organization, and similar to people at work, adding a social element away from the organization with some individuals is a likable idea. You also are a married man who won’t mix socially with women unless your wife is present. Your wife is busy with the kids, not interested (or maybe not invited so she doesn’t know) in going out with anyone from this group, so only the guys are asked. You chit chat, and you also talk about business related to the organization cause it’s on your mind. No harm, right?

The Setback that keeps going and going and going.

I’d like to think that there are people to see socially, and when that rule is involved, either your significant other is invited, or the rule is updated. The need for support and to talk about business is something for more than specific groups (or genders). Yes, not every conversation is for everyone, and a guys only or girls only night out is fine. Yet, how are deals getting made sometimes? Socially – over dinner, drinks, golf, etc. The point is there might be others who would fit the social extension and who would also have something to contribute for “business” discussions and instead get left behind because they don’t fit with whatever the grouping is (“one of the guys,” etc).

I’ve observed similar behavior where it’s not only about who’s being social. Person A and person B have a different relationship now at the organization, and do not believe others need to be involved. Person A and person B dismiss what person C says because the relationship is strictly (maybe even barely) “professional.” In other words, when person C offers information, person A ignores or forgets until it is brought up by person B. When person B offers that same information, it’s golden. It comes across and is received as brand new information, even though person C had previously shared the same information. The point, then, is that the relationships matter, and the relationship may have the chance to exist because of gender. This really isn’t a new idea. It is another way to explain it.

We are all people before adding any other labels.  Shouldn’t that matter more than the labels?

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading!

Stacy

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Detangler

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It is amazing how easy it is for life tangles to occur as they do in hair, or string, or maybe a slinky. It is equally amazing, if not more so, how we end up “detangling” from a situation. If only it could be simplified to spraying on a detangler or using WD-40. What I have found is that building relationships and communicating what I learn has helped me the most in situations with untangling and sometimes even saving a friendship. As written in Combination Lock, you never know where your decision combinations will lead you to.

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And, speaking of decisions, one I made a few months ago was to do something I hadn’t had a chance to while a student. The decision was to begin attending StartupZoo, which is a group of local entrepreneurs (or those who are interested in this area) that meets every other week. It is co-run by three guys. During last night’s discussion, the moderator claimed that as a group we are “different.” I found it ironic he was stating that about all of us since he had a mohawk. However, that is a point, too. As a group, “we” are different than main society because of how we think and what we are willing to try and do in business, which can include making or accepting change, and failing. Another “doer” (member) pointed out that we don’t have it all figured out yet, either, and we are still willing to try.

The use of “we” in that last paragraph included myself. By association, action, or maybe interaction, I am as much a part of the community as anyone else who was there, with less experience. My thing right now is helping to add to the discussions through business books.

Power of the Habit

It was apparent last night how excited the members of StartupZoo are about reading when they referred to passages of the current book club (KBBC)  book “Power of Habit” for examples, and it was not the first time, or the only book. Plus, when they gave examples, I’m talking about a 5 minute synopsis that was also meant to create interest in the “what happened next” category and read it yourself. I don’t expect all books to have that reaction. I was extra excited, though, because I am the creator and facilitator of KBBC, and I can’t wait until we meet and specifically have the discussion where the topic IS the current book.  Then I hope that the next choice will continue that path of spontaneous discussions.

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Sometimes, topics are more personally based and are group chats instead of open forums. Those have been important in my life for support and information. I have been searching for answers to health and wellness issues, and a particular concern has lead to what I hope is a healing path in the form I prefer. I could not have had the same discussions with strangers. Plus, that feeling of being “different” (when it is not about the difference) subsides when others share similar experiences and can explain the gaps from unanswered questions.

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I love going to hear these guys, who didn’t have a show like usual tonight. They are known as “Free Beer” and they remind me that you can have fun and music and even serious and silly discussions just through enjoying life. When things start to get tangled, remember to take a step back, talk to people, and keep on moving forward. Really, what else is there?

What do you think?

Thanks for reading (and liking/commenting)!