Safe Spaces of Sisterhood Pt 2: Accountability
One of the foundations of any sisterhood is a sense of accountability. I expect my friends to hold me accountable for my actions and I hold them responsible for theirs. It is what makes us better people in the long run. Having friends who love you enough to tell you, “Hey, you can do better,” or “what happened to that idea you had” or what are you doing to pursue your dreams” is a blessing. These are questions that are necessary for our growth and development. They push us outside of our comfort zones and often times lead us right to our purpose. Women who are surrounded by other women, who dare to challenge and inspire one another, achieve a higher level of personal and professional elevation.
I am my sister’s keeper
In my life, my friends have served as my accountability partners to remind me of my goals and dreams on those days where I’m feeling defeated or frustrated. There are moments in my life where I experience some self-doubt and begin to question what I’m doing and why? These are fleeting moments I believe most creatives deal with from time to time, but it is always a conversation with my friends that remind me to be accountable to my dreams. Holding your friends accountable doesn’t have to be a negative thing; in fact, I think it’s quite the opposite. The difference is your friends will always hold you accountable in love. They do not mean you harm or want to hurt your feelings, but sometimes you need tough love from those who love you the most. It’s quite simple, real friends want the best for you. The sisterhood wants everyone in the circle to grow, thrive and succeed.
There are four main elements that perfectly describe what being accountable in friendship really is; Responsibility, Answerability, Trustworthiness and Liability. These four elements combined provide the foundation for your friendships and create a “safe space” where everyone is free to be themselves authentically.
With any relationship comes responsibility. As friends, we put our trust in our sisters to have our backs and to have our best interests at heart. Trust in friendships is important as it creates a “safe space” for us to be vulnerable enough to share our dreams, wishes, fears and insecurities.
Answerability is defined as a responsibility for explaining or justifying one’s actions. As friends, we should be able to ask our fellow sisters why they are doing something. What are you thinking? What has you feeling this way and why? These are the sister circle conversations I have on a regular. When I first decided to start my blog, my friends had tons of questions. Why? What’s your goal? What do you hope to achieve? I ask my friends the same thing about their goals and dreams. It keeps us connected, and it serves as a reminder that our friends genuinely care about what we are doing and are interested. Other times it’s more personal. I’ve had friends counsel me on relationships I’ve been in and they have asked tough questions when I was in a space where I needed to make some tough decisions. I trust my circle and whether I choose to take their advice or not, I know I’m never judged and always supported.
This is the foundation of any relationship. Safe Spaces of friendship are areas where trust lives freely. We can be ourselves, whether we are at our best or our worst and know that everything shared in the circle stays there. Without women who are trustworthy, your circle isn’t a safe space but a place where gossip lives and that’s dysfunctional.
Having friends who hold you accountable prevent you from becoming a liability in the friendship. Like I said in my previous post, you are the company you keep and you are a reflection of the circle you reside. Growing up my mother would always tell me when I leave this house, I represent this family and I better represent it well and not embarrass my family or make us look bad. It’s similar in our friendships; one bad apple does spoil the entire bunch. You never want to be the friend that makes your entire circle look bad. When we present ourselves with dignity, class, integrity we also present our friends in the same light. This is the time when the “circle check” is a must because it reveals the liabilities in some of your relationships.
These four pillars of accountability ensure that our circles remain positive and uplifting. Accountability in friendship creates an unbreakable bond because we have taken the time to get to know one another, gain each other’s trust and respect. That’s the foundation of any great relationship.
How do you hold yourselves accountable with your friends? How has it benefited your friendships?
Until next time…take care of yourselves and one another