‘I’m On a New Level’: How to Mature As a Woman Without Offending Your Friends
So you are officially a BAUCE now. You’ve turned in your red cups and day-old pizza slices for wine glasses and some gluten-free organic meal I can’t pronounce. You landed that promotion at your job and you’ve upgraded your fall wardrobe to include floppy black hats…you know the hat that says, “I travel, I read books, and I do yoga.” Yeah, that one. You meet up with your girls every weekend to tell them how much you have matured and don’t do that stuff you stopped doing last month. You keep stating that you are on a “whole new level” and everyone needs to “level up” and do exactly what it is that you’re doing.
Guess what, honey? We are all secretly rolling our eyes at you because a BAUCE woman never condescends others; she matures with grace and supports other people around her as she climbs. If you feel like you’re changing as a woman, but your friends aren’t “getting it”, it might be time to reflect on your self-proclaimed “maturity” and ego. Here’s how to become a BAUCE with class:
It’s not what you say, but how you say it
Whether it’s going on a diet, finding a new place to hang out, or picking out the location for your next girl’s trip, people are usually open to trying something new. What turns most people off (including myself) is how you communicate your thoughts. For example, maybe you are at a stage in your life where wellness is important and you want your friends to partake in more green smoothie sessions with you:
What you said: “You guys really should start going to the gym. Nobody wants to be out of shape in 2017.”
What you should say: “They are teaching this new cool Zumba class at my gym — maybe we should have a girl’s night and everyone take the class?”
Post a cool selfie after the workout and hash tag it #SquadGoals so everyone wins.
Introduce ideas, don’t make demands
This is not Gossip Girl and you are not Blair. Stop making demands and start introducing ideas. Believe it or not, people like hearing new ideas.What they don’t like is hearing demands. If you want your friends to try something new, introduce it as an idea.
What you said: “Why do we always have to go clubbing? My friends at my new job go out and paint and do mature things. Next time we go out, that’s what we are doing.”
What you should say: “I have an idea — my new co-workers go painting on Wednesday nights, maybe we should go one weekend?”
Find the painting and wine event on GroupOn and flourish!
People remember how you made them feel
Friends tell friends the truth, but remember your friends are human too so be gentle with your words. For example, let’s say you are in a great relationship and your pictures are banging on Instagram…yes, you winning girl with your #relationshipgoals! That one friend who is in a not so good relationship comes to you for advice. Before you start listing everything that she did wrong…stop. Remember, not only is this your friend, but she is a person who has feelings. You know for a fact that she deserves better but you must also realize that your words can leave an impression that is lasting. Don’t let them be hurtful.
What you said: “Yeah, girl, my man is so amazing. You need to drop that zero and get you a winner like I did.”
What you should say: First try giving some words of encouragement. We have all been down f**k boy alley. The worst thing a friend can do is kick another friend when they are down. Also try listening more than talking. We see our friends in pain and we want to jump to give a solution — sometimes the best solution is just being the shoulder to lean on. Order some pizza, put on Netflix, and allow her to cry it out while watching Meredith pour her heart out to Derek on Grey’s Anatomy (“pick me, choose me, love me”).
Remember: everyone has to start somewhere
It’s easy to forget that everyone has to start at level 101 before they advance (including you). You may be knee deep in your career while your friend is just starting out. Don’t make your friends feel less than because they are not measuring up to your standards. There is a fine line between being a coach and putting someone down.
What you said: “So you’re really going to go back to school at this age? At your age I was completing my second Masters.”
What you should say: “It’s never too late to go back to school no matter what age. Learning is not a race.”
Then on your friend’s first day back to school, get her a basket filled with school supplies. If you are a planner, help her create a study schedule that accommodates her life.
The worst thing a friend can do is complain that their friend is not doing enough to advance themselves. You may be right that your friend may need a push, but your lecture series on why they need to go back to school or apply for their dream job is not getting them any further. Instead of talking until your blue in the face, provide some resources that they can actually utilize.
What you said: “Girl, why are you still a cubicle dweller? You need to stop complaining about how you hate your job and find another job.”
What you should say: “Girl, I know you have been down about your job. Here are a couple of podcasts and blogs I visited that helped me make the transition from a job I hated to a career I love.”
Being a Bauce is hard work. We are all on different paths and that’s okay. There is no “right way” to grow and evolve. Bauces support and uplift each other. The next time you are in a position to uplift and help another Bauce out, make sure that you put your ego aside, be humble, and do it with grace.