I recently read Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power by Brooke Baldwin.  I have also put out blog posts recently on Black Women Making History and Women’s History Month.  Clearly women, and the incredible advancements we can make, has been at the front of my mind lately.  The concept of “huddling” is basically women leaning on each other, which we all should do.

Huddling seems to be happening amongst women of all ages, and women across all career fields.  The reputation of all female education institutions is changing, women are banding together in corporate America to make sure their ideas are heard, moms are dedicating their time to change gun laws, there are plenty of females at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement, and others fighting for equal pay.  The rise of new mom groups, postpartum support groups, military wives’ gatherings, and widow grief groups show the way women bond and forge friendships based in support and similar circumstances.

Women can provide each other with support, friendship, inspiration, empowerment, and strength.  It is important for everyone to have access to these life changing huddles.  It is important to realize that the quantity of your huddle isn’t nearly as important as the quality of your huddle.  You should feel energetic and uplifted by those around you, so it does not matter if that is just a group of 2 women, or a group of 200 women or a group of 2,000 women.

In this day and age of social distancing, working from home, and social media, it is even possible to find and embrace your huddle virtually.  Your huddle likely won’t be acquaintances that you always say “we should make plans soon” and then never do.  Your huddle will not be your exclusively social friends, those activity buddies you just hang out with.  These will be people you actually want to embrace and talk to regularly.  They will be the ones that are deep friendships connected in your soul.  Your huddle should be people you can count on, to be there for you whenever you need.

Here are some tips to finding your huddle:

Let go of your fear.  Having an open mind to meeting new people, and having a healthy mindset about welcoming people into your life is of the utmost importance.  If you have a negative attitude, or negative assumptions about people, you may miss out on meeting some fantastic people and potential members of your huddle.

Start small and with people you already are comfortable with.  Reach out to acquaintances, family or even friends to see if some of those relationships can be deepened to allow them into your huddle.

Join an existing huddle.  If you are friendly with someone who is already part of a huddle, see if you can build deep relationships with their huddle.  Get to know friends of friends and accept invitations to go out.

Community involvement.  Join meetup or Facebook groups of people in similar situations to you, with similar interests to you, or for a cause you care about.  Having common ground can be a vital part or establishing your huddle.  Find a way to volunteer and that can deepen your connections with people around you as you’ll have a similar cause as them.  Attending a new class, either fitness or art or whatever speaks to you can help you find people for your huddle.

Keep in touch.  Staying in touch with people is a continual effort.  Relationships aren’t reliant on how often you talk; however, we all have those friends that we pick up like no time as passed even if it’s been awhile. A true member of your huddle is there for you, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve connected.

Be open.  Open your mind and your heart.  Try not to close yourself off at the first sign of some difference of opinion or something you don’t agree with.  We have all been in a situation where we regret something we said to a new friend.  We all come from different backgrounds and have different personalities.  Be open to learning more about people and be respectful of them.  Try to have a positive attitude with your open heart and assume people are mostly good with the best intentions.  This openness will help you find your huddle.

Be yourself.  If you are yourself, you are more likely to attract people you actually want in your huddle.  Being phony or putting on a façade will be detrimental to your relationships with people, weakening your chances at a strong huddle.

Be a strong candidate for a huddle yourself.  If you are there for other people and support them, they may just want you to be part of their huddle.  Be willing to reconnect with people when they reach out to you.  Be willing to go out and try new things.  Sometimes, it may just happen that people accept you or need you in their huddle.

Oftentimes, Hollywood and society make it seem as though a romantic relationship is important to feeling fulfilled and happy.  However, research shows that having strong friendship is just as critical to your mental and physical health.

Friendships can provide comfort and joy while preventing loneliness.  Close friendships don’t just happen magically.  They require you to put in some effort while being true to yourself.  No matter where you are geographically and in life, we all need a strong huddle of friends around us.  Everyone will need help sometimes, and having that strong huddle behind you is critical.

With people being at home and isolating, now is a great time to start checking on people you haven’t spoken to in a while to build up your huddle.

I’d love to hear from you.  Who is in your huddle?  How long have they been there?  How did you find your huddle or plan to find your huddle?  Share what you’re willing to in the comments here on the blog or on social media!