Do you know that one friend who won’t let you fall off on her watch? She encourages you to tighten up. She reminds you to live as your higher self. She challenges your fears. She refuses to entertain your doubt. She rides for your purpose. She’s not afraid to check you. She sees you in the future.
That friend who is always there with a pep talk on the tip of her tongue.
She only lets you cry and vent for a second because she knows every second counts when you’re in the fight for your life. There are many names for her. She goes by strong woman, superwoman, and these days, everybody likes to call her our strong friend.
You know that friend, right? If this doesn’t describe anyone in your life, it’s probably because you are this woman in your life (and the life of all your friends).
You love your strong friend. You brag about her being the one who always holds you down. You are proud of the life she’s created for herself. She has the career, the house, the car — and she is emotionally intelligent, fiscally responsible, and extremely wise when it comes to most things. You managed to get through some of the toughest times in your life without seeing a therapist, because who needs a therapist when you have your strong friend.
Actually, you know who needs a therapist? Your strong friend does. She has been holding you, her other friends, her family, her co-workers, her neighbors, her siblings, her man, and sometimes even her parents down — and she’s heavy.
She’s been carrying the weight of her world on her shoulders, and the weight of her own dreams and hopes and aspirations on her back. That’s a lot when you think about it. She’s strong, she’s super, she’s the dopest woman you know — but she’s still human.
In fact, when you see your strong friend or any other strong woman, say a prayer. Most are strong because they have to be, and not because they want to be.
When was the last time you checked on her? The phrase "check on your strong friend" has been posted all over the internet, and many of us do. The conversation usually goes something like this:
Us: Hey, strong friend. You good?
Strong Friend: Yes, girl I’m good. Got a lot going on, but I’m good.
Us: Okay. Just checking on you, girl.
Your strong friend will probably never admit she’s not good. She doesn’t have time to talk about how she’s not good because she’s too busy making sure everyone else is good.
Here are 5 other things your strong friend will never admit:
1. She’s tired — Being the one who holds everyone together while simultaneously creating a life, building a career, staying fit, being her man’s peace, and being emotionally and spiritually well is exhausting. She won’t tell you she doesn’t feel like answering your call right now, but she doesn’t, because she’s tired.
2. She needs help — She's used to doing it all. And she does it all well. But, if you swooped in to help out every now and then, she would really appreciate it. Offer to help with set up at her next event, be her assistant for an hour a week, take her kids for the weekend, help her grade papers, or clean out her car. She may decline the offer the first couple of times, but keep offering. One day she may really need you.
3. She’s vulnerable — Part of the reason she works so hard to stay strong is because, if she lets up, even for a second, she might just fall apart. Emotional strength is usually inspired by emotional trauma. She’s been through some things, so be more careful with her heart.
4. She doesn’t know how she does it — So many people ask her how she does it all and she usually answers, “I just do.” That is her truth. She is often amazed at how she keeps going after all she’s been through. But, she just does.
5. She feels neglected — She drops anything and everything for any and everyone, and never expects anything in return. And most often, she gets nothing in return. Constantly being the go-to girl makes her seem like she needs nothing. But she needs just as much (if not more) than she gives.
The strong woman, superwoman, and strong friend in your life will never admit these things. She will just keep going, keep showing up, keep answering your calls, and keep being strong through it all.
She won’t complain. But, she could use some reciprocity.
Check in on her.
Want to talk about ways you can support your strong friend? Are you the strong friend in your own life? Let's chat about it. Hit me up at Nakeia Homer.
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