I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. But now is a good time as this year I’ve also experienced a new definition of girl gang. Let’s go back, way back. So what did girl gang mean to me when I was younger? It was a group of girls who we couldn’t relate to. They had different priorities. They had a different boldness. They were extroverts. They ruled the school playground and our local shopping centre. They were busy being exclusive. Little did they know, me and my secondary school mates were quite happy in our own little gang with our own traditions. Ours was just more of an inclusive one, with no rules.
So what does girl gang mean to me now? More importantly, below is the kind of girl gang I hope my two daughters encounter as they grow up…
- Support…We’re there for each other. We know our closest pals very well and know what to say in the low-times. We can be open with each other and we know it’s OK to not be OK. As friends we also take an interest each other’s lives. Friends share their strength and wisdom to keep you together when things feel like they could fall apart. They do their best not to judge.
- Inclusive…From my experience, the strongest girl gangs are inclusive ones. It’s not about being a clique or a closed tribe (no initiations or particular status required – just be you). The new era of girl gangs respect differences. You don’t have to change your hair or look like Sandy had to in Grease. Come as you are. Join us if you want, even if it’s just for a little while.
- Laughter…Not at each-other or others but laughing together. Cracking jokes and making up our own ones as if we’re still teenagers. Making each other smile when we’ve had a rubbish time. Injecting a bit of humour when we need a little distraction.
- An agile community which crosses boundaries and differences…Lots of friends move away but we still manage to stay in touch.We still speak over the phone when we can. Yes, that may also mean chatting through social media, WhatsApp or emails but it’s still good to connect. Instagram has also allowed positive girl gangs to evolve especially as many I know are very welcoming. These agile communities are now getting together in person which is amazing.
- Recognition…We give each other a boost when we need it or least expect it. We’re not afraid of recognising each other’s talents, skills and achievements. A quick but genuine “well done” goes a very long way indeed. We’re not a threat to each other, we’re more about inspiration. We spread the word and aren’t afraid to promote each other.
- Encouragement…We try to encourage others to follow their goals and stay determined. We egg each other on, especially if we sense others battling with self-doubt. Some ladies are promoting positive girl gang missions through their amazing online stores, check out lots of them on my recent inspirational gift ideas list for the ladies.
- Collaboration…Goodness this is a big one. We’re not afraid of joining forces. We ask each other for help and advice as we respect others might be in a better position to be the expert. Energy is invested in collaboration instead of competition. Some people need competitiveness to energise their determination or creativity, and that’s fine. As I ended up saying today, “I can’t compete with you as I’m not you; you can’t compete with me as you’re not me”. I love a collaboration and can’t wait for the projects in 2017 where I get to team up with some very talented people whether it’s through Lucky Things or Collective Insight.
One thing I’m sure about is that there will be lots of inclusivity and support at each of the Lucky Things Meet Ups planned for 2017. It’s a great way to encourage each other to network and come across different sources of inspiration. It also doesn’t matter if it’s your first Lucky Things Meet Up or if you come along on your own. It’s about being part of a nice crowd (and hanging out in person).
There have been some really interesting blog posts expressing views on cliques recently. Maybe ‘clique’ is soon to be redefined too. Check out the ones by Claire from The Pramshed and Cee from Hey Is That Me.
Over to you…What does girl gang mean to you? Have you and your friends redefined this? What does you remember about girl gangs from your childhood? What can we do to encourage younger girls to create more positive social groups and communities? Leave a comment below and support the new era of the positive girl gang…