In Lady and the Tribe, Brenda Billings Ridgley celebrates the power of female friendships, sharing insights into the ways they enrich women’s lives and offering strategies for creating, strengthening, and enjoying these relationships to the fullest.
Ridgley explores the roots of loneliness in today’s times and the impact of social media, while also sharing stories from her life and others to illustrate personal growth as friendships deepen. Her narrative addresses the distinct types and levels of women’s relationships with one another, including toxic ones.
“The Friendship Target” is at the heart of her philosophy. Imagine a center circle titled “You” with five concentric circles around it. The closer the circle to “You,” the deeper the relationship and the smaller the number of people included. From the center out, she labels the circles as: Tribe (”closest to heart-center relationships”); Soul Sisters (important friendships with women you can’t see regularly); Kindred Klan (women you socialize with regularly, perhaps once a month); Friendlies (real friendships, but on a more superficial level); Community (casual friendships, similar to a network).
Ridgley does an impressive job merging personal experiences, her unique thoughts on friendship, and anecdotes from other women with research and experts’ opinions. She offers a plethora of useful tips on how to develop, maintain, and enrich friendships, such as encouraging readers to “emphasize joy and kindness over charisma”; enthusiasm for a friendship, she posits, enhances the relationship, as does sharing inside jokes and connecting over the “silly things.”
While she acknowledges that life events can prevent friends from getting together, she connects the value and depth of friendship with the amount of time, energy, and support each person provides the other. In other words, quantity equals quality, both in the number of people you connect with and how often you get together with those people.
Ultimately, Ridgley’s philosophies will resonate with any woman seeking to analyze and expand friendships, who will find many helpful insights here.
Also available as an ebook.