three white women sitting on a bench at the beach and laughing

Recently, a female colleague commented to me that girls and women are divisive, gossipy and mean. I was surprised by her comments in that both men and women can display those behaviors, but also because I haven’t experienced much of that from the women in my life. My friends and female colleagues have been supportive, loving, and truly the greatest of companions. My daughter calls her group of girlfriends her crew. That name resonates for me because the women in my life feel like lifelong crewmates.

So why have I been so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing women? It hasn’t actually been luck at all, but rather the conscious choosing of others who are smarter, kinder, stronger, and funnier than I am. I look for friends who will raise me up just by being around them. They challenge me by living their own truth and authenticity.

One of the first women that I met in college approached me in the laundry room of our dorm and kindly whispered to me that I was putting a dryer sheet in the washing machine. She could have rightly judged me as a spoiled young women who had never done her own laundry, yet she took a moment to nicely help me find just a bit of my own independence. Later that week, she talked me and a few other women into attending a campus party with upperclassmen.

I would have never gone to that party without her. I was too nervous and afraid of making a fool of myself. Yet we walked into that party as if we belonged and ended up having a hysterical first weekend at college. She’s my dear friend to this day and she still talks me into situations that I might avoid without her. Her energy and zest for life makes her an irresistible friend. But more than that, she always tells the truth about who she is and what she wants out of life.

My oldest crew member fixed me up with my husband. There are days I’ve made her regret that, but ultimately she changed my life for the better. She’s always been someone I’ve admired for her fearless honesty and willingness to swim against the stream. A few years ago, I watched her will her husband back from the brink of death by the sheer force of her love for him and her family. (There is no hyperbole in that statement, by the way.) Cancer didn’t hold a chance against her. I’ve always found that being on her side is the safest place to be.

The Value of a Good Crew

Each crew member has made me a better woman because of who they are. They are mothers, wives, professionals, givers in every respect, yet smart enough to know when to receive and take care of themselves. They have suffered tragedies and yet find a way to experience love, joy, and humor in their lives. Each are kind in their own way, but not falsely so. My friends can be moody and bitchy just like me, and I love them more for that slice of humanity.

No #friendship is perfect, yet we grow when we accept the imperfections & love each other anyways. #sisterhood Click To Tweet

Watching my daughter find her own crew has been an interesting experience. She’s had to learn to accept both the good and the bad of friendships, as well as the acceptance that ultimately comes with those pros and cons. No friendship is perfect, just as no friend is perfect, yet how much do we grow when we accept the imperfections and love each other anyways?

Last week, as I was leaving a networking meeting, I watched a number of older women come into the restaurant to set up tables to play Mah Jong. One of the women struck up a conversation with me to ask about the group that had just left. As we talked, I observed her crew helping each other settle in and set up the game. They were chatty and supportive of each other, smiling and laughing as each friend walked into the restaurant. If I’m lucky, I’ll also grow old with my crew and the adventures that await us.


Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC

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Smart Women, Inspired Lives: How to Be Happy & Confident

by Dr. Lisa Kaplin
Do you long for more energy? Do you wish you could walk into any room and feel happy and confident? Do you simply want to enjoy your life more – personally and professionally? You can. Too many women today are doing more, but feeling less satisfied. Life doesn’t have to be that way. With small tweaks and simple strategies, you can enjoy a great life with soaring self-confidence, a good sense of well-being, and plenty of laughter. This easy-to-read yet profoundly impactful book will be all you need to join the tribe of smart women living inspired lives. Your life gets better right now.

About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC

headshot of Lisa KaplinCertified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.

I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.


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Gain the Confidence You’ve Always Wanted

Are you stuck in a place where you don’t feel good about yourself, feel stuck, and don’t feel happy or fulfilled?  Whatever it is that keeps you from happiness can be solved.  It’s true! And it can usually be solved within a short amount of time.

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