Last night I went out with a woman colleague who is visiting town. We had a lazy dinner conversation and went for a walk on Marine Drive. We talked about work and personal lives and books and the wonder of Marine Drive (and I felt annoyed at myself for not having been there recently, but that’s a different story).
I work with more women than men I think, and while (most of) the men are nice and friendly I would find it much more difficult to build such a relationship with them. To feel comfortable and safe telling them how I really think about work. To show my vulnerabilities and discuss things I find difficult.
And I’ve found that women are usually more polite and easier to make friends with; they reach out and make friends with you so even an introvert like me gets drawn in.
Thank you, all you women who have been kind and friendly and warm: I have needed it in the last year, after being beaten and cowed down by failure, after feeling like I’ve left all my friends behind and don’t know how to make more. Thank you for giving me something I sorely needed, without knowing I needed it. I work in a big, big company, and I thought it would be impersonal and bureaucratic and conservative… I hadn’t imagined I would find something so like family.