Life Lessons from the Hip and Fabulous: Achieving More From Friendships | Christine Zmuda | Skillshare

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Life Lessons from the Hip and Fabulous: Achieving More From Friendships

teacher avatar Christine Zmuda, Author, Artist, and Fun Provocateur

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Intro Life Lessons of the Hip and Fabulous

    • 2. Why This Course and Who It's Designed For

    • 3. Establishing Your Friendship Baseline

    • 4. Quick Brainstorming Exercise

    • 5. Friendship Theory More or Less

    • 6. Being Your Authentic Self

    • 7. Class Project Build Your Personalized Friendship Growth Matrix

    • 8. 4 Stages of Friendship Seed and Grow

    • 9. 4 Stages of Friendship Celebrate and Expand

    • 10. Friendship Stage Nurture and Prune

    • 11. Friendship Stage Amplify and Organize

    • 12. Wrap Up and Stay Connected

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About This Class

This course is designed by and for women as a precursor to the book “The Misadventures of the Hip and Fabulous”.  While, the book details the offbeat antics and girls’ nights out that a group of 12 women lived and learned from, this classes help you to assess the quality of your current friend group, improve upon the experiences and interactions of your circle, and likely make lifelong connections as a result. To support ongoing learning and have a two way information exchange, we encourage participants of the course to also join the Instagram channel  @hipandfab  and visit the blog. 


channel on Instagram.

Meet Your Teacher

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Christine Zmuda

Author, Artist, and Fun Provocateur



As a full time technology executive, Christine Zmuda strives to get the most out of life whether at work or play.  Over a decade of developing and experiencing amazing gifts of fun and laughter through friendship, Christine sets out to guide students through an understanding of the 4 Stages of Friendship and how to get both the quality and quantity of female friends in your life. 

Post this introductory course, the real fun begins. Christine is a successful author who published "The Misadventures of the Hip and Fabulous " a girlfriends guide to better girls nights out and other adventures. In this book, Christine offers tried and tested techniques that can be incorporated into your own routine for unique and very different outings ... See full profile

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1. Intro Life Lessons of the Hip and Fabulous: Welcome to the course. This is life lessons from the hip and fabulous, a girlfriend's guy to friendship and other adventures. My name is Christine Zmuda, and I will be your instructor for the course beyond this course, we're also hoping to establish a movement, and that movement is a opportunity for women around the globe to help and support other women. We have a instagram channel, so those of you who were on Instagram you can follow us at Hip and Fab. And the goal here is to share ideas. Better girls night nights out, uh, maybe some offbeat antics and really just be available to support each other. So I hope you'll join us there. So let's dive in. This is what we're going to cover. There's actually five portions to this course. The first piece is relatively easy. It's just a quick introduction on a little bit about my background, some of the objectives for the course which will learn, and ideally, who this is suited for. And then we're going to jump right in to the made of the course, and that's setting the baseline on your current friendship situation, understanding and assessing the relationships you have and really being honest with yourself about where you are today, what level of satisfaction you're getting out of those relationships and what you might like to see in the future. Then I'm going to share a little bit about my friendship theory and what has worked well with, uh, my set of girlfriends and something that I think could definitely benefit. Uh, you know, busy women, whether you're working inside or outside the home being time constrained. There's hopefully something in this for you, and we'll give you something definitely to think about through the course of this class. Then we'll have the opportunity to do the class project, and this is an opportunity for you to understand. What does your friendship circle look like? And what is the current state of those relationships? We will do an interesting sort of plotting exercise, and as a result of that activity, you'll actually know where you stand in terms of the four areas of friendship circles and stages of those and along with that will give you some pro tips that can take you to the next level and really take advantage of the opportunity to grow, nurture and build upon those friendships. Uh, we'll wrap up with some next steps, and at this point, let's go ahead and dive in. 2. Why This Course and Who It's Designed For: so in the interest section will cover a couple of things. I thought it would be helpful since we're spending a little over an hour together toe Understand, uh, my background and help you appreciate why the course was developed and also provide a good baseline understanding of who would best benefit from this course. Andi. Then just this real, simple house keeping item what you'll need. Teoh do. Some of these exercises is toe have a couple of pieces of paper handy and something to write with that will ensure you conduct down your ideas and be much more efficient in the course. Okay, so why did I put the course together for all of you? So I wanted to give you a little bit of background. I was born into a family of four girls on and, uh, being the oldest goes relationships with My sisters were really my first female friends. But our upbringing was a little bit unconventional. We moved around quite a bit. Every time my father had a new job, we went to a new city on. By the time I was in high school, I had been in 10 different schools. So as a result of that, it definitely impacted my friendships. And as I look back on those years, I would gravitate towards one or two close girlfriends. And it really wasn't until I settled into Mary life and lived in the same place for some time that I had a expanded friendship, circle lots of girlfriends and had a much different experience. So as I think about some of the things that I've learned, and certainly in today's world, where we are all running at high high pace and times at a premium, uh, I've had the opportunity. I've been very fortunate. Teoh have some pretty amazing experiences with my friends and I I'd like Teoh try and share those ideas and share some tips and tricks for getting mawr out of your busy, busy life. You'll also see there there is a book that's featured, and this is a book I wrote recently called The Misadventures of the Hip and Fabulous. If you're looking for different girls nights, alternatives to the typical the typical book club or dinners out of you are looking for something to really change. Change up the scenery with your girlfriends. I highly recommend this book There's some really interesting escapades you everything from putting on your own amateur roller derby Teoh setting a parade in motion for friend in in your own, uh, downtown area, complete with floats. It's kind of ah, how to book, but also it's It's very lighthearted and quite fun, so available on Amazon if you are interested. So this course is designed for women, and the whole goal here is for, uh, women to support other women. And I know a little bit about what friendships are helpful and what friendships could enable you to be your most authentic and best self. I also would call out here that women women with varying number of friendships are invited to participate. So you may be in a situation where you only have a few girlfriends and you're looking for more. Or perhaps you already have a high quantity of relationships, but you're not quite sure about the quality of those. So this is a great opportunity for you to assess what you want to get out of these relationships and get some hopefully grounded advice on next steps there and then, lastly, it's just a great opportunity. Teoh reset on some of the ideas and activities that you've done with your girlfriends to date and and amp. Up and perhaps creates, um, really a lifelong memories by doings. 3. Establishing Your Friendship Baseline: So in this next section, we're gonna talk about setting a baseline. And I love this quote from Yogi Berra. You don't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. So what we're going to do in this section is start to get you thinking about your relationships and how I'm defining a friendship and what relationships I want you to think about are those that are number one geographically desirable. And that means that you can get to their house in less than an hour, or they can come Teoh your home in a short amount of time. Secondly, that this is someone who do socialize with. So we have lots of relationships. But the expectation here is that you would be reciprocal with invitations back and forth. Eso This would be someone that you see at least at least once a month, if not more more than that in terms of classifying them as a friend. So hopefully have a few folks in mind. Now, when you're thinking about your group of girlfriends, one of the first things I want you to think about is, Are you learning anything from your friend group personally or professionally, Andi. I think quite often, especially groups that have been together for some time. They get a little stagnant. There's there's maybe the same kind of conversation and same type of activities on. And if you're not learning, if you're not growing, uh, that's that's something that you should be aware of. So I want you to think about that. Secondly, do you get energy from this group, and by energy, do you look forward? Teoh participating with planned activities? Or do you have an uneasy feeling when you walk into the room full of full of women? And I don't really feel like a tease? Or perhaps you're not in a place where you can really feel feel comfortable and let's face it, we've all had those experiences, but we're spending a lot of time with with people like that that don't make you feel very comfortable. That don't help you grow personally and professionally. It's it's probably time Teoh shift a little bit in terms of your strategy in your approach to relationships, and then the last thing to think about is are you currently happy with both the quality and the quantity of your friendships and This is a little bit of, ah, simple thing to ask, But think about when your girlfriend's air together. How often are they smiling? And we all know smiling is infectious, and it generally creates a lot of energy in a room. But think about the last few times. Was it, uh, exciting, smiling, Happy time? Or was it a little bit lackluster in terms of the engagement between your women friends? This is also an interesting saying that Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur and he's also a motivational speaker, has been a little bit famous for something I was sure with my Children because they're selecting their friends, friends Teoh associate with. But you're essentially the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with. And I always had a little bit of a different bent on this particular quote. And I like to think, you know well, why would you limit yourself to five? There's a great opportunity tohave more relationships, certainly an opportunity. Teoh benefit from a host of women with different and varied experiences and, you know, limiting yourself to just a handful of people relieve limits your exposure to cool new things and different people learn from 4. Quick Brainstorming Exercise: Okay. Remember that piece of paper and pencil we told you toe have handy? Well, it's time to rabbit. We're going to do our first exercise. Okay, So let's think about your friends, your friends, ships and your friend group. And we like to just, uh, have you write down the first words that come to mind when you think about your friend circle. What kind of trades? What kind of qualities do these individual ladies have? And, um, just give you a few seconds first going to 10 seconds. So get rid quickly. 10 987654321 All right. So what words did you come up with were their thoughts of support iveness? Ah, spontaneous. There's lots of lots of lots of words that you could describe your friend group. And, you know, maybe there could have been also some not so positive words to describe your your friend group, depending on where you are, that's perfectly fine. I think again, you being honest on and working through this exercise, we'll help you get more out of your your time with your friends. So here's a couple indicators that the group is contributing positively to your life. Things that you can think about are that you are experiencing new and different things and , um, these individuals also you feel very open with. It's a safe space. When you offer ideas opinions, you're not judged for your your values or your beliefs or being vocal about something you care about and you ultimately feel like your authentic self. And by authentic self is you're not being someone different to be around this group of ladies, and also certainly something we all would love Teoh achieve is ensuring that you're having a lot of fun when you're together. You know, Ah, fallout, belly laughing type of fun. That's always a sign of ah, really, really good time. 5. Friendship Theory More or Less: a little bit of my personal friendship theory. And this is a great quote from another entrepreneur, Mark Front, and Felder, who says that to be successful, you have to have quantity of quality. So, um, that's something to think about quantity or of quality. So with that in mind, you have a couple of options here when you think of quantity of friends, which is the better option. And you could be of the film only school of thought where hey, I only need my best girlfriend. That's all I need and I can tell her everything. And I am very, very fulfilled in my relationship. Or you could have this gang of 10 11 12 girlfriends and you could have the opportunity of more diversity, more experiences and, frankly, more of a talent pool. Teoh pull from when you need help. When you want an opinion when you want to learn something, uh, you know, these air essentially the sort of two extremes, right? A small group or ah, much larger group. Well, I will air on more is always better. And why is that? I'm really speaking Teoh, the lifestyle that we're living today, where people are increasingly busy and even your downtime isn't really downtime. You're still digitally. Can I Did your, um, likely have a lot of commitments Whether you're working inside the home or outside of the home. I like having a big group of girlfriends because it gives you more options for individuals to connect with given busy schedules. Um, you also have the opportunity to drawn all the experience of collective experience of these women with They've been through what they, uh, they do in their day to day lives and also even bucket list items that they'd like Teoh achieve. You could be part of that and actually help and support those women in achieving some of their goals. And, heck, maybe try something new yourself. So another great, great quote. So G. Garland said, be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else, And that really speaks to being your authentic self and assessing the quality of those relationships. So, uh, when you think about this, can you walk in the room and be completely unabashedly, uh, your yourself without putting on airs without acting differently and, um, ensuring that people accept you for who you are, uh, or conversely, do you walk in a room and feel like you have to act a little bit differently? Or there is a certain expectation of the group that you are expected to coats to sort of comply with? Yeah, those those are. 6. Being Your Authentic Self: a lot of traits and values, and this isn't the all encompassing list. But if you have others that you feel very connected to, this is a great opportunity. Teoh. Write those down, Um, and just spend a few moments collecting your thoughts there. What are the values that are most important to you? Those things that are at your core? Yeah, the things that you would like Teoh have people associate with your Europe rece persona. Take a few minutes. Nice work putting the valueless together. And did anything surprise you? Anything that can't came to mind when you think about your top priorities. And sometimes these values can change, actually over time to depending on where you are in your life, what experiences you've had. But with those values in mine. Now shift your thinking a little bit. Think about your female friends and just sort of one by one, looking at the list and thinking about the individuals in your in your head. What kind of overlap do you see in terms of your values and the values of your, uh, female friends? If there's a fair amount of overlap, you are probably more often than not feeling like you can be your authentic self and get a lot out of those relationships. If you have that nagging feeling in your gut that well, uh, this could be a mismatch based on the 7. Class Project Build Your Personalized Friendship Growth Matrix: All right, so now it's time for the class Project A a class project. Okay, I am a huge, huge sports fan, and you know, just a inspirational quote from Michael Jordan. If you put in the work, the results will come. So let's get into the project. What we're going to do here is we're gonna plot lines, um, on and matrix. And to do that, we need to establish the value for the X access, which will be the total number of female friends you have. And again, if you remember what our definition of friends Waas for this exercise was a couple things being geographically desirable. Meeting clothes, someone that you socialize with more than once a month. And secondly, someone who would reciprocate the invitation and have you over Teoh their home for some sort of social activity. Okay, so right down that total number. Next, uh, need you to write down the list of friends that you have and their names. And I want you to think about them individually and spend a little bit of time understanding, you know, where are they in this, uh, in this, you know, sort of graduated list of types of friendships. Are they a close confidante meeting? You tell them everything. Even your most most confidential secrets. You're always learning from that individual you really see Seek them out. That's the top top of the charts, type of friendship, or maybe their favorite friend, where you tell them some but not all, of your, uh, most confidential information. And you certainly enjoy that individual either in the group or alone. Or maybe they're just in everyday friend like you're happy to see them. You like spending time with, um, there used to be around, but just in terms of intimacy and confidentiality of the the relationship, there is not as deep acquaintances. You could be new to a group or perhaps a friend of a friend has been invited around. And either you just don't know them well enough to form an opinion. Well, and that's typically what we see in terms of an acquaintance. And then the last one's kind of a tough one. And we often have this type of person in our group, and they are. They could be in your group, and this is a detractor. This is the person who can often or on occasion change the group dynamic. They may be negative, self centered or maybe a little high maintenance. And they're just the type of person who kind of sucks oxygen out of the room. Now, detractors don't always have to be 100% of, you know, in that category all the time. Certainly there are life experiences that we have that can make us a detractor for a point in time. But, um, you know, when you have ah, group of one or more than one of these could be pretty pretty detrimental to the group dynamic. So take some time. And even if you have to pause this recording, just go ahead and spend some time classifying your friends and in these categories. So now we're gonna add up that net score. So you're gonna add up all your fives at of all your fours, and then you're gonna come up with a total score, which is your friendship growth score. And then what we want to do here is this plot the number of girlfriends you have with the total friendship scorer. You just sum total and determine which of the four stages your friendship circle is in You could be in the scene, grow stage celebrating, expand, nurture and prune or amplify and organized. You're probably wondering, OK, well, what do all of the stages mean? And how do I How do I plot those those charts? So, essentially, this is just a few quick examples in the instance that you had four bro friends and your total score waas uh, less than 30. You would likely be in the seed and grow stage if you maybe had north of six girlfriends and had a higher friendship scored, you be in the amplify and organized. 8. 4 Stages of Friendship Seed and Grow: All right, so let's jump into the four stages of friendship. Uh, this is a great quote, Leon Brown. Your circle of friends must match your own aspirations and dreams. Otherwise, you will find little support when you need it. Your words were never said, and hopefully the value exercise we did in the earlier section helped Teoh sort of ground you on reality with your friend group. So let's tackle before stages. Here is the 1st 1 seed grow. This stage essentially indicates that Ah, a couple things. It could be, you know, many, many different things. But these are the more common situations. Perhaps you're new in town and just started to get to know people. So you don't have a lot of deep relationships yet Maybe just a handful of people that you know, or he could be in the midst of change in your friend group to a new set of people that sometimes happens for whatever reasons, you might be in a transition state or you have a few friends. But the intimacy level on the quality of the relationship is just not there yet. There's certainly potential, and that's why we call the stage seed and grow. So a couple pro tips. Here's something that might help you build upon that foundation. We tend Teoh, get to know people. I think more quickly when you have a regularly scheduled activity. Uh, you can start Teoh set something like that up for your group of three or four. If you're in the CNN grow stage and invite those individuals to invite others. So again, kind of just building upon your friend group and, um, having that sort of regular activity helps Teoh break down barriers. Over time, you get to know each other much more, much more readily. And then my other advice, if you're in that seed in group category, is to be willing to share a little bit more about yourself. Um, be a little bit, you know, I would say a little bit more vulnerable. Teoh. Let people get to know you. I think that there's a great, uh, movie. If you if you all had seen it, um uh, that was what We bought a zoo. We wanted it with Matt Damon. And there's a saying in that movie where meant, Damon's character says, All you need is, um, 10 seconds of courage. So putting yourself out there a little bit more and sharing something about yourself will insure others get to know you a little bit better, and hopefully they will also reciprocate. And then, uh, certainly it never hurts to smile more. Positivity attracts positivity, and it definitely definitely works. Okay, so, um, if 9. 4 Stages of Friendship Celebrate and Expand: stage. This is what this likely means. You have a very solid group of girlfriends with whom you can be your authentic self. Uh, you enjoy other each other's company, but you don't always have the opportunity to get together, given time constraints. And you may share interests with some but not all, of the group, which makes scheduling those memorable moments just a little bit tough. So in terms of intimacy and knowing each other, you know each other very well. There's just not a lot of you to go around. So this is where I encourage women to think about. Who else could we Poland, that is like minded and would give the opportunity to essentially, do do more things with. So if you're in the celebrating expand, here's a few pro tips. Uh, one example could be developing your Friendship circle bucket list. You know, what are the three things that you would like? Teoh push, push each other do over the next 1 to 5 years, and this could be anything from going to see Cox Itani fill in Pennsylvania. Maybe it's trying a trapeze. Listen, maybe it is, um, taking on a a new responsibility Or maybe it's, uh, you know, it could be it could be just anything, anything wacky, wild and even just everyday activities that you just haven't had exposure to. And then once you have those ideas, I would say Discuss the bucket list items among your friend group because there's definitely going to be some ideas that you didn't think about and you might be interested in. So if you're in this celebrating expand, you have ah, pretty solid group of women that you like, But there's probably room for more at your table. So as you're recruiting for more female friends, Teoh to join your group, I would say definitely prior prioritized sense of humor. People who smile, people have a positive outlook on life and never 10. Friendship Stage Nurture and Prune: so this stage could indicate that you have good relationships with some but not all friends in the group. There are detractors in the group, which could limit the amount of personal fulfillment that you have when the large group is together, or you could quite possibly have been introduced into a large group where you only have things in common with a a portion of the women. So maybe there's this friction or internal conflict happening as you spend time with this group. So if you're in the nurture in Prune State, um, this is a few pro tips, I guess. Just like the Clash song. Should I stay or should I go? I think that sometimes the pruning isn't turning someone else from the group that is taking yourself out of the mix. And if you're conflicted and you're not really feeling like, Hey, I could be my authentic self That's probably a good opportunity to find a new group. Uh, and if there is a very positive vibe among a good portion of the women, and perhaps there's detractors that bring the group down, there's lots of different opportunities. And here's just a few ideas, uh, to get together with with the sort of the like minded, positive folks, I would say, Do a rotating dinner party. Take it a trip to the museums And there's a new, interesting, uh, opportunity here to see independent films. If you visit talk cinema dot com, you can find out where those independent films are showing, and there's usually a discussion group around it. So just a few different ideas on a sort of creative opportunities to to connect. And then I would say, You know, if you have a good the good portion of the group, that is, it's worthwhile investing in. It's a good idea. Teoh set up a a group chat, um, and encourage those women who are sort of like minded Teoh get together and be able Teoh to do things from from time to time. It's always great just to throw something out to the group, chat and saying, Hey, this is what I'm doing Anybody want to join rather than, um, you know, sort of worried about some of the more formal ways of inviting folks to do things We just just don't have the time reflection of time these days? Teoh, you go through a lot of, um, I would say, for formalities. Get to the fund quicker 11. Friendship Stage Amplify and Organize: occur. All right, If you were in the amplify and organized state, this is the best of all possible worlds. This is the ultimate stage for a place of optimized fund with girlfriends. And what we see here is a solid, solid, great level of trust. And there's also not only the quality of relationships there, but there's the quantity. So, uh, you have the opportunity, Teoh jump in with a lot of different folks, a lot of different experiences and really So if you're in the amplify and organized stage, one thing to think about would be Teoh Get and share your bucket list activities with, uh, your girlfriend group and my bucket list. It doesn't have to be necessarily things that you do before you die, but more like, hey, these air a couple of new experiences I'd like to try, uh, this year, next year or within five years, and have each of your girlfriends right there stories down and then share it, uh, by sharing it and verbalizing it. You're actually putting it out the universe, and it's more likely Teoh happen. And this is just kind of an interesting list of of bucket list items all kinds of different things. Everything from well, watching Teoh milking a cow traveling Teoh foreign countries, Um, learning to drive stick shift mentoring folks. Uh, my girlfriends and I did this exercise. It was it was pretty pretty funny. Led to some wild opportunities we put on a roller derby. We, uh, plan Teoh drive to the beach to see the sunrise. Um, we are planning to go to see the ground, huh? Could be unveiled on Ground Hogs Day kind of a quirky, quirky little US holiday. But fun fun definitely ensues when you start to share ideas with each other. So if you're in the amplifying organized stage, the most coveted opportunity to have a ton of fun because you have both the quality and the quantity of girlfriends here are a couple pro tips, I would say certainly look into opportunities to travel together. And I highly recommend all inclusive vacations. That way, you're not mired down by trying to split up the bill and and itemizing everything as you go . You can just relax, enjoy it and, uh, connect with your girlfriends. I would also say, uh, from the bucket list exercise. It would be helpful to set up, you know, some sort of private Facebook page that you can document all of the ideas that you all came up with and then start to take them off and look Teoh accomplish them as a group as a team and have fun with it. I mean, there's lots of things that you can you can dio and, uh, have your own offbeat adventures and misadventures. Uh, and as a reminder, we do have the copy of the misadventures of the hip and fabulous book that I encourage you all Teoh take a look at and then, of course, create your own adventures. And when you do, we would love to hear from you and by posting a photo and tagging it with the hash tag, hip and fab will be able Teoh, recognize your activities and hopefully share some, you know, additional tips and tricks for future use. And, like I said earlier just by connecting each other and hopefully making the friendship investment worth it, as well as broadcast some of the great times and moments that you share so that others can learn and benefit from the activities that you and your friends may be doing. So with that, I believe we will be wrapping up the court 12. Wrap Up and Stay Connected: and over the course. So a couple things to leave you with. First follow the suggestions for your friendship growth stage. And I would also say, uh, in about six months time, come back and do that class project again and see if your position has changed. A lot can happen in six months, and certainly if you were tuned Teoh making changes, it's likely to happen. And that way it sort of keeps you current on where you are and where you need Teoh. Go next. Certainly, I hope this was super helpful and fun and gave you a chance to be both introspective as well as proactive in your opportunities to build friendships and connect with women. Uh, worldwide. So thank you again for your time. And if there is a opportunity to stay connected, we have a couple different ways. Here you can visit the Instagram Channel, which we've called out earlier, but in the presentation and we also have a block and hip and fabulous dot com as well as a Facebook page. So thanks again and have a good rest of your day