If you're not already addicted to Facebook's "groups" feature, you need to be — groups are nothing short of life changing and will transform your ho-hum newsfeed experience into a dynamic open discussion with thousands of other people. They're perfect sounding boards for expressing yourself, getting ideas, and seeing new things at ground level. If you ask us, there's no better way to trend source and find likeminded people, making Facebook groups the ultimate business tool.
Beyond networking, though, Facebook groups are a safe haven for women and minorities to protect and encourage each other, and that's pretty cool.
We put together the top 10 Facebook groups you need to join now because they each offer a diverse group of members, have mandatory “be nice to others" policies, and we've personally witnessed oodles of new connections between people who were formerly strangers.
If you own your own business, this one is a great place to meet other entrepreneurs, grab advice, bounce ideas off others, and collaborate. You may find yourself wealthier if you interact nicely with other members, but you'll definitely find yourself richer in friendship.
Everyone loves going places, right? Travel Obsessed has a nice-people-only rule, and encourages people to share their travel experience, ask for travel tips and guidance, and interact about everything travel.
If your business or personal life takes you on the road or you have general wanderlust, this one is for you.
The group is particularly empowering because it was started in response to another travel-themed Facebook group that banned several types of women because of their nationality and religion. Travel Obsessed has an “all are welcome" policy and encourages kindness between all members.
This one is for moms exclusively, but moms come from all walks of life, and this group is pretty inclusive. Over 33,000 moms are in there bouncing ideas off each other, tackling tough issues, asking and sharing advice, and even giving their kid gear to each other. It's especially useful for new moms who feel trapped in the chaos of parenting and need people going through the same thing.
This group was started by the original media czar, Jennifer Demarchi, as a place for publicists and marketing professionals to collaborate and help each other expand their media footprints. The group is now over 20,000 members strong and has over 70% female members, including major Fortune 500 executives, top level magazine editors, and even a few celebs.
The group isn't for everyone though, so if you're not directly involved in the media in some way, shape, or form, don't try to get past the gate.
This group is dedicated to anyone in the beauty industry and even general makeup, hair, and beauty enthusiasts. You don't have to be a makeup artist to be admitted, but you do have to generally live and love all things. You don't have to be a makeup artist to be admitted, but you do have to generally live and love all things beauty. The group is home to just about every beauty editor in the, top dermatologists, plastic surgeons, makeup artists, hair stylists, beauty bloggers of all styles and sizes, and models of all backgrounds. There are only two rules in this group: never try to sell anything to another group member (if you're selling Lipsense or Rodan + Fields you'll be kicked out), and always be kind to other group members.
This networking and biz-encouraging group was started by OG mom bloggers Vera Sweeney and Audrey McClelland. It's a good place to find blogging insights, digital wisdom, and virtual high fives when you need 'em.
This group is a smart feed of all things featured on Amy's Smart Girls, plus a round-up of links that inspire and motivate. Amy Poehler started the website with producer Martha Walker so girls have a place where they can just be themselves, and the resulting community embraces everything weird and wonderful about life, while helping girls improve themselves through intelligence and learning.
Fans of the already-popular website, The Curvy Fashionista, continue their body-positive and inclusive discussions in this group, and spending even 10 minutes perusing the posts will make you want to hop on board the positivity train. It's a virtual grandma telling you “you're beautiful and look nice today" and women of all shapes and sizes should definitely check it out.
This is another great place to bounce ideas, make new friends, and figure out the nuts and bolts of business ownership.
You'll find tens of thousands of women talking business and finding ways to make the most of each other's resources. If you don't leave a 20-minute session feeling full of ideas, call us shocked.
In 2016, I finally found my voice. I always thought I had one, especially as a business owner and mother of two vocal toddlers, but I had been wrong.
For more than 30 years, I had been struggling with the fear of being my true self and speaking my truth. Then the repressed memories of my childhood sexual abuse unraveled before me while raising my 3-year-old daughter, and my life has not been the same since.
Believe it or not, I am happy about that.
The journey for a survivor like me to feel even slightly comfortable sharing these words, without fear of being shamed or looked down upon, is a long and often lonely one. For all of the people out there in the shadows who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I dedicate this to you. You might never come out to talk about it and that's okay, but I am going to do so here and I hope that in doing so, I will open people's eyes to the long-term effects of abuse. As a survivor who is now fully conscious of her abuse, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, quite frankly, it may never go away.
It took me some time to accept that and I refuse to let it stop me from thriving in life; therefore, I strive to manage it (as do many others with PTSD) through various strategies I've learned and continue to learn through personal and group therapy. Over the years, various things have triggered my repressed memories and emotions of my abuse--from going to birthday parties and attending preschool tours to the Kavanaugh hearing and most recently, the"Leaving Neverland" documentary (I did not watch the latter, but read commentary about it).
These triggers often cause panic attacks. I was angry when I read Barbara Streisand's comments about the men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them, as detailed in the documentary. She was quoted as saying, "They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them." She later apologized for her comments. I was frustrated when one of the senators questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (during the Kavanaugh hearing) responded snidely that Dr. Ford was still able to get her Ph.D. after her alleged assault--as if to imply she must be lying because she gained success in life.We survivors are screaming to the world, "You just don't get it!" So let me explain: It takes a great amount of resilience and fortitude to walk out into society every day knowing that at any moment an image, a sound, a color, a smell, or a child crying could ignite fear in us that brings us back to that moment of abuse, causing a chemical reaction that results in a panic attack.
So yes, despite enduring and repressing those awful moments in my early life during which I didn't understand what was happening to me or why, decades later I did get married; I did become a parent; I did start a business that I continue to run today; and I am still learning to navigate this "new normal." These milestones do not erase the trauma that I experienced. Society needs to open their eyes and realize that any triumph after something as ghastly as childhood abuse should be celebrated, not looked upon as evidence that perhaps the trauma "never happened" or "wasn't that bad. "When a survivor is speaking out about what happened to them, they are asking the world to join them on their journey to heal. We need love, we need to feel safe and we need society to learn the signs of abuse and how to prevent it so that we can protect the 1 out of 10 children who are being abused by the age of 18. When I state this statistic at events or in large groups, I often have at least one person come up to me after and confide that they too are a survivor and have kept it a secret. My vehicle for speaking out was through the novella The Survivors Club, which is the inspiration behind a TV pilot that my co-creator and I are pitching as a supernatural, mind-bending TV series. Acknowledging my abuse has empowered me to speak up on behalf of innocent children who do not have a voice and the adult survivors who are silent.
Remembering has helped me further understand my young adult challenges,past risky relationships, anger issues, buried fears, and my anxieties. I am determined to thrive and not hide behind these negative things as they have molded me into the strong person I am today.Here is my advice to those who wonder how to best support survivors of sexual abuse:Ask how we need support: Many survivors have a tough exterior, which means the people around them assume they never need help--we tend to be the caregivers for our friends and families. Learning to be vulnerable was new for me, so I realized I needed a check-off list of what loved ones should ask me afterI had a panic attack.
The list had questions like: "Do you need a hug," "How are you feeling," "Do you need time alone."Be patient with our PTSD". Family and close ones tend to ask when will the PTSD go away. It isn't a cold or a disease that requires a finite amount of drugs or treatment. There's no pill to make it miraculously disappear, but therapy helps manage it and some therapies have been known to help it go away. Mental Health America has a wealth of information on PTSD that can help you and survivors understand it better. Have compassion: When I was with friends at a preschool tour to learn more about its summer camp, I almost fainted because I couldn't stop worrying about my kids being around new teenagers and staff that might watch them go the bathroom or put on their bathing suit. After the tour, my friends said,"Nubia, you don't have to put your kids in this camp. They will be happy doing other things this summer."
In that moment, I realized how lucky I was to have friends who understood what I was going through and supported me. They showed me love and compassion, which made me feel safe and not judged.