Thursday, August 24, 2017


I’d say that many Red Hatters are just naturally good at friendship. Maybe there are some, here and there, who learned a bit more about friendship after becoming Hatters. In any case, taken as a group, I think we’re friendship experts.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one." So simple! But, like most simple ideas, it’s also very profound.

Friendship is not something we reach out and grab; it’s not something we can just demand and receive. In order to make a new friend, we must first relate to the new acquaintance as an already-established friend would do.

A friendship has to be constructed from a series of interactions. That’s one of the reasons we advocate gathering with great regularity with your friends; just being together often, over time leads to sharing lives, confidences, shared laughter and pain. It is built incrementally. What starts as acquaintance slowly becomes something more. You may not even notice that something is gradually developing and building.

"Yard by yard, it’s very hard. But inch by inch, it’s a cinch." - Anon

Then, when the not so good times come....

"But every road is rough to me that has no friend to cheer it." - Elizabeth Shane

In friendship
Sue Ellen Cooper, Founder and Exalted Queen Mother of The Red Hat Society

For more information on Sue Ellen Cooper click here.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


You know the women I’m talking about—the ones who take the spotlight in a group and can also take criticism with a smile on their face. Confident women are that little piece of magic in this world that reminds us how good we are and how great we could be. Whether you consider yourself a confident woman or look up to one, it’s no secret that we’re all inspired by them. These women not only embody the traits of self-love, but they’ve also turned it into a lifestyle. Read further to discover the five habits of truly confident women.
1. They seek challenges.

The fear of failure stops many people from taking chances—but not confident women. Instead, they search for opportunities to challenge themselves and view any “failure” that comes from it as simply a stepping stone to get to where they want. These women collect experiences through trial and error, expose themselves to new ideas and constantly push themselves to continue learning. Whether it’s changing their career path or investing time and money into mastering a new hobby, confident women aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone—they live for it.
2. They support instead of compare.

With the convenience of social media, it’s nearly impossible to not know what someone is doing. It takes a swipe of a finger and a screenshot of an image to discover what someone is up to and share it with your friend. Although it’s easy to begin comparing yourself to the successes and life decisions of others, confident woman avoid this toxic decision and choose to support. Thus, they open the door to networking with more people and feeling inspired by the milestones of others (instead of threatened by them).
3. They hold themselves accountable.

Confident women not only have goals—but they also have steps they take to achieve them. They’re not waiting for a sign to make a move, because they’re already too busy taking action and pursuing what they want. These women understand that their lives are happening right now and that it’s up to them to take control of it..
4. They communicate effectively.

The ability to communicate is a skill that anyone in any situation can gain from. Confident women are the walking definition of this—they easily adjust to social settings and can hold conversations on a wide variety of topics due to their knowledge and natural curiosity to learn more. Not only are they a pleasure to speak to, but they also have positive body language that makes them easy to approach. Whether a confident woman is giving a professional presentation or explaining her feelings during a conflict, she’s able to clearly communicate in a way that’s simple for people to understand, making others want to listen.
5. They ask questions.

Similar to how confident women live outside of their comfort zones, they also don’t accept views and ideas simply because they’re told to. They’re individuals, and they aren’t afraid to be who they are—and fight for it. Confident women are natural born leaders— even RHS Queens - they’re people who aren’t afraid to ask questions to try to understand a concept better. Furthermore, they won’t settle their standards to comply with what the majority of people believe. They aren’t afraid of standing alone, and that’s what makes them worth standing with.
By The Everygirl. Edited.

 For more information on confident women and the things we do, click here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Every aspect of the Red Hat Society has its roots in one essential: friendship.  The other things we value most – fun, freedom, and fulfillment – owe much of their achievement to one’s friends.  Of course it’s easy to see why friends are indispensable when one wants to go do something fun; we all know that everything goes better with someone special with whom to share it.  Freedom and fulfillment, while more dependent on individual effort, still owe much to underlying friendships.  It is our friends who encourage and support us, listen to us, reassure us when we doubt ourselves, and cheer us on as we strive to reach our goals. Given all this, it’s no surprise that we all value our friends.

But do we put as much effort into being a friend as we do into enjoying the friendship of others (maybe even taking it for granted)?  It’s been said that “the best way to keep friendships from breaking is not to drop them.”  I’ve been thinking about that lately.  I don’t ever want to lose a friend because I have been too busy to keep in touch, or too self-absorbed to pay attention to what she may be going through lately, perhaps missing a chance to be of help.  Staying in touch doesn’t necessarily involve a large investment of time; it can be as simple as a quick email (or tweet), a brief phone call, or even a note to let her know you’re thinking about her.  Being a friend does take a bit of effort.  But surely anyone who matters to you deserves frequent attention and plenty of support.  If you doubt that, try reversing the situation in your mind.

I think it comes down to this:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  You can’t find better advice about friendship.

In friendship, Sue Ellen Cooper, Founder and Exalted Queen Mother of The Red Hat Society
For more information on Sue Ellen Cooper click

Thursday, August 3, 2017


In the formal Red Hat Society mission statement, “freedom” comes right after “fun” and “friendship” as one of our primary values.  Of course, we’re not referring to freedom in a political sense; we are talking about something a little harder to pin down.   Some of us have trouble shaking off imaginary shackles, many of them self-imposed.  There are plenty of adults in this world who cannot begin to really have fun (our primary value) until they deliberately confront, and face down, their own (perhaps unnecessarily stern) codes of behavior.

Psychologists tell us that we soak up vast amounts of “shoulds”  and “should nots” as we grow up, some of them from our biological parents and some of them learned from other, not necessarily benign, societal norms.  A lot of them are surely worthwhile.  But some of them are not.  Some of them only cause us to be afraid of change or stuck in unhealthy patterns. It’s up to each one of us to sort through our own “stuff”, though doing so may cause us a good deal of discomfort.  Only by doing this can we come up with our own personal codes, some of which may be quite different from the ones that we followed for our first half-century or so.  It’s never too late to “screw your courage to the sticking place”, think things through for yourself, drop old, worn-out emotional baggage, and set yourself free to experience life in new ways!

In friendship, Sue Ellen Cooper, Founder and Exalted Queen Mother of The Red Hat Society
For more information on Sue Ellen Cooper click here.