Female friendship elicits different emotions in two groups. You’ve probably heard some women state that they prefer friendships with men because they come with less drama and complications. On the other side of the divide, some women swear by the positive impact that female friendships have had in their lives.
Whether with a male or female counterpart, any friendship ultimately comes down to the individuals involved. Fulfilling relationships are characterized by open communication, mutual support, and healthy boundaries, among other traits. Female friendships can, however, yield more benefits in a woman.
Here are a few reasons why women should invest in female friendships.
1. Emotional support
Emotional support is one of the critical benefits of female friendships. Men and women have different emotional responses. Although there is a lot of debate on theories that men are logic-driven. In contrast, women are driven by emotions; there is consensus that different genders process emotions differently due to various factors.
Emotional support includes listening, validating feelings, and helping alleviate sadness or pain. Sharing problems with other women can offer more emotional support because they tend to have more empathy, and you feel more validated. Additionally, due to nurture and socialization, males and females tackle specific issues differently; therefore, dealing with an emotional problem with people from a similar school of thought makes you feel supported.
For example, in the case of cheating, men and women process the betrayal differently. While both genders would experience the pain, the way they process the emotion differs. It is more beneficial to talk to another woman and have them help you as you heal because they have a better understanding of what you’re going through than men who handle the situation differently.
2. There’s a sense of shared experiences in femininity.
No matter how good male friendships are, there are aspects that they will never fully comprehend because of biological or social gender differences. For example, women better understand the feelings that come with menstruation or pregnancy. Sharing such experiences with women is easier because they have similar experiences firsthand, so you’re more likely to relate and take advice from them.
Further, in a society that has created sharp divides between men and women, the two primary genders have different experiences in many aspects of life. The range runs from workplace expectations and behaviour, parenting roles, relationship roles to expectations in social gatherings. Although men can provide sound counsel and empathize, having women with similar experiences makes them more relatable.
3. Female friendships provide all-rounded support.
Female friendships take away the pressure of requiring your romantic partner to play all the roles in your life. While your romantic partner may be your life partner, they cannot be everything you need. For example, your partner may have different hobbies from yours, so you need to have friends who share some of your interests. Requiring your partner to share in all your interests puts a strain on such relationships.
Your group of female friends could accompany you to some places or events that wouldn’t typically suit your romantic partner. Female friendships also come in handy in romantic relationship problems; you still have a support system to get you through the pain.
4. You can tap into female power.
Keeping the company of strong women triggers you to harness your inner strength as a woman. It is often said that we are the total of the people we surround ourselves with, and the same applies to female friendships. Connections with other women can boost confidence and provide solutions to many spheres in life. You can get mentors in your career or spirituality or other aspects of life, cheerleaders, or development partners. Such female friendships show you how to use your strengths as a woman and the pitfalls to avoid to thrive.
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5. Female friendships ease loneliness
As people grow older, they get busier, and the number of times they spend time with other people reduces significantly. Reports indicate that loneliness increases as people grow older, especially in today’s society. The rise in loneliness is linked to changing social trends. Today families live in different places, so it’s possible not to have any family around. An increase in divorce rates also leads to people being alone in older age, among other reasons.
While having male friendships could work at a younger age, it’s challenging to maintain male friendships once both parties get families. Well nurtured female friendships are more likely to last longer.
Whether you meet for a cup of tea and share the latest gossip or maintain frequent conversations over the phone, the presence of such friendships eases loneliness. Loneliness is associated with several health problems, including high blood pressure, cognitive decline, depression, heart disease, and a weakened immune system.
Female friendships can be very fulfilling with a solid foundation of open communication, trust, and loyalty. They can provide support that other relationships with family and romantic partners cannot. Friendships among women become more important as women grow older since they offer a safe space to share common experiences. Women should strive to build strong relationships with other women in all spheres of life.
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