The Importance of Female Friendships Among Women

Female Friendship

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus; meaning we as females are inherently different from men. We think differently, act differently, solve problems differently and are more emotionally driven than logically driven. Although men and women do compliment each other, as women we thrive on strong relationships with our girlfriends, such friendships give women an outlet to share their problems, thoughts, feelings, and triumphs with those they feel a close bond with. I treasure my hour-long phone conversations with my best girlfriends, special trips to Los Angeles to visit one of my favorite girlfriends from college, hilarious text messages that should always be kept secret, celebratory nights out, happy hours on a Monday, and weekend trips with my girlfriends. Most of my emotional and mental strength comes from deep bonds with the strong females in my life. Over time, we become our friends as we mirror their thoughts, beliefs, and actions. In fact, many say that we are the average of the five people we spend most of our time with. We should choose each other wisely and with intention.

The psychology behind strong female friendships is strong. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, women with early-stage breast cancer were four times more likely to die from cancer if they didn’t have very many friends. Those with a larger group of friends with early-stage breast cancer had a much better survival rate. This beneficial effect of friendship was felt whether the friends lived near or far. An article published on the New York Times website states that women feel they can count on their friends to pull through for them no matter what they are struggling within their lives. Women are each other’s emotional support system. From giving advice, being a shoulder to cry on, keeping secrets, lending a listening ear and boosting self-esteem, to developing strong and healthy female friendships is something all women can benefit from.

Women by nature are intuitive; in fact, last week I received two calls from two very close friends. I could tell immediately by each of their voices that they both wanted to share something with me, however I had a gut feeling one had bad news and the other had good news. I was right; my instinct knew exactly what was going on. Girlfriends have a distinctive way of reading emotions and intuitively recognizing what needs to be done then acting on it. We understand each other, we validate each other, we give marriage and breakup advice to each other, we share some of the deepest darkest secrets with each other, we share the honest truth with each other, we share intimate family details with each other, we share beauty products with each other, we tell each other when we have food in our teeth or when our shirt is on backwards, and we share lasting memories with each other. When women get together we gush about our sex lives, our marriages, and details about our significant others and family drama; when guys get together rarely is any of this discussed. Women rely on each other not only for a shoe-shopping partner but also to share those deep dark secrets, those secrets that not all men may want to hear. Although men are our counterparts, there is something beyond special about the female bond that women have with each other.

If you are a female, no matter your age, treasure your girlfriends for as long as possible as they are the backbone of your support system.

By Kristen Fuller, M.D.

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