By Jeanene Tracy
It’s an age-old question, why would someone need friends when they can fend for themselves? In recent times women have been more encouraged to step away from the ‘meek and mild’ mould and become more self-sufficient, both in her home-life and her career.
So, if we want to adopt that way of living and be fiercely independent, wouldn’t friends just get in the way of our quest?
The truth is there are many things we can achieve within the sisterhood that we simply can’t do alone. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t ditch your gal pals just yet.
Science Doesn’t Lie
I don’t want to get too scientific, but science tells us the reason women are more intuitive. A study by Dr Amen of the Amen Clinics observed that women have a higher level of blood flow and activity in the brain. This has been attributed to an increase in perceptual experiences, including empathy and intuition.
Another theory is that women are encouraged to be sensitive and empathetic, as opposed to men, who are roused to display more masculinity. This may contribute to the explicit development of intuition in women. Regardless of the origin, it definitely helps to build friendships, and let’s be honest, if your friend knows you need her before you tell her, that’s a friend worth keeping.
Our brains are constantly working for us, protecting us and making sure we stay safe. It’s no different when it comes to relationships. An interesting study by Stanford University confirms that when we women connect intimately with each other, there is an increase in the bonding hormones, serotonin and oxytocin. These natural drugs are fantastic when we are stressed and in need of confirmation that we’ve made the right decision. Because of our gut feelings, we often know when our girls need that dose of oxytocin.
No-one Is More Honest Than Our Bestie
“Does my butt look big in this?” “Yep, definitely”. Where else can you get this blunt honesty other than from your girl crew? The reality is our friends want us to look good for our sake, not theirs, so they will hand it to us, as it is. We would rather tell our gals the truth now, to save them the pain later. We have each other’s back.
Oprah calls those friends who love you unconditionally your ‘Lady in Waiting’ and says that everyone needs at least one of these precious gems in their life.
It is well publicised that Oprah and Gayle King’s friendship is treasured and has stood the test of time, they have been friends for more than 40 years. When asked about the secret to their successful friendship, Oprah revealed that because Gayle was already happy with her own life, it allowed her to be happy for Oprah’s success.
That’s such an interesting take on friendship. I guess the ugly green monster can definitely get in the way of an alliance. These vital relationships must be built on trust, so if you want deep friendships, ensure that you own your happiness, so you don’t rob hers.
Power Of The Pack – From Mice To Lions
Us ladies are known for our expression of emotions. However, we can go through pain and trauma on our own, but if we listen to the experts, they are quick to tell us that social support is essential in recovery. A study of around 2000 women in China showed that when it came to breast cancer, social interactions were more influential on their outcome than physical well-being.
They found that “women with the highest satisfaction with marriage, family, and friends at six months had a 38% reduced risk of mortality and a 48% lower risk of recurrence.” When we have our goddesses by our sides, we’re armed with girl power to tackle any challenge that comes our way, helping us to graduate from the dark burrow to the vast meadow.
If you’re a woman in management, you have likely faced promotion denial at some stage of your career. The good news is, Harvard Business Review found that when you step into the support circle of female peers, you are more likely to clinch executive leadership roles. Why? You can all share your experiences and advice with each other and build a fanbase to light the way as you shine brighter. Who wouldn’t want a team of sages who recognise your mastery moves?
So if you are finding yourself friendless or the friends you have aren’t doing it for you, it might be time to reach out for some new inspiration. How? Start at work, bring the girls together for lunch chats or after-work drinks. There are many women just waiting for you to set up a fun get together.
If you can’t create something new, fear not, right at your fingertips are online groups like Meetup, or tap into your own network of people on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Experience the oxytocin fuelled, honest, sisterhood for a happier life!