Female friendships that work
are relationships in which women
help each other belong to themselves.
Our chief want in life is someone who will
make us do what we can. This is the service
of a friend. With him we are easily great.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
Anything, everything, little or big,
becomes an adventure when the right
persons share it.
Female friendships have always been important to me. I still have fond memories of girlfriends I played with as a child, even though they are long gone from my life. There are a number of studies that point to the importance of female friendships for enhancing our health and quality of life. I believe that as we age, these relationships become more important.
I am blessed to be married to a wonderful man who loves and supports me through thick and thin, and although he is always there for me, there are some life occurrences that only another female can get! Men are genetically hard-wired for ‘flight or flight’ in a stressful situation, while women ‘tend and befriend’ when faced with difficulty. Sometimes we just need our girlfriends to get us through some of life’s challenges!
I find it interesting, but not surprising, that married men live longer than unmarried men, married women live the same number of years as unmarried women, and women with a strong female friendships live longer than women without them. One study found that not having close friends was as harmful to health as smoking and being overweight. All the more reason to take time to stay in touch with our friends, and make new ones.
When women friends spend time together their bodies emit more oxytocin, the ‘feel good’ hormone. No wonder we have so much fun together! There was a lot of oxytocin in the air last week when Carol, Jane and I were together in NYC. It truly was a memorable week.
Each friend represents a world in us,
a world not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting
that a new world is born.
Thank you to all my friends for your support, inspiration, and honesty – for helping me be my best self – you know who you are!