Supporting Your Sisters: Why Having Trusted Friends Matters
There’s nothing like having a strong emotional support system to help stay positive even when you're stressed. According to an article on 'Why Having a Best Friend is Good for Your Health', "social support is a significant predictor of a long, healthy life."
Because of this, having a group of tight-knit friends to boost your mood when you’re feeling down, or be able to lean on during difficult times, is the key to living a more positive lifestyle. Even if you weren't born into the same family with them, growing up with female best friends can make your relationships feel like a bond between sisters.
One way for you to improve your happiness is to surround yourself with a network of trusted and loyal friends. Kate Leaver, author of ‘The Friendship Cure’ writes, “Friendship among women is so important because it gives us the solidarity to get through the inconvenience, fear, confusion and even danger of being female.” However, you don’t need a large number of friends to feel secure and loved. Having a solid core group of friends will allow you to build more meaningful relationships with each one of them. A post on Gala Bingo about best friends suggests that this will even lead to better communication, understanding, and support. Friendship can improve our way of thinking, giving us an outlet to decrease our stress, manage in difficult times, and amplify our joyful emotions. It’s important to maintain these relationships as much as we can and when we can.
What makes female friendships so unique is that women tend to feel freer sharing secrets with one another and revealing their innermost feelings. In contrast, men tend to bond in more physical ways, through things like watching or playing sports. While women also have a similar aspect of companionship, there’s something more direct about the way that they communicate emotion. Sometimes, there are certain topics that only women can really understand. Having shared, universal experiences related to heartbreak, the pains of being a woman, and the struggles of motherhood are some of these.
Although life can sometimes get in the way, your core group of female friends should be able to pick up right where you left off. In an article on ‘Why Female Friendship Is So Valuable, From Someone Who's Lived Without It’ by Ellie Pool, she writes that “Most women have been there; you’ve met a boy, you’re head over heels and all of a sudden, the texts on your phones from the girls are taking longer and longer to reply to.” However, when your romance turns sour and you’re wallowing in heartbreak, real friends are still there for you to rely on. They help you pick up the pieces, don’t judge you for your flaws, and support you even when you make bad decisions. Real friends tell you the literal truth, even when you fail to listen to their advice. Even though you are part of a happy relationship, she suggests that “no matter how perfect your relationship is right now, do not lose the strength in your female friendships.” Having women who influence you to be the best version of yourself, and look out for your own interests will empower you and make you stronger emotionally.
Lastly, in a previous interview with Kriste Peoples by Jen Gurecki, she explains how women sticking together and supporting one another is also an act of subversion. “Women reclaiming their stories and telling them themselves is a powerful tool for healing and also change.” To reclaim your own narrative is to choose how to present yourself to the world comes with an element of risk. For instance, she writes how you can “risk failure, rejection, and alienation because you’re upsetting the status quo, which lots of people are comfortable with.” From speaking out against sexist workplace practices to protesting unfair depictions of women in the media, this all impacts how women are perceived in society. And there’s nothing like having the support of fellow women to guide you through this process because they too have experienced it before.