How to Nurture Your Female Friendships
Cattiness, (although a somewhat a sexist term) is a major trait that haunts a lot of female relationships. You’ve probably been there. You let your competitive nature get the best of you. You say something about another woman that you probably wouldn’t want said about you.
Here’s some relationship advice: Quit the cattiness. Let’s treat each other how we’d want to be treated. It’s something your mom probably told you when you were younger, and when it comes to your female relationships, we all could do a little more of this.
Relationships take work. It requires consistent effort from both sides to keep a friendship going. In honor of National Women’s Friendship Day on September 15th, let’s dive into how you can nurture your female relationships. After all, we’re all in this together ladies! Let’s start acting like it.
The Science Behind Female Friendship
As women, we really cherish our female bonds. We get each other. And research shows there’s a little bit of science behind that bond.
Studies indicate that women need these connections - more so than men. Nurturing your female friendships increases oxytocin and serotonin, which are also known as the bonding hormones.
Interestingly, there might be a little more to these bonding hormones as well. These hormones drive us to bond and connect with other females. Why? It comes down to a protective mechanism for your kids (that is, assuming you have them!). It sounds kind of dark - but if something happens to you, you’ve got a tribe ready to help your kids out. It’s innate.
But then… we get competitive with each other - which creates problems.
We also get busy. As adults, we have more responsibilities. As a result, our relationships suffer. And again, relationships take work! Without that work, your relationships will fade. Those bonds will disappear over time. So, how can you make your female relationships better?
Improving Your Friendships
It’s not rocket science. In fact, a few of these tips have probably crossed your mind. But it’s hard. Communication is tough. In fact, miscommunication is one of the major reasons for fights or broken friendships in the first place.
So… I combed through relationship advice article after relationship advice article. I wanted to find the most useful and perspective-changing tips I could get my hands on. That way, I can learn and so can you. Here’s what I found:
1. Become the friend you want to have.
I love this one. What kind of friend do you want? Be that person! What traits do they embody? How do they react? What kind of person are they?
And know that your friendships will change through different phases of your or their life. Support your friend. Be a true friend and just be there for them. There may be times when you have to step it up. And there may be times when you both are crazy busy. But put in the work. You’ll likely get similar support back. (And if you don’t… Maybe it’s time to cut ties. Friendships change and sometimes we go our own way. That’s completely okay!).
2. Resolve conflict - minus the gossip.
Maybe you’ve got beef with someone close to you. You’re hurt. Or angry. Reel in your emotions here. Now, actually talk to the person you have a problem with. Use good communication.
Gossiping won’t get you anywhere. In fact, it could potentially create bigger problems. Commit to no longer talking about people behind their back. It’s seriously life-changing.
3. Be kind.
Friends don’t put friends down - plain and simple. This comes back to the whole ‘treat your friends how you want to be treated.’
Be kind. Sure, sometimes it’s harder than others. But the payoff and outcome are always better. Trust me on this one.
4. Share and ask for help.
Trust is built through sharing our deepest and darkest secrets (well, maybe not all of them!). But giving a little about yourself and sharing your life experiences brings you closer to the people you know.
Another tip here… Don’t be afraid to ask for help! In fact, it shows you care and trust them when you do. So, if you need help moving or decorating, ask your girlfriends. They’ll likely be happy to help out.
5. Reach out to your friends.
Life gets busy. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to keep the friendships you want to keep. Maybe set a monthly catch-up date with your oldest friend? Or perhaps join the same weekly sports adult rec team. Whatever works!
6. Create traditions together!
An annual St Patrick’s Day Brunch? Why not! A Secret Santa for Christmas? Go for it! Create those traditions that keep your female friend group close. That way, you’ll always have that time to reconnect and re-strengthen those close bonds.
Strengthen Your Female Friendships for a Better Life
I’m aren’t kidding. Socialization boasts optimal mental health and overall well-being. It just feels good leaving that sushi date after catching up with your girlfriends. And I hate to say it. But there are just some things only your girlfriends will understand. We get each other. So, pull your friends close! Nurture those relationships!
If you need a little help getting through a tough time or getting past a friendship that wasn’t meant to be, check out this article. Learn to forgive and move on. Sometimes, it’s necessary.