For some women it can be a challenge to develop a close friendship with other women however for others it may take very little effort. I believe female friendships are crucial to the emotional fabric and intimacy of a woman’s life. There is much to gain from the equal levels of closeness, empathy, support and connection one can often experience.
There are many health benefits to female friendships such as stress reduction when women give each other the implicit permission to relieve tension in the form of chatting for hours.
Females empathise, rage and commiserate in times of need. This is not suggesting men don’t share these qualities but there is greater emphasis on conversational and emotional expressiveness.
Even in those moments when one hasn’t shared the same experience an empathic ear can go a long way. Serious conversations can transform into hilarity and tears. Many women have shared a level of validation can be achieved that one may not experience with our male counterparts.
A plethora of life occurrences will often contribute to greater understanding as women share more and bear more with each other than men. There maybe reasons why one avoids the closeness and intimacy with other females when wanting to form new genuine female friendships.
Challenging life experiences and negative beliefs on how one is viewed or seen or experienced may add to the veneer that potentially drives other females away.
I would encourage my clients who struggle with same-sex friendships, to work with a female therapist who can support them to feel safe enough to address the painful past experiences that they may hold in relation to other women.
Psychotherapist – MSc Psych, PTSTA (P), CTA (P), UKCP, MBACP