I have met women in my time who downright don’t believe in the power or importance of female friendships. Or they just don’t feel it’s for them. I personally believe most times this stance stems from being ‘burnt’ or hurt by several female friendships. So, often times, these women are left with the notion that male friendships have less drama and less emotional brouhaha. The truth is, male friendships are great, but so are female friendships, the right kind of female friendships. I’ll share a few ways strong female friendships have benefited me and how to build these kinds of friendships.
There are just some things a guy would never understand, even if he is your brother. Eg: PMSing. He may sympathize and show concern, but he will never fully understand what you’re going through. This is where a great female friend comes in. Having someone share and understand your burdens is priceless and comforting.
A great support system
Strong female relationships almost always translate into a great support system. There is nothing like walking into an interview, boardroom, hospital, etc, knowing that you have friends praying for you and cheering you on, no matter the situation.
You feel empowered
Having this great support system gives you a sense of empowerment. You feel inclined to ‘go get your coins’, to be more ambitious and braver. Because you know that even if you fail woefully you have your strong safety net of friends to catch you.
So how do you form these kinds of friendships?
Don’t look at every woman the same as the ones who hurt you. Put aside biases and get to know your fellow women, where ever you find the opportunity. It may be at networking events, in church, at the mosque, etc. Don’t be desperate but have an open mind, you never know where you will meet someone you will click with.
It’s not only about being on the receiving end. Cheer on other women, share their products on social media (if you really believe in the product), refer them to people or send them job opportunities. This can help build a bond over time.
Don’t be so quick to throw in the towel
If things ‘go south’ or don’t end up the way you would’ve liked, then don’t write off all women and retreat to your only male friends’ corner. Try again. One bad experience should not define all other experiences.
Make time for your friends
Most of our lives are fast-paced and busy, which is why taking out the time to visit, spend time, call, and just listen to them whine or complain will be cherished and will bring you guys closer.
Be a shoulder to lean on
Be someone people can turn to or talk to when they feel down or discouraged. But be aware that some people bring so much baggage that sometimes it can start affecting you too. So, remember that you’re not a therapist or psychologist or counsellor (unless you are) and refer them to one if you think it’s too intense for you to handle.