Fabulous Female Friendship

There’s been a recent spate of studies and stories about the harmful aspects of female friendships. Psychologists, sociologists, and laypeople alike have been sharing statistics about and tales of competition, backstabbing, bullying, sexual shaming, and other hateful, damaging, and downright terrifying things that we women do to each other. Things we don’t generally consider doing to men. And it’s quite true that women can be cruel and manipulative, jealous and petty. We’re incredibly effective at devising ways to hurt one another because we know exactly how difficult it will be to bear our attacks.

But, in my experience, female friendship can be one of the strongest human bonds. It is a deep-seated, enduring loyalty that can rival marriage and blood ties in importance and value. My girlfriends support and understand me in so many subtle, vital ways that I am quite sure my life would feel brittle and empty without them.

Here are some reasons why my female friendships are amazing:

My girlfriends have forgiven me so many unforgivable things, I can barely comprehend their mercy. Stolen boyfriends, angry words, false accusations, long and unexplained absences … all dissolve into hugs and laughter in the face of simple apologies.

My girlfriends are often DEEPLY bored by the things that fascinate me – shoes, animal behavior, blogging, Battlestar Galactica – but they listen and support, empathize and probe as if my favorite topics were the most compelling on earth. And my interest is often enough to pique their interest.

My girlfriends will talk to me about bowel movements, sexual hang-ups, politics, religion, allergies, in-laws, pet peeves, menstruation and just about every other taboo topic you can imagine. Often in a single sitting, and always without judgment.

My girlfriends know my husband and my family well enough to love them and understand their vital importance, but have just enough distance to give sound, relatively objective advice.

My girlfriends tell me how proud they are of me, how beautiful I am, how overjoyed they are to see me. And as much as I love my guy friends, they’ve never done any of those things.

My girlfriends share my fears about aging, wrestle with the same body image woes, worry about the same insidious societal pressures. They are confronted with the same forces, so they know first-hand how I feel and why.

My circle of girlfriends – geographically scattered though they may be – comprise a truly amazing network of women, and I am blessed to know them all. But I’m lucky. I know I am. Some women struggle to relate to other women, some women have always felt more comfortable around men, some women have had such scarring experiences in their female relationships that they are unsure they’ll ever be able to trust other women again. And I would never say that women who have few or no female friends are lacking in life, or that they should try harder, or that women generally make better friends than men. But I would say that the toxic dark side of friendship among women is getting far more airplay than the astonishingly beneficial bright side, and that cultivating lasting, close relationships with your fellow females can be renewing, refreshing, and rewarding.

I can’t imagine life without my girlfriends, and their sisterhood supports me in a million brilliant ways.

Image courtesy CarynNL.

Originally posted 2011-02-21 06:11:04.

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54 Responses to “Fabulous Female Friendship”

  1. unmitigated me

    That’s how you know “real” friends. The opening paragraph doesn’t apply to real friends. Those may be things women do to each other, but not girlfriends!

  2. poet

    Yes, yes and yes!

    My mother seriously believes that women are hard-wired for rivalry, for competing with each other. I think the airplay that toxic friendships get (combined with her personal, admittedly negative experiences) is at fault. I have been lucky enough to experience much of the contrary, supportive, open-minded, close-knit friendships with other women (even though I came across some toxic ones, too). Hooray for all the great girl-friends on earth!


  3. coffeeaddict

    Again, you’ve managed to put into words so eloquently and passionately something I wholeheartedly believe in but am unable to verbalize it quite so well.
    At the risk of looking redundant, I can only nod in agreement.

  4. Stacey

    Remarkable!!! I sooo related to this article. You really know how to hit home. Love reading your blog, it’s the highlight of my day. I am currently trying to make new friends and have found some wonderful ladies on my quest and I am starting to feel connected again, had some long-long-time friends and for whatever reason found myself outside the circle and was hurt and alone for a few years but I have found new interests for myself and new friends and I am much happier and they see this and they have started talking to me again. I am pleasant but don’t think I will rejoin the circle, having a blast outside of it.

  5. Northmoon

    I haven’t come across any of thoses studies, all I can say is if this is your experience you have picked the wrong women as friends. Perhaps choices based on looks or material success only?

    My experience is more like yours – I love my women friends and rely on them for support, encouragement and shared laughter.

    • Charlotte

      Well, I’ve had one toxic relation, with a friend I still love. Did I pick our friendship based on looks, material success, etc? No. This person still is a beautiful person, and I miss her everyday. We all have our insecurities, and I probably didn’t do my friend’s job of propping her up well enough when she needed it.

      This said–this is one friendship gone sour in a veritable SEA of feminine love! Hurray for positive relations, models and stories 🙂

    • Michelle

      I chose my best friend in grade school based on…I don’t really recall. I think we were both labelled “goody-goodies” and we just kind of gravitated to one another–straight-arrow misfits united, or some such. We were both in the same Camp Fire Girl (as it was named at the time) group through middle school. But something happened during high school, and at some point I finally turned around and removed the figurative knife from my back.

      Friendships were easier for me to build with men for years after that. It is only in my mid-twenties, I think, that I started having serious friendships with women. I love having both men friends and women friends, though I’ve run into folks through the years who think that having friends of both sexes is odd.

  6. Pam@over50feeling40

    Yesterday, I saw the theater production of WICKED…which I blog about at my site. I was struck with the story line about the female friendship in the story…in fact there is a powerful song about friends in the second act. Girlfriend relationships will always be intense because of the way we are wired, but they are needed and precious in the end.

  7. Jen

    I couldn’t agree more with today’s post! When I first was married, had moved across the state, and had started a new job/grad school I missed my girlfriends something fierce. It took me a good five years to rebuild a network of besties here that I can rely on for anything. We can have conversation about how hard parenting is coupled with who our celeb fantasy husband is all at once. I’m lucky enough to get to work with them, so we have a daily lunch that I treasure. Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without these ladies! There are other women in my professional life that I’m not friends with who can be backstabbing and coniving. But, the beauty of adulthood over junior high/high school is that we can choose not to be friends with such toxic people.

  8. Marley

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I am recently divorced, and while married, my main source of friendship was at church. He “got” the church in the divorce, and I lost a ton of friends. I’ve never been able to keep and nurture female friendships, and now I don’t even know where to make them! They don’t have to be just like me…but living in a very conservative small-town, my more liberal politics plus the fact that I’m divorced make me feel like I should be wearing a scarlet letter at times. How do I find and make new friends? It feels silly asking that at 27, but you’re right- those friendships are incredibly valuable, and I feel the loss of them more keenly than I do the loss of my marriage.

    • christine

      I know the feeling of having to start over, having moved several times. It’s hard to make new friends the older you are. Choose something you love to do and find a group that does it. If there’s not a group, start one. FB or craigslist.org can help you round like minded people up.

      Pray for opportunities to make new friends. Every time I do this, I am in awe of the amazing, compassionate women that come into my life, who are now my friends. God knows just who I need and when I need them. He knows the same for you.

      Here’s the biggest thing: You have to be brave to make new friends. You can’t sit on the sidelines and wait for people to show up who might be friendship material. You have to put yourself out there and you have to be vulnerable in order to let new people in. Even though I know this is true and it does work, being brave enough to put myself out there is still the hardest part, but I have seen it pay the biggest dividends.

      Good luck. Hugs.

      • Anna

        Marley, this is good advice. Take it and run with it. Blessings!

        Christine, you are a wise woman.

  9. La Historiadora de Moda

    I feel very lucky to have formed a number of strong friendships with both women and men. It’s my friendships that have helped me through hard times – break ups, unemployment, existential crises. It’s also my friendships that have made the good times worth celebrating.

  10. spacegeek

    I have experienced both sides of female friendship, from the triangles of friends and shifting loyalties in preschool (!), elementary school and high school. But I have female friends from elementary school and graduate school whom I stay in contact with 20+ years after. What I’ve found is that female friends can share things that (I don’t) share with male friends. My female friends are a support through tough times in my marriage and other aspects of my life that I don’t think I’d have if I only had male friends.

  11. Liane

    This entry made me cry. This weekend I was in a really bad car accident with my best girl friend — I was driving and luckily everyone involved is okay, but both cars were totaled. I cried for the next two hours, basically, and she was right there with me. She was strong when I needed her to be and then, once I calmed down, she started to freak out, and I took care of her. I was driving but she has never once vocalized any thoughts of blame she might put on me, despite the fact that her knee is the size of a grapefruit and she can’t lift her arms above her shoulders. We’re just focusing on supporting each other and getting better and that’s why …that’s why friendship is important.

    On another note, one of my favorite things about the show Parks and Recreation is the friendship between Leslie Knope, the main character, and her best friend Anne Perkins. They have one of the best girl friendships on TV right now and I’m so happy it’s being portrayed on TV.

  12. Mistie

    In high school, I always felt like I related to my male friends better. When I got to college, I realized that I felt like I was supposed to relate to men better, but in fact, I depend tremendously on the wonderful, powerful females in my life. I know I couldn’t only have female friends, but in the last few years, I have made more female friends, and it has helped me a great deal.

    I think it helps that I have a wonderful mix of male and female friends who all know and like each other. We hang out, argue, drink, and laugh. It is nice having different points of view, which often boils down more to experience and less to gender. The studies that show women in the most negative way always make me think that they spoke to people who wanted to emulate the “Real Housewives” of wherever.

  13. Anna

    Wonderful post, as usual.

    Assuming that female friendships are derived (at least in part) from the relationship with one’s mother, I got off to a bad start with a distant and critical mother, and found it hard to have a wide circle of girlfriends when I was a girl, although I usually had one good friend.

    Flash forward a few years to a husband who informed me solemnly, early on, that only men were capable of friendship, and women could never be friends with each other. (That was only one of the abstract theories he based his life on. He has been my ex for quite some time. Nuff said.)

    Flash forward still more to the recent past and the present, where I enjoy friendships not only with men but with many other women, with whom I share all the complex good and bad times so well described above. It took some waiting, lots of self-knowledge, and courage—all worth it. These are life-enhancing friendships.

  14. Fajr | Stylish Thought

    Yes! Girlfriends are the salt of the earth and honestly I couldn’t imagine my life without my friends. They support my crazy endeavors and love me when I’m a raging bitch. Love this post!

  15. Jak

    In my personal experience (I’m not trying to generalize to other women’s experience here) is that women who can’t maintain a friendship with other women are often either extremely competitive for male attention and basically build an ego-boosting harem around themselves or are the manipulative type like those in the studies and are unable to nurture that type of relationship.

    More studies have shown that people live longer and better lives with a supportive system around them that are there to give them help and love. Just because some people are like this doesn’t mean that we should give up trying to share life with other people, especially with those of the same sex who can identify on problems that the other sex would be uncomfortable talking about.

  16. Casey

    You’re so right, Sal–the “bad girl friends” relationships have been getting way too much coverage lately! I don’t have a ton of close female friends, but those I do have are an incredible bunch of ladies. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs that have sometimes resulted in “taking a break” from our friendship, but we always come back stronger and more forgiving and understanding in the end. I’d love to have more strong female friendships in my life, but tend to struggle a lot with shyness and opening up to and trusting other people which has made it a bit difficult for me even as an adult. But I love the group of ladies I do know and count as good friends!

    I do have to say though, that I have been on the flip side of female friendships. I had a group of what I thought were “good” friends (all female) that became increasingly backstabbing and snarky with me as I started to date my (then boyfriend) husband. I eventually had to make a clean break with all of them because they were making my life utterly miserable and I was tired of dealing with the relationship “politics”. Friendships should never be about stepping on eggshells to keep everyone happy and feathers unruffled. Sometimes being a friend means accepting someone who isn’t 100% like you and does things that you don’t always agree with. A friend that can stay the course through your life’s ups and downs (and vice-versa!) is a friend worth keeping. 🙂

    ♥ Casey

  17. Andrea

    So true. My most dear friend, and also my business partner, adds so much to my life I cannot believe it. She is warm, generous, funny and always there when I need her. We’ve been friends 17 years now and I cannot imagine life without her. This relationship is as important to me as any other, my marriage or my family as it is both in many ways. I am lucky to have her in my life.

  18. Corinne

    Human dynamics, being what they are, will always drive any friendship to change, grow, evolve. However, a good girlfriend is probably one of the most special relationships any woman can cultivate. Note, I said cultivate. Finding a person that you can relate to, whether by common interest or circumstance, is something of a search and discover mission. A little risky for some depending on personality traits but certainly worth the effort. I know the pain of fractured friendship, and would hope no one would have to endure it. But I also know that the have good friends one has to be a good friend. I am fortunate to have several friends of vastly different circumstances and while they all occupy different places in my life, they are all very special. So I would advise reach out and test the waters with new people. Learn about them over a cup of coffee or while watching your children at a soccer game. Join a reading club at your local library, join a quilt guild. Look at people you already know who may also be looking for a friend. A common thread may already exist. I look at my friendships as circles around me. There are two who are in the “inner circle” very close, but for totally different reasons. I have had them for 20 years. Those relationships change frequently but the connection never does. Beyond that circle are several more, these friendships are all great, all for different reasons but so enriching that I would be lost without them. I’ll stop, and I apologize for being “long-winded” as my Mother would say, but this subject is very special to me and recent banter about negative friendships prompts me to defend. Observe, learn and grow. Thanks Sal for drawing attention to this timely subject. As usual, your insight into this dynamic will promote open conversation to those who cherish their friendships and want to share that with anyone who seeks the same.

  19. joann, sidewalk chic

    Oh Sal, you’ve made me want to email right now my girlfriends to tell them I love them so much. This was such a beautiful post.

    I have one girlfriend who’s in Nicaragua now for the Peace Corps, and I miss her so much. We’ve been BFFs for 10 years now and we looked eerily so alike growing up, everyone called us “the twins.” When my dad died, she came over to spend the night and held me until I stopped crying and fell asleep. I am so lucky to have her in my life.

  20. Cynthia

    I think this really depends on how you were raised and then who you find yourself interacting with later in life. Reading La Historiadora de Moda’s post this morning, and thinking about how I was brought up, I was in a minimally gendered environment and was not being pushed toward strongly feminine roles. I grew up to have no problem having noncompetitive friendships with either men or women, or where the problems are created are where my way of having friendships runs up against other people’s gendered expectations (e.g. my ex-husband who flipped out with jealousy because I was writing a book with a male friend). The cattiest girl relationships I observed as a kid, and the girls who were the meanest bullies to me and other nerdy outsiders, were among the girls who were, I assume now, being pushed towards the most heavily gendered roles. Boyfriends early, cheerleaders, lots of male approval-seeking, so of course you had to see other women as competitors. Inside academia and in science, though, female friendships with other women scientists are, like, the best thing ever most of the time. We are each other’s lifelines in an often very male world.

  21. JB

    I think that, like body image, the ability to have healthy relationships with other women is largely influenced by our mothers. My mother has never had many friends, and the few friends she does have only seem to want to be friends with her because she allows others to tell her what to do and because she’s so self-deprecating that her “friends” feel better about themselves by comparison.
    Perhaps not surprisingly, I too went through a prolonged phase where all of my female friends were women who kept giving me “advice” about how to fix what they thought was wrong with me. At that time, I felt much closer to my male friends than my female friends. Thankfully I am now able to make better choices in my female friendships, but I still don’t have many of them. Guess I’m a little gunshy.

  22. Veronica

    I have always been shy, especially in my early school years through high school, and never really had a ‘circle’ of friends. I’d have 1 or two ‘close’ friends and some school friends. I know I wanted/needed friends in high school but never really had any. I did have a couple of really close friends a few years ago and I only keep in contact with one now for the most part. So now I’m on a new journey to find new friends and although I’m not as shy as I used to be, nor as depressed, I still find it hard. I have joined a playgroup though so I’m hoping I can find a friend there.

  23. lisa

    “some women have always felt more comfortable around men, some women have had such scarring experiences in their female relationships that they are unsure they’ll ever be able to trust other women again”

    That’s a pretty apt description of how I approach male vs. female friendships. I have some female friends I’m really close to, but I make friends with guys much more easily.

  24. Miranda

    I love this post and the comments — and I think Sal’s right that the pendulum has swung too far against female relationships. So many of the posters have noted that it may be these social notions that do harm to groups of women by encouraging us to _think_ that other women are out to get us, and that we should behave in kind.

    Growing up, I was lucky enough to attend an all girls’ prep school. In a tight-knit class of 38, we were all talented, driven, and unique. Sure, we were competitive, but in the sense that we drove each other to improve, we helped each other to grow, and we formed tremendous bonds based on our mutual admiration.
    When I reached college, I learned that not all women had had this. I began to find these kinds of bonds with my guy friends, who valued many of the same ideas and activities as I did, and who were prepared to be candid about their experiences. Meanwhile, I learned quickly how much more selective I now had to be about female friends. So many wonderful women had been damaged by middle and high school experiences that they just didn’t know how to trust or be trusted. I hope conversations like today’s help women move past that!

    Isn’t it funny? I study the Renaissance, when conduct writers feared the power that could emerge from groups of female friends and, to combat that, the writers tried to set women against each other. Seems like there’s some correspondence!

  25. sarah

    it’s intriguing, isn’t it? I always wonder what is going on in our culture when media suddenly tries to quash certain types of relationships. What group of women, I wonder, is suddenly threatening status quo?

    but perhaps I’m a little too suspicious in my distrust?

    • Miss T

      I think you’re on to something, Sarah. I view the media the same way – try to figure out why certain stories “float to the top”. Some sort of manipulation going on, for sure.

  26. Shea

    I loved reading your thoughts on female friendships. While overall I have more guy friends than girl friends, the girl friendships I do have are so much stronger and have more of an impact on my life than the friendships I have with guys. I can’t imagine my life without my girlfriends–they’re an irreplaceable bunch.

  27. cca.

    I so agree with your thoughts on female friendships. My female friends are my sisters and we are bonded like a tribe!

  28. Antonia MW

    This article is wonderful, not only because I think it’s very true, but also exactly because it’s about the positive side of a type of relationship that gets a lot of bad press. With regard to this topic and any other, I think it’s important to also see the good sides and you’ve managed to point out how wonderful female friendship can be. It’s important not to lose track of the good sides of things, so thank you for reminding me.

  29. Eleanorjane

    Ooh, jealous! I’ve struggled with female friends since birth, it seems. My close friends before school were boys then suddenly at school boys and girls couldn’t be friends. (We still secretly got together in weekends). Girls bullied me from age 5 to about 16 – I was always at the bottom or near the bottom of the pecking order. I’ve also attracted needy female friends who focus on themselves and their needs rather than an equal friendship (and I haven’t been able to speak up about this issue to them).

    Another issue is that my husband has been my best friend since I was about 16 and I’m also very close to my mother. It’s hard as a couple to make friends with other couples who you both get on with. Usually I get on much better with the husbands (not in *that* way!!). It’s also hard to make time to keep up with a range of friends.

    I do have a couple of school friends that I’ve re-met up with and I enjoy our girls nights out a great deal but haven’t been able to move that on to something more regular or intimate.

    Anyhoo, thanks for the great post Sal. I agree that good friends are like gold!

  30. Miss T

    My closest girlfriend of 17 years decided last year to no longer be my friend. We are in our late 40’s and had been best friends though everything: jobs, husbands, boyfriends, divorce, babies, etc. etc. During that time; we were as close as sisters. What happened was that I got unexpectedly very ill. When I first got sick, I was unable to attend a party my friend was having, and she seemed upset by it, but given how sick I was, I said nothing. My illness became progressively worse, requiring hospitalization, and during that time, my friend did not even check on me. During my long (4 months) recovery, I forgot to acknowledge my friend’s teenaged daughter’s birthday. She finally broke her silence and told me I was selfish and she could never forgive ME for what I did to HER. I asked her repeatedly what it was I did, but she never spoke to me again. I fully recovered from my illness, thank goodness, but I was completely blindsided by the loss of this friendship and still, a year later, I cannot comprehend her abandonment on either the intellectual level nor on the emotional level. But, I did a little reading and found out that it’s actually not all that uncommon for serious illness to break up friendships, usually because of fear on the part of the healthy friend (i.e, some people can only stay in control by staying away), and also because the priorities of the ill friend change, at least temporarily and friendships tend to have unspoken “contracts” that govern who and what is a priority within the friendship — my illness was not part of the deal!). So, I’ve been without a best girlfriend for the first time in 2 decades, and it’s been very, very hard. I have other girlfriends who are nice, and I have fun with them, but what’s missing is the intimacy, the knowledge of each other’s emotional history, the ability to “not have to say it” and be fully understood. I also feel doubly-victimized: getting sick to begin with, and then losing my friend because of it. Anyway, I guess what what I learned from the whole thing is that even the very best, closest friendships are not “unbreakable” — people changes, situations change, and just like with romantic partners, people want to move on.

  31. ulterior banana

    i completely agree. I often feel like women, especially young women, try to project an air of coolness by saying that they can’t stand women, they’d much rather be friends with men. Ironically, they tell this to me. a WOMAN.

    it’s silly, you know, things get so entrenched in gender stereotypes, when we could instead be —shocker! — judging people by the content of their characters rather than their junk. Women aren’t conniving bitches. Men aren’t insensitive assholes. SOME PEOPLE are those things. regardless of sex.

  32. Meghan

    Tears in eyes! This is my favorite part…”My girlfriends tell me how proud they are of me, how beautiful I am, how overjoyed they are to see me. And as much as I love my guy friends, they’ve never done any of those things.” So much truth in those two sentences. Thank you for posting. Off to fwd now!

  33. Elizabeth Anderson

    This is ONLY a theory, based on occasional observations… I wonder how much of this rivalry relates to women in the workforce, especially in highly competitive, formerly male dominated fields? I also wonder if part of the problem can relate to women who work together, colleagues but not really FRIENDS… but may have such a hectic life that the colleagues they see day in and day out are mistaken for friends? I am not at all saying coworkers cannot be friends… at all… but I’ve found that few, few of my friends (REAL friends) are coworkers. The funny thing is… the ones I realized were friends at work became much stronger as friends after I left that company to go elsewhere. Hard to explain.

  34. Roxxi

    That’s interesting, Sal. 🙂 Thanks for talking about that. I’m 19, and I find the opposite with my female friends. My *guy* friends are the ones who usually tell me how beautiful I am, and listen to me ramble on about the things I care about, and hang out with me at the movies, and talk about relationships, regrets and the future. I do that with my girl friends sometimes, but it’s never on the same level as it is with my male friends. I think I feel comfortable around guys because I don’t have to worry about them being jealous of things I have e.g. my pencil skirt or a boyfriend, if I had one, and because I find them to be relatively free-spirited. I’m guilty of saying things like “girls are so catty!” which is true sometimes, and I’ve had awful experiences with some of them, but there are enough who are truly beautiful people for me to give them a chance more often.

  35. Miss Peregrin

    I’ve had lots of awful experiences with women/girls. All through primary school & high school I was bullied, and it was always by girls – funnily enough, it was boys that stood up for me. If there was someone making me feel terrible, that someone was always female. The girls used to play a game that involved pretending to be my friend, only to humiliate me later. I don’t think this illustrates that women are bad, just that children are often jerks. But, I still find it very hard to get close to women. It sucks, because I know there are plenty of kick-ass, awesome chicks out there who I would love to be friends with.

    On a brighter note, my closest best-friend-share-your-secrets type relationship has been with a man – more specifically, the man who is now my partner of four years.

  36. Cricket

    I agree with all of this, however, this post prompted me to email my (married) male friend and tell him how much I appreciate him, since he tells me he’s proud of me, tells me I look good and how overjoyed he is to see me in exactly the way all my girlfriends do. I think he deserved extra props today for being such a great friend (especially since he helped me move last weekend).

  37. futurelint

    Very true! While most of my friends are men, I always seem to be closest to the few women friends I have! My two best girlfriends moved away a few years ago and I have finally found a local girl friend again, and it’s awesome! I didn’t realize how much I missed that dynamic!

  38. Alyssa

    I just got this awesome email about the powerful effect of female friendships! Check it out!

    “I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection–the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.”
    Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically, this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin–a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings, whereas, men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Job? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.

    Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers and, evidently, that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

    There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged–not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!”

  39. mazhar ali

    Every person is good and beautiful as humanity grounds and respect every one as humanity grounds.I want real and long life friendship with she with out caste just for sincerity, honesty good behavior

  40. mazhar ali

    this practice is very wonderful good for all. and i also want real and long life friendship

  41. Renee

    I’ve rarely had close female friendships in my adult life, though have wanted and needed them. For some reason my male friendships have always been easier to maintain, but the female ones there usually seemed to be something they weren’t telling me, like they just couldn’t be open and honest the way my male friends could. My female friendships fizzle out, while my male friendships grow stronger. The tough part is that eventually my male friends marry, and their marriage of course takes precedence, but even then they make time for me. Some of my single girlfriends have tons of time, but barely make any effort to be in touch, don’t return emails or phone calls, etc. I reach out, show an interest in their lives, I’m warm and caring and open, but still the friendships don’t last. These are women with lots of female friends, but somehow I don’t ever make the cut. What gives?

    Just to paint a slightly fuller portrait:
    • I’ve taken a couple tests about male/female brains, and I fall dead center — the androgynous brain.
    • My mother never had any close friends of either sex, nor was she emotionally available to her children, though she was always incredibly nice
    • I have 2 sisters, one who I trust to the ends of the earth, the other who is absolutely dreadful to me

    What am I failing to see? What should I be doing differently?