The true power of girl power: Why female friendships are so unique
It’s a well-known fact that women tend to have close-knit friendship circles and that they communicate with each other in a unique way. Male friendships don’t tend to have the strong emotional bonds in quite the same way that female friendships do. Women who share a long, illustrious history together have a connection that is completely unlike anything else and it’s this that fuels joyful get-togethers, armed with copious amounts of sparkling wine!
So, why do women tend to form these incredible bonds? Here are some of our theories…
Spending time with our friends increases levels of serotonin
There is a lot of scientific research that suggests that spending time with the people who know us best releases the happiness hormone, serotonin. A study at Oxford University found that women should meet up with their friends at least twice a week in order to improve their health, due to their biological need to connect during stressful times. Those with a strong support system tend to recover from illnesses quicker and have lower stress levels.
Our friendships also elevate our oxytocin levels
Research at UCLA has suggested that women have an evolutionary coping mechanism when faced with stress and despair. When we experience stress, we release the ‘love’ hormone, oxytocin. The sudden rise in this hormone triggers a deep need to ‘tend’ and ‘befriend’. This means that we can’t help but look after those in need and make social connections. Therefore, it’s a completely involuntary and natural reaction to need your girlfriends in hard times. People with high levels of oxytocin tend to be calmer, more sociable and much less anxious. So, girl nights are always great stress-busters!
Female friendships provide honesty and no judgements
Many women feel that it’s only their close girlfriends who can provide a candid, no-holds-barred level of honesty and acceptance. There are certain barriers with the men in our lives and even sometimes with family members that prevent us from being completely ourselves. Within a good female friendship, there will often not be any need to lie or hold anything back. When women know pretty much everything about each other, there is a safety and freedom in expressing your true feelings and not being judged for them. So wonderfully liberating!
Empathy and emotional support are predominantly female traits
Of course, there are some very empathetic and wonderful men out there but most natural empaths are women. It more than likely comes from centuries of women nurturing children and sharing the emotional burdens of life with each other. Being in the presence of someone who can hold your secrets safe and offer unbiased, honest advice is a breath of fresh air and can provide you with complete inner strength.
There are so many reasons why women have made a habit of turning to each other in times of need and making friendships that last a lifetime. This act of women gathering together extends into the business world too. A Harvard Business School study found that women who attend all-female conferences are twice as likely to get a promotion within a year, 78% of these women felt more optimistic about the future and 71% felt more connected to others. Building these connections is essential if we are to combat things like depression and inequality. When women get together, they truly have the power to change the world.
At Exigeante, we specialise in making women feel like they can conquer life and everything it throws at them. Our tiny bubbles are here to bring joy and laughter to tribes of strong, powerful women who are completely and unapologetically themselves.