Enjoying a coffee with girlfriends, a long lunch or simply a chat on the phone is what makes the world go around. Women together talk differently than men. We love all things words, even if we don’t solve the world’s problems or come to a resolution. What we come to is an understanding. We feel seen and heard in a way that men can’t do.
girlfriends are your cheerleaders
We love to look at a situation from all angles and at times discuss it ad nauseum which drives men to distraction. Well, my partner at least. The great thing about this is that he has taught me to stop ruminating over stuff. He listens once, twice and that’s it. Even though he’s my greatest cheerleader, it’s not in the same way as my girlfriends.
As women, we love ‘girl-talk’. There is something really heartwarming when we chat about life and what’s been happening for us with someone we love, cherish and trust. There is a wonderful sense of inclusion, of belonging and of being understood.
A girlfriend is there in good times and in bad. She is there to support you, witness you, encourage you, reassure you, and give you a different perspective, even if it isn’t what you want to hear. You turn to her because you trust her to give you a reality check and not simply buy into your story (unless you expressly ask her to). I can always remember a friend saying to me ‘ask me before we start the conversation if I want consolation or the truth’ when she needed to offload.
“I don’t even know what I would do without my women friends.
I exist because I have my women friends.”
I totally agree. However, when we are against each other it creates a lonely world. And I speak from experience. For a long time, I was wary of making friends with women, because I didn’t trust them. I felt unsafe and couldn’t understand their need to bitch, gossip and stab you in the back. In addition, I had been deeply hurt and was wary of getting close to women again for a long time. I had lost trust; trust in the ‘sisterhood’ where I had the expectation of feeling safe and protected, having my back and being supported.
So even though I preferred the company of men and at the time found it easier to talk to them, I felt on the outer and isolated. Was it my fault? Was I to blame? They all seem to get on. Why don’t I? They seem to have fun together and are in this tight little circle. Why wasn’t I? I had no one to turn to bare my soul to. To hold me in the space, to give me hugs, make me cups of tea, hold my hand and tell me I’m alright no matter how awful I felt.
On the other hand, I didn’t want to be in the thick of it either. It felt exhausting and tiring being on edge and constantly wondering what were they saying when you weren’t there. So I missed out in many ways.
Talking to a girlfriend lightens the load.
When we talk to a good friend we know have each other’s back. We listen intently and we are present. There’s a shoulder to weep on, express our anger, hurt, pain, our wins and joys in life. We can be candid, bare our souls and share experiences so you feel held and loved. That is what a great friend is all about: making you realise you are more than the situation you are talking about.
We relax and laugh. Sob and cry.
Love and feel each other’s pain.
Listen and reassure. We comfort.
There is power in all of that. There is power in what happens when women come together. And that is what we need more of again in this busy and doing patriarchal world. To have time to spend with our girlfriends or to spend time in a women’s circle. To come back to that gloriously nurturing, loving, kind and soft side of ourselves.
The world needs more of this synergy to create harmony and balance. This side of us that we have disconnected from for aeons needs to be nurtured again. For our feminine well-being, we need to take the time to be intuned again with our bodies, our intuition, and our innate wisdom.
It’s time to listen to our bodies and act on its knowledge. We no longer need to endure, put up with and accept the status quo. As women, we must come together in unity rather than disunity. To feel strong and equal. To stop comparing ourselves with others and enjoying be who we are. These amazing and beautiful women.
And connecting again to that side of ourselves and other women is the medicine we need to heal our bodies, minds, hearts and souls.
Girlfriends are essential to our core.
And science totally agrees. What has been found is that instead of releasing hormones that trigger a “fight or flight” response such as testosterone as men do, women release the hormone oxytocin (known as the “calming” hormone) as part of the stress response. This buffers the fight or flight response encouraging the act of befriending which produces a calming effect. And having a few best friends does exactly that: they calm, comfort and soothe you.
Love this interview with Jane Fonda and Lily Thomlinson talking all things friendship. In this, Jane Fonda sums up beautifully the difference between female and male friendships. ‘Friendship between women is different than friendship between men. We talk about different things and we delve deep. We go under, even if we haven’t seen each other for years. There are hormones that are released from women to other women that are healthy and do away with the stress hormones. It’s my women friends that keep starch in my spine and without them, I don’t know where I would be. We have to just hang together and help each other.’
In conclusion, your girlfriends are important in your life. And it’s important to tell them so. Who doesn’t love receiving a handwritten note? Receiving an unexpected text of thanks. Or big hug next time you see them.
join my circle of women
Sometimes, it can be easier to share in a circle of like-minded women. Over the years I have finally found that when women come together we create something truly magical. I, therefore, decided to create my own online circle of women. In a circle, we are all equal creating acceptance and inclusivity.
Furthermore, it’s my belief that when we work as one we create an unbreakable shape that can grow and move tightly together when needed. My passion is for you to be able to tap into your power as a woman in your entirety and to be all you want to be in this sacred space.
If this resonates, join me here.
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Chantal Vanderhaeghen is an intuitive guide, small business owner, creator of an international skincare brand, passionate philanthropist and meditation, reiki, tapping and mindfulness teacher. She works with women ready to make changes, shatters perceptions of beauty and perfection, and inspires people ready to become mindful entrepreneurs. She lives with her talented man in the Perth Hills and can be found online at www.unfoldyoufreedom.com.au
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