The Power of Female Friendships
I have my friends, therefore I am.
More than just the traveling pants. More than just your annoying sibling “borrowing” your clothes. And definitely more than necessary. Sisterhood is each of the women in your life bound together like logs of a life raft. They create a space for you to survive, to breathe and to brave the uncertain waters around you. For centuries, women found ways to come together to protect themselves from the harsh realities of our world. Patriarchy has its way of making our existence unbearable at times, whether it’s the guy cat calling you on your way to the gym or the seedy underbelly of every industry that allows for the gender pay gap. We need refuge. We need empathy. We need our sisters in arms. That isn’t to say we should exclude men from these conversations, because there will be no progress without them. But, sometimes, we just need the company of those who go through the same things as us (Trauma bonding? Am I being dramatic?).
We want to feel seen. We want to be heard. We want to know that we are not alone through this. Sharing ourselves in these spaces reminds us that our voices do not fall on deaf ears. Being a part of a sisterhood of strong, supportive, trustworthy women lets us take turns carrying this weight on our shoulders. We can take a moment to be ourselves, stripping away the masks we put on when we step out into the world.
How can we start building a sisterhood that embraces us?
Power Tip 1: Know your needs
The first step is to realize that you need a sisterhood. A Harvard Medical School study literally showed us that not having female friends is detrimental to your health, as much being overweight or smoking. Women who have close female friendships are less likely to develop impairments — physical impairments as they age, and they are likely to be seen to be living much more vital, exciting and joyful lives. Female friendships involve a deeper connection than male friendships, because of the sheer emotional intimacy…our girlfriends know us inside and out, and sometimes, they even know without being told because they’ve experienced similar things.
Many of us need these spaces where we can heal so that we can become our most authentic selves, not just the version riddled with insecurity that we project. Having people that won’t shame you for your honest thoughts and feelings is a blessing that everyone deserves. To call another woman a sister is to hear them say, “I trust you”, “I have your back”, “Your feelings are valid”, and “I believe in you.” Who doesn’t need that once in a while?
Power Tip 2: Find your tribe
Be open minded. Avoid judgment, cynicism and criticism. None of those will make you popular amongst secure women. After all, most people turn to their female friends as a safe and comfortable place where they can be themselves without fear of judgment. If you start embodying the qualities of the friend you want, you will attract those exact people into your life (look up ~manifestation~). Become a yes woman. When someone invites you to do something, say yes even if your nerves are rattling in your head to say no.
If you’re lacking even in female acquaintances, you’ll need to put yourself out there. It takes bravery and confidence, which usually go hand in hand, and the rewards are priceless. Find groups on facebook with similar interests, try taking an all-female class, whether it’s yoga or painting or whatever else you’re into. Finding ways to meet people who share your interests is a surefire way of making friends as an adult. But you have to create these opportunities by saying yes, showing up, and inviting them to hangout. Join volunteer leagues. There are womens’ groups for literally every imaginable facet of who women are. Whether it’s a religious group, a minority led coalition, athletic teams, know that for as many ways you can identify yourself, there are just s as many spaces made for you to find friends.
Power Tip 3: Spread the word
Invite others when you’ve found your tribe. There is power in numbers. Mentoring is also an important part of sisterhood. Sisterhood should be intergenerational and diverse, welcoming girls of all backgrounds and ages so that they can inform the group of what the world has to offer. Being surrounded by a wide range of perspectives and opinions help us grow and continue positive social change. We all should make it a mission of ours to make the world a better place and we have this collective responsibility to do so. Sisterhoods promote love, peace, empathy, equality and community, just some of the tools we can use for our mission. Our sisterhood is our tribe and each of us is gifted with something unique, our own arsenal of knowledge and skills. The space doesn’t get smaller with more people in it and therein lies the magic of female friendships. If you can help other women be themselves and grow in a safe, loving environment, you should. Reach out your hand just like someone reached theirs out to you. Take the support and then pass it forward.
Real Talk: Sisterhood is as important to our health and happiness as any other self care. Channeling your growth is done much easier with the help of girlfriends so why not put yourself out there and find the tribe that you can take this journey with. Join EBY.
Join the membership and make an impact. EBY is a female empowerment brand offering the most comfortable, body-glorifying seamless underwear known to woman-kind. EBYs come in sizes XS-4X in a range of styles, colors, and prints, and are delivered straight to your door every 3 or 6 months. When you become an EBY member, you are a part of something special. We give 10% of our proceeds to fund microfinance loans for female entrepreneurs around the world. We’ve empowered more than 7,100 women to date! Join now.