Female friendships can bring fullness and joy and, all too often, can bring some real pain to women’s lives. Author, therapist and blogger, Nicole Zangara, LCSW, brings a powerful and much needed light on this subject!
FROM AMAZON – “Women with strong, long-lasting female social relationships are likely to live years longer than those without.
If you rely on your female friends to help you decide what to wear to land the perfect job, advise you how to get your newborn to sleep at 3 a.m., confide in you with their closest secrets, that not only improves the quality of your life, but also the longevity of it. So why, then, is that friend so hard to find? And why is she so hard to keep these days?
As the second decade of the 21st Century accelerates full speed ahead, more and more women are finding that their fast-paced lifestyles are leaving important casualties in their wakes—especially friendships. Increasingly, women bemoan learning of friends’ engagements on Facebook rather than in-person or by telephone. Or they may experience the dull ache of being texted pictures from an event they weren’t invited to.”
Biography of our guest
Nicole Zangara is a therapist in Arizona who grew up in Massachusetts. She sees all ages and stages in her counseling practice. She got her BA from American University in Washington, DC and her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.
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In this episode:
- As a therapist, Nicole hears A LOT about how friendships impact us
- Seems to have some shame around how friendships can go by the wayside… Why do we stop talking? Why does someone walk away?
- Building friends with women is similar to dating! Share a lot of intimate information … want to spend time together… go to each others family functions… go on road-trips… we share so much.
- Male friendships are more action oriented… playing sports, not so much talking in depth.
- These gender lines are drawn early… girls are emotionally tied to other girls and boys play!
- Best aspects of female friendships? Women go deep and love having a best friend… lean on them and count on them.
- When things are feeling “off”, we get wobbly. But, transitions are inevitable and things can shift.
- Losing a support can be very traumatic.
- Define a friend: There is a trust with personal information… know that they will hold that trust. Women friends feel like family, like sisters.
- Fostering friendship, even over distance, with the phone, texting, visits… female friendships are a LIFELINE! Women dive into their pasts so that their friend really know them.
- Men use their friendships to hang out but not necessarily to go deep and get to know them.
- Kitchen table conversations – Like Lucy and Ethel… Really witnessing another woman’s heart felt concerns. You only need 6 words –
“I know” “I understand” “That’s hard”
- In therapy,kids/teenagers are reporting a lot of bullying and harshness – mean girls are real. Drastic measures becomes necessary recently… like having to change schools!
- To meet this bullying/harshness, parents need to TALK about stuff with kids… process their day. MODEL kind heartedness with your friends.
- ALSO, be aware of your child’s social media. Be open to the fact that your child may be putting out some hurtful/bullying messages.
- When a friendship is feeling off… COMMUNICATION is key. “I” language is key… “I feel things are rocky…” “You are important to me, I want this to work…” Reveal what is important to you… avoid pointing out others’ faults, rather… “I need xyz in our relationship.”
- Hold off on faulting yourself… stop personalizing.. “It’s my fault!”… the other person may be going through things that have nothing to do with you! Changes in life chapters are inevitable.
- Communication is so key and understanding boundaries…. Don’t judge the other person’s boundaries… Enjoy the differences!
Join our conversation!
Please share in the comments below: What is one way your BFF shows you the love?
Resources mentioned in this episode:
BOOK! Surviving Female Friendships : “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”
Nicole’s BLOG! Surviving Female Friendships – Go on over and make some comments!