For women, the tide is truly changing. There is a distinct shift in the way female friendships are formed at all ages and how those bonds are stoking the fire in our bellies to achieve big visions and audacious goals.
We are witnessing a resurgence of the sisterhood spirit among women who recognize, honor and foster the power of female relationships.
These are platonic relationships between women and built on trust, confidence and emotional intimacy.
Female posses – I call mine the SheTribe – can generate momentum like you’ve never experienced. When these gals sink their teeth into a project, stand back. They subscribe to an ass-kicker mentality, feeding off the dynamic power and collective energy of the group.
As women mature, we place more value on the power that comes from helping more women fulfill their potential. We have the wisdom and experience to shine a light on our “femships.” Ladies are supporting ladies, and women of all ages are stepping into their power.
The Female Friendship Factor
Women who have meaningful, supportive friendships live longer. Science attributes this to oxytocin, that magical stress-relieving hormone that women’s bodies release when we surround ourselves with people who make us happy.
In a 2015 TEDtalk, longtime friends, Hollywood powerhouses and activists Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Pat Mitchell describe their friendship as “a renewable source of power.”
“As I’ve gotten older, I understand the importance of friendships,” Fonda said. “Older women are the fastest-growing demographic in the world. We need to harness that power.”
They point to the landmark Harvard Nurses’ Health Study that reveals women who have close female relationships are less likely to get sick or seriously ill as they age. The results were so significant that not having close friends or confidants was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight, the researchers concluded.
What’s potentially more interesting is when the researchers dug into how well women manage after their spouse dies. They found that even after this biggest stressor of all, women with close female friends were more likely to live without any new physical impairments or permanent loss of vitality. No femships? Not so lucky.
The bottom line is women live longer and lead more joyful lives if we have the support of a strong network of female friends.
Indeed, these relationships help me manage life’s stresses. My girls smack me back into reality when I go chasing after something that doesn’t matter or makes no sense. They encourage risk-taking and are my inspiration in more ways than they will ever know.
We circle the wagons when any one of us is in need and lift each other up. We generously contribute to our collective happiness and have each other’s backs no matter what. In many cases, we have stood by each other for years, through child-rearing, beautiful marriages, heartbreaking divorces, and devastating losses. We openly acknowledge the support of loving female friends who make our lives better. I love my SheTribe like sisters.
Femships Make Us Stronger
My SheTribe makes me stronger. They are older and younger than me. Some are Baby Boomers; others are Gen Xers. Our stories are extraordinarily diverse, which makes us a unique patchwork of generational wit and wisdom.
As I age, I understand and appreciate the importance of friendships. I make a conscious effort to reach out, put “play dates” on the calendar and generally ponder ways to create more adventures for us to enjoy together. Through these relationships, our strength and spirit come forward, and we are no longer afraid to live life out loud.