The Importance of Girl Talk
Posted by Casey Nicole on August 11, 2012 at 3:44 PM
Do you feel like your social life has taken a hit while you’re climbing the corporate ladder or maybe just focusing on family? In general, every time we’re overwhelmed with work, school, and families, the first thing we cut to make more time is our friendships with other women. We put those friendships on the back burner, and after failing to nurture them, we start losing those relationships. If this rings true, you are not alone. A survey taken by the University of Chicago discovered that Americans have a third fewer close friends and confidants than two decades ago.Back in 1985, Americans believed they had three people in whom they could confide personal matters, and in 2004 that number had dropped down to just two.
Even with Facebook, Twitter, and all the forms of social media out there, this evidence points to people living lonelier and more isolated than in the past. Feelings of isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, and even health problems. The easiest solution is nurturing your friendships, hence, the importance of girl talk.
In the spirit of girl talk, we created the GirlsGuideTo TV series, which launches tomorrow. Each week you'll get a serious dose of girl bonding time, starting with tomorrow's show all about, you guessed it -- friendship. Because it it so important, we thought we'd give you some of the benefits of girl talk and creating lasting female friendships a day early. They just may surprise you!
You Will Live a Longer and Healthier Life
For starters, do you remember the standby stress response, “fight or flight?” Well, researchers discovered it doesn’t actually hold true for women. Instead, we have a “tend and befriend” reaction in stressful situations. Basically, while men are likely to isolate themselves when stressed, women “tend” to their families or homes, and “befriend” by talking things out with other females. Instead of internalizing our stress like men, we deal with it with our girlfriends, which might help explain why women consistently outlive men.
Plus, when we’re spending time with our girlfriends, our bodies release more oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone, reducing the effects of everyday stress.
The Nurses’ Health Study which focuses on factors that influence women’s health discovered that the more friends a woman had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged. These results were so significant that the researchers concluded not having close friends or confidants is as detrimental to your health as smoking or being overweight.
You’ll Feel Prettier Too
Recent studies from Dove concluded that 70% of women actually feel prettier because of their relationships with other women. That is amazing news! We’re constantly hearing about girl-on-girl hate and “frenemies,” when the truth is, women are still building each other up. Hopefully, someday soon, we can raise that percentage to 100%. Reinforce that statistic today by reminding your friends just how gorgeous and wonderful they are.
Second Opinions Matter
Sometimes, when you’re so annoyed at your boyfriend, you really need someone to talk you down. That’s where girl talk comes in. Sure, she will console you and let you vent. But then, she’ll let you know if you’re overreacting, too. Plus, she’ll always be able to offer a fresh perspective on problems.
You’ll Learn New Things
As we grow older, we’re less apt to try new things. Talking to our girlfriends can keep us from becoming too stubborn with our own opinions. Talking with friends helps us learn new things about ourselves, and also open us up to new experiences. Even if you think you know everything about your bestie, you’ll still learn new things about them through girl talk.
It’s a Special Kind of Love
When you’re close to a girlfriend, nothing is off-limits in your conversations. Someday, it might shock you to know all the dirt your pal actually has on you. The thing is, you know all their dirty secrets too. It’s frightening for someone to know all the embarrassing details about your life, but you actually trust them with the information. Having close girlfriends is an entirely unique kind of love. You’ll learn the importance of trust, since you can’t go divulging their secrets, and loyalty, because you realize they’ll always have your back, too. Plus, girl talk teaches you about selfless love, because even though you may have already listened to her talk about her new beau fifty times over, you’ll listen all over again, because you know she needs you.
What do you love about girl talk? Share what you appreciate most about your girlfriends in the comments below!
Check out this episode of GirlsGuideTo...TV below and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don't miss any of our upcoming shows!