By: Maggie McMorrow
A topic that I think is rarely discussed is the importance of having positive female relationships. I know the cliche is girls with “daddy issues” are messed up, but what about “mom issues?” If you have “daddy issues” you are supposed to not be able to trust or fully commit yourself to future male relationships, but I personally believe that female relationships are just as vital, so if you do not have key positive female role models in your life, how are you supposed to forge future relationships with women? If a girl says to me “I am more of a guy’s girl, I don’t really get along with girls” I take this as a huge red flag. As a female, you should be able to get along with other members of the same sex. And as someone that is very pro-girl, I will never understand putting guys over girls.
When it comes to relationships a lot of times people become so consumed in each other that they forget about their friends. Over my time in highschool I have had numerous friends who have gotten into relationships and decided that they no longer needed to put any effort into any of their other friendships. I have learned by this point to not take it personally because it really is only hurting them, not you, but I have also realized what a silly mistake this is. Although some are, most relationships do not last forever, especially in high school. People break up, people go to college, people change, but after that, the people that are there for you are usually your friends. Unless you lose touch or you have some sort of falling out, friends really can be forever so I think it is incredibly important to make sure that you maintain those relationships, despite what new men might be in your life.
In a study at UCLA in simple psychology, it was found that female friendships help girls deal with stress. This is because when women experience stress, a hormone called oxytocin is released which encourages them to “tend and befriend” and the study found that girls with lots of female friendships were able to deal with stress more easily. There is also research to show that women react differently to stress than men do because the different amount of hormones released when stress is experienced. Men release smaller amounts of oxytocin than women which means they feel only the lesser effects of the flight-or-fight response, men tend to get away from stressful situations by bottling up their emotions. This is why women tend to relate to each other better in stressful times, because they are more likely to talk out their feelings, which they both need.
I am not saying that male friendships and relationships are not important, because they are in their own way, but I am saying that it is extremely important for girls, especially young girls, to have friends that are going through the same things and that are feeling the same things. There is no better sense of comradery than in an amazing female friendship. Girls should be building each other up and we should all be on the same team.