Women’s friendships are unlike any other. The late Jeffrey Zaslow, author of The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women & a Forty-Year Friendship, learned a lot about female friendships when researching his book. "I learned so much about how a close group of friends can keep women healthier and happier. All the research shows this, and I write about some of it in the book. Men’s friendships are side-by-side. We do things together. Women’s friendships are face-to-face. They’re sharing emotions."
Which three friends do you need most?
The older friend
Having a friend one step ahead of you in life is wonderful. It helps to have someone you admire who can give you honest, tried-and-true advice without judgment. Since your children or careers aren’t in sync, there is no competition — just honest sharing and friendship. Parenting questions and woes are especially good to share with this friend, who has the benefit of hindsight. The older friend loves to share her experience with you, and your stories transport her back to a different time in her life. To keep this friendship blooming, make the effort to ask about her older kids. Take time to get to know her on a more personal level, and this friendship will weather many years.
Who can’t use a dose of cheerleading in her life? Every woman needs that friend who will cheer her on, encourage her to pursue seemingly impossible dreams and pick her back up again when things don't go as planned. Resilient, confident and full of energy, this friend always makes you walk away with a smile. To keep this friendship growing, you need to return the favor too — not just soak up the love.
What started as a friendly chat with another mom at the mall can turn into a friendship that's an integral part of your life. These solid friendships don't need daily interactions to keep them strong. Quite the opposite — this friendship can withstand long periods of time with no communication and pick up right where you left off. This is the friend you call to confide in, to complain about your kids or to toot your own horn. She won't think twice about a bad mood or a crying jag. These friendships are usually a perfect blend of give-and-take and need the least amount of work to keep them healthy.
With these three friends in your life, who needs Ben & Jerry’s?