Celebrate the different female friends in your life!
For women, maintaining friendships with fellow females is food for the soul, life affirming, stress busting, and simply a wellspring of joy. Science even backs it up (not that we need years of research to find an excuse to catch up with our girl friends).
Healthline cites studies from Stanford University and UCLA that show that when women maintain these kinds of social connections, it increases serotonin–the happy hormone or “natural mood stabilizer.” The UCLA study even found that women, in times of stress, don’t just have a fight or flight response. We release oxytocin as part of our response to stress, which basically compels us to “tend and befriend”—tend to the kids (if we have them) and connect with other women. Oxytocin is known to counter stress and produce a calming response.
It’s no surprise that a much-needed catch up with girl friends often leave us in a happy and reassured mood. While not all friends are created equal, there are different types of female friends who are definite keepers; the ones below are just some we’ve luckily had in our lives. And we’ve got some ideas on what you can give them as a token of thanks for their friendship.
The truth teller.
Want the honest truth about something—that new guy you’re dating, your decision to quit (or stay) in your job, that third pair of shoes you can’t afford—you can count on this friend of yours to dish it out. She makes you accountable for your behavior even when it’s hard to admit your mistakes. Because you know being surrounded by friends who only say yes is not good for our well-being (or wallet).
Gift ideas: Give her a taste of her own truth medicine with a dose of humor—try statement mugs like these or enamel pins that speak your friend’s truth (eg. “Do no harm but take no shit”).
Your sister from another mother.
Ever come across a kindred spirit? Someone who thinks like you, likes the same things you like, and often senses it when you need someone to talk to. There’s something comforting knowing we have a friend who totally gets all our crazy sides.
Gift ideas: This should be easy, anything you want to have for yourself! If you both have a sticker addiction or only have each other to gush about paper products, check the goods at commonroomph.com.
When we second guess ourselves, she’s the first one to offer reassurance and support. Made a bad decision? Your cheerleader friend has pep talks ready to encourage you and keep you from spiraling into a pity party for one. She can also balance out your truth teller bestie when the truth bombs get too painful, and all you need is kindness, unconditional love, and a can-do attitude.
Gift ideas: Instead of pompoms, show your cheerleader friend your appreciation with some flowers that will last as long as your friendship or Scrabble pillows because she’s just as comforting.
Your keeper of secrets.
Do you have a go-to confidant? This is the girlfriend who knows how to listen and more importantly, keep some of your most heartfelt confessions just between the two of you when you’re not yet ready to share it with others.
Gift ideas: Gifts like a beaded chain necklace or a bracelet can be cherished presents to a trusted friend.
The life of the party.
When you meet up with your girl squad, we’re sure there’s always one (or two) who amps up the energy of the get-together as soon as she arrives. She’s also often the person dragging your introverted self out of the house. She easily makes you and others laugh with her quick wit and humorous way of looking at things. And hey, with the state of the world, we all need to laugh. These kinds of friends can help you see the funny even in hopeless situations.
Gift ideas: Let your friend proudly wear her personality with some quirky, funny pins and patches like this iron-on patch or this button pin that might speak of their motto in life.
She’s the first person you reach out to when you’re down in the dumps. She can also be your truth teller, your cheerleader, kindred spirit—she can be any one of those things but what’s certain is that time spent with this friend means seeing somebody be strong for you when you’re at your lowest.
Gift ideas: Make sure she knows you also want to be there for her and that she takes care of herself. Being a rock for others can take a lot as well, essential oils for her or a reed diffuser for her home can help for a soothing space.
Let’s remember to celebrate the different types of friends we have who show us what healthy female friendships are. Thanks to these women, we get to have a support system—cheering us on when we have wins and lending a hand when we need it most. Happy Women’s Month!