There are friends you can rely on for years, but there are also some who even can’t keep up with your progress—either we dump them or they dump us eventually. If you wonder why you can be friends with some people for years while things just simply do not work out when it comes to some other, it is because we adapt to the pattern of a friendship we, women, develop. Some can fit and adjust to the pattern, but some other just refuse to vibrate at the same frequency with us. And that is normal, you cannot force someone else to always do things the way you do.
We should admit there are some differences between male-male and female-female friendships. To begin with, women and men themselves process things and feelings differently, that is why the pattern of friendships we develop also work differently. Actually, even there is no good or bad in these differences—because we are just unique, we do not want to suggest women to think exactly like men because we can also create a list of what men can learn from women, but there are things women can learn from men in friendship to avoid drama and make things work smoother for their female-female friendships.
- Doing Activities Together
Yes, we know women love to visit beauty salon with friends every now and then, a ladies’ night out on Fridays, or give a new café in the city a try with the ladies. And the rest? Women tend to love gossips more than men do—yes, some men love it to. We would sit around in our female group, exchanging gossips and even continue the talks on phone right after! Even worse, we sometimes spread the rumour with added assumptions. It is enjoyable, we get to admit; but it is also toxic!
Men approach friendship in a more “instrumental” and “transactional” way than women do. Meaning that, unlike women who share feelings to each other, male-male friendships love to share activities and work on something together to spend their time—they play tennis together, they form a solid football team, they share investment ideas, and etc. However, as a result, since they more focus on doing activities together, they share less feelings compared to women.
What women can learn:
Sharing feelings with our girl-friends is such a blessing and this is the joy men tend to lack. But as much as we love our friends, why do not we spend more time in talking about ideas, taking golf course, attending yoga class regularly, or doing business together than spending hours at a coffee shop gossiping? Doing things together can also develop our emotional bond; plus, we have less time for gossips!
- Argue Together, Stay Together.
We bet you get a glimpse of what we are about to discuss in this point just by reading the sub-title! Men can get into an intense argument, refuse to agree with their friends, and keep defending their beliefs—sometimes end up fighting, but once they decide to end the discussion, they end it as if nothing ever happened! While women? Sometimes even though our friend declared they do not want drama to prolong the argument, we still hold grudges for months (or years!) even though we now it is too painful to maintain!
What women can learn:
We can agree to disagree without holding grudges, really! You and your female friends have different backgrounds, values, perspectives, and preferences so if one day you find each other do not stand on the same ground, we should we create a problem out of it? You do not always to agree with their opinion and this should apply the other way around. You can share your opinion and express your disagreement while looking at other perspectives without having a fight—or if you end up having one, you can learn from men to move on from a fight quickly! There is more to your friendship than just fighting over unnecessary things.
You cannot solely claim female friendships are more competitive than male friendships. We compete in a different way, and again, it is not something to fix—we just naturally work that way!
Men prefer to have three or more close friends to maintain, because they naturally want to build coalition, they feel stronger in a group. So that, when it comes to competition, men tend to compete with other groups—now you know why they love to team up for games or sports. While women, they may acknowledge each other’s strength and beauty, but still can be catty or gossipy behind each other’s back at the same time. Women compete with their own friends in a more private and subtle way. However, somehow this is natural, because society has taught us to be sort of women—to fall in certain categories or criteria even when we are not. Society tells us to be beautiful, elegant, calm, reserved and can attract men to approach us. In a more natural discourse, women love to compete with each other because we need to protect our only womb from any possible harm, thus we have to ensure ourselves that we are safe enough by indirectly undermining the stock of other women. Men also compete with others in some fields, but they also enjoy each other’s success in different fields; so, if they feel like they feel insecure towards others, they will choose to not befriend them.
What women can learn:
Be confident and always be happy once your female friends gain their own success. Be supportive and avoid hating each other. Because the fact is, you are enough. Your female friend is perhaps prettier than you but you perform better at work—there is no such thing as a perfect life after all. You can start by giving sincere compliments to your friends and having heart-to-heart discussions to correct each other in order for you to develop yourselves better. When you feel you do not want to compete or even undercut each other but you do not get the same treatment in return, just leave! Remember that empowered women empower each other.