Watch the women. They cluster together; they share, reflect, compare, laugh, and check in on each other. They do this for a reason. Women and girls are hard wired to form community and to support each other. But our fast paced and disconnected world makes it hard for contemporary women to connect as they used to. This presents unique challenges; we search for new ways to stay in touch and to stay connected. We keep trying; we need each other.
What, exactly, do we seek? We look to be together and to talk. Communication is important to women. We have a need to compare our experiences, validate our insights, and help our sisters and daughters.
Unique brain structures and hormonal influences compel females to gather, to share thoughts and feelings, and to help each other. It is part of our stress response. It's true! In response to stress, women band together - they befriend other women. Instead of the fight or flight response (which is more of a male stress response), women tend and befriend. We tend to business (cook food, pack the bags, look after the children) and form community with others. We need to gather and talk things out.
We are safer and better off when we belong to a network of people. A community offers protection and a vast collection of resources. Our tending and befriending behavior works for us. Historically, the women who banded together and helped each other survived, as did their children. We're really not so different today. We still need each other.
So when you feel the need to call, email, or (better yet) get together with your girlfriends, sisters, and/or mother, know that this is how you are made and that it's good for you.
Finally, teach your daughter how to be a good friend. Teach her about staying connected. Do things as a mother-daughter team. Show your daughter how to reach out when things get tough; she will need her network of girl friends; she will need connections to other women. She's made that way, just like you are.