There are so many different names for a group of friends. My tribe, my crew, my girls, my sista girlfriends, the spice girls. I mean you name it and I have probably referenced them as such. I have developed relationships with several different people over the years and I hold the good ones close to my heart. There are people that I have known for years, co-workers that have grown to be a part of my tribe, and a few family members.
I have encountered women in the past that do not have the privilege of having a tribe. I really wonder how do they get through things without this network? If you have a group of really good friends you are saving a ton of money. My crew is cheaper than going to therapy. I kid, therapy is a really good method to get through life but talking with my crew usually cost a bottle of wine. Do you have a crew? Think about how often you rely on them to help you get through something, celebrate, vent, or just have fun?
There are many benefits of having good friends in your circle. One obvious benefit is having fun. Good friends will make you smile and laugh until your stomach hurts. This alone will brighten your mood and reduce stress levels. A good one (benefit) that I really love is being yourself and not worrying about being judged. Friends allow you to let your hair down and turn off the filters. Conferences, meetings, interviews, networking, constantly being “on”, it feels really good to go to your safe place and let go. A woman once told me a story about her commute to and from work. Her commute time is one hour to and one hour from work. During this time she talks to her best friend and they have their one on one time to discuss every thing and it is uninterrupted. After hearing her story I thought how beautiful that is. I know personally because I can stay on the phone with my friend for hours and call the very next day and start up again. It’s refreshing and helps to unpack the day or dissect the trashy reality show that we watch (maybe that’s just me).
I don’t know about your friends but my friends always tell me the truth. This is important, how can you grow as a person if you have a group of “yes men” around you. I need people that will call me on my stuff and knock me back into reality. Good friends know your strengths and weakness and have the ability to get you back on track or point you in the right direction to achieve your goal. I read an article by the Mayo Clinic and it stated, “friends play a significant role in promoting overall health and adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression and high blood pressure and studies have found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections”.
Here’s another one, “People with social support have fewer cardiovascular problems and immune problems, and lower levels of cortisol — a stress hormone,” says Tasha R. Howe, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Humboldt State University. So a lot of smart people are letting us know that our friends are very healthy for us. If you don’t have a tribe or a good friend, I challenge you to put yourself out there and make a connection and build that relationship. Your life depends on it JK.