7 Types Of Friendship Every Woman Needs In Her Life

Photo: Jacob Lund / shutterstock 
three women posing for a selfie

Do you tend to sink into the feather down of "habit" friendships based on history, others’ needs and routines? 

Maybe you prefer people with similar interests and backgrounds. Or do you just choose affable individuals who come your way? 

Such accessible connections may “eat” up precious, nonrenewable time. Predictability and seeming ease alone can be limiting. 

Instead, consider exploring a greater variety of possible friendships to meet a wider range of your needs and wants. 

RELATED: Why You Shouldn't Put Your Relationship Before Your Friendships

The benefits of friendship for women

Think about refining your process of making friends to one that leads to the types of friendship every woman needs to renew and enrich life. 

The benefits of friendship can be enormous: fresh, engaging connections; ideas for improving current relationships; and maybe even better quality of life.  

Then, what does every woman need? 

What every woman needs in her life

Most every woman will flourish when she has the following kinds of friendships that are met more often than not:

  • Balanced give and take over time, based on clear communication about  preferences
  • Pleasure in one another’s company, often demonstrated by looking forward to being with her/him online, by phone or in person 
  • Opportunities to learn and try new or different activities coupled with a willingness to bow out or negotiate modifications along the way
  • Mutual appreciation, respect and enjoyment of one another’s strengths as well as willingness to address other areas that intrude in the quality of the relationship
  • Trust and feeling that one’s interests are protected or at least not put in jeopardy

If all this sounds idealized or unattainable, I’ll go one hopefully helpful step further to describe below examples of friendships that are likely to move you in such directions.

RELATED: Why It's Important To Share With Others When You're Struggling

Here are seven benefits women often enjoy with close friendships

1. Joys are enhanced

Delight in each other’s accomplishments is shown in nonverbal communication. Acknowledge specifics about what makes an outcome or progress noteworthy. 

Examples could be what it took to get there and the often nonlinear efforts. To oneself, honesty about one’s own occasional, private twinges of envy or resentment will keep any mixed feelings in check.

2. Problems are anticipated (and possibly solved)

Commiseration about frustrations and blocks in life are coupled with exploration and common sense conversation about how to move beyond them.

This does not involve giving solicited and unsolicited advice as much as asking astute, relevant questions starting with “what” and “how” as catalysts for the other person’s creativity. 

“Why” questions are no-nos because they can sound accusatory.

RELATED: 10 Types Of Friends You Need In Your Life

3. Caring is expressed tangibly

Authentic caring about one another’s welfare is shown in effective listening and selective, relevant assistance and thoughtful gestures that do not create dependence

Over time, assistance avoids putting either person at a disadvantage, whether in sapping energy, time or resources.

4. Openness and playfulness are present

Good humor and appropriate frankness characterize communication. This also supports relative comfort in addressing issues and lack of capacity to assist due to other priorities, especially for one’s own self-care and wants.

5. Capacities and strengths are developed and expressed

This is based on encouraging each other’s growth and curiosity about new and different situations and opportunities. 

Red flags for one another to avoid dangers and detours are noted.

RELATED: How To Tell The Difference Between A True Friend & Someone Who Is Only Out For Herself

6. Differences provide opportunities for variety, learning and unlearning

Differences in interests and experiences provide paths for learning and exploration for one another

Attention to unlearning no longer useful or limiting habits and tendencies is given as receptivity and relevance are obtained. All the while, basic values are shared enough to support trust and understanding.

7. Commitment is clear

Mutual ability to devote the appropriate time, empathy and work sustain a good friendship while accepting the natural ebbs and flows of closeness and sharing based on each person’s realities.

RELATED: The Truth Is Adult Friendships Change — And That's OK

How to strengthen the bonds of friendship

None of these examples are promissory notes for consistently happy, easy friendships. 

Given human complexity and complications of daily life, the processes in the examples will be neither linear nor neat. That’s why trust, flexibility and small steps forward are important.  Support your actions with integrity, experimentation and gentle humor.

Be straightforward and patient about the need to take time to attend to other important matters. 

For example, rather than jumping right into action to assist or participate, say ‘let me think about it.” This also provides for the variations in individual’s situations in terms of resources, location and commitments to work and other relationships.  

Frank, kind conversation will help build trust and clarify reasonable expectations so necessary for dealing with the occasional conflicts and misunderstandings that come with any human relationships, however close and committed. 

In fact, they are often indicators of authentic, worthwhile connections

They are also natural ancillaries of all the positive aspects of the friendships every woman needs in her life.

RELATED: The Secrets Of People Who Are Incredible At Making New Friends

Ruth Schimel Ph.D. is a career and life management consultant and author of the Choose Courage series on Amazon. She guides clients in accessing their strengths and making viable visions for current and future work. The first chapter of her seventh book Happiness and Joy in Work: Preparing for Your Future is now available to preview.