There comes a point in every woman’s life when she becomes a social recluse. Her life purely revolves around raising kids, managing home and keeping it alive and unscratched from one day to another. Even outings and parties are either synonymous with kids’ birthday parties or family gatherings. Slowly but surely, loneliness creeps up and one begins to wonder why, despite being surrounded by family and loved ones, one feels so lonely. What is it that is missing in your cup of life? The thing is you don’t need to add anything more to that cup but drain it a little bit out. That is where your girlfriends come in.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • There comes a point in every woman’s life when she becomes a social recluse.
  • Most of us do not realise how isolated and lonely we are until it is too late.
  • Friendship is probably the only relationship where we do not fear being judged.
  • Socialising with friends on a regular basis keeps us healthy and liberates us from the dreariness of daily lives. 

Hanging out with your girlfriends gives you a certain degree of freedom, which most of us do not enjoy with our families.

Friendship is probably the only relationship where we do not fear being judged. While talking to your partner is healthy for your marriage, there are certain things which you simply cannot discuss, even with them. Especially in India where men and women are brought up with certain “values” which instils beliefs in them. Besides living with parents, caring for children etc often puts couples on dissimilar wavelengths. It thus becomes essential for women to find bonds where they can behave or speak without a filter.

In an article for Psychology Today, Dr Kristen Fuller wrote that girlfriends have a distinctive way of reading emotions and intuitively recognizing what needs to be done then acting on it. “When women get together we gush about our sex lives, our marriages, and details about our significant others and family drama; when guys get together rarely is any of this discussed.” I couldn’t agree more. There is a certain openness to a conversation among female friends. We can talk about our struggles more easily. We don’t just want to get it out of our system, we seek solutions and empathy from our girlfriends. Which is why opening up to friends in person, does us a lot of good. It comes with a healthy dose of cathartic gossiping and sharing and laughter.

There is a certain openness to a conversation among female friends. We can talk about our struggles more easily.

Most of us do not realise how isolated and lonely we are until it is too late. In fact, a report suggests that women are reported to be more at risk for loneliness and isolation than men. Marriage, career and motherhood often strip us off reliable friendships. Changing priorities alienate us from friends who were once inseparable. After a certain age, the desire to socialise grows thinner, which only leads to further isolation. Not having anyone to talk to, or not spending time away from your immediate daily surroundings has effects on your health. There is a reason why depression is on the rise among women. We are lonely, we have no time to spend on ourselves or with our friends. We simply have no release, not for an hour or a day from our duties as professionals, wives, mothers, daughters-in-law, and so on.

Every woman deserves to be without social filters, amidst her close friends, where she can do and say as she pleases.

I am not saying that spending time with your family is bad. However, women need to compare the degree of liberation they feel when they are with their families to when they are with their friends. The uninhibited laughter, the unguarded conversations and the space to say as you please, not worrying about the sentiments of elders or children alike, it is medicinal. We all need this catharsis, not just to be healthy, but to be better people. Women are after all mere humans. We cannot go around being the adarsh naris that the society wants us to be all the time. Every woman deserves to be without social filters, amidst her close friends, where she can do and say as she pleases.

I know it is hard to spare time to hang out with friends. It is even harder to make new friends or overcome that hermit phase of your life and dare to step out to socialise. But only when you begin making efforts, do you begin to understand its benefits. So this weekend, try to grab a friend and take a step towards your own well-being.  Have an unfiltered conversation over a glass of wine or a meal. Laugh on nasty jokes and trade gossip. Also, be there for another sister, so that she can be there for you too.

Picture Credits: glamour.com

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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