Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Kim Kardashian Could Use a Friend about Now

We all know from reality TV that fame can be fleeting - but what about Kim Kardashian and her 72 day marriage? Whether the Kardashians and the E! network deceived their fans or Kim is a victim of society's moral lethargy, she likely could use a good friend right about now.

Findings from the MacArthur Foundation indicate that, during hard times, women friends provide emotional security and support. According to a UCLA study by Drs. Shelley Taylor and Laura Klein, brain chemicals released when we're stressed cause us to seek out other women. And this may explain why social ties reduce our risk of disease and help us live longer. Friends also help us live better. Research about coping after loss of a partner found that women with a close confidante often are able to avoid a permanent loss of vitality. Here are some reasons why friends can be vital to a satisfying life:

They give positive advice. You may be facing a divorce, changing jobs, dealing with a boomerang kid or caring for an ailing parent. But in times of need you don't have to cope alone. Friends who've already been in your shoes want to share their experiences and can help as you explore your options.

They help with stress relief. Whether it's an exercise workout or a comedy show with lots of laughs, being with other women provides a source of strength and nourishment. No matter what - exchange emails daily, meet for coffee once a month or spend an annual weekend away - make a concerted effort to spend time together.

They provide social support. Knowing that you can count on others who really understand and have your best interests at heart? can be an antidote to the toxins of daily hassles. In addition to buffering the effects of distress, friends can provide meaning when you're feeling upset.

They're great companions. As busy as you are, try to pencil in a regular get-together regardless of what it takes to rearrange your schedule. Whether it's a quiet dinner to talk and catch up or an engaging activity like a hike in the mountains or a stimulating lecture, think of it as a chance to reconnect and re-center.

They accept you for who you are. Even after you disclose your darkest secrets, good friends provide unflinching and fierce loyalty. They accept your flaws and remind you of your attributes and talents. You can feel secure knowing that, with the support of someone totally on your side, anything is possible.

Kim came home from Australia early to have the support of the Kardashian family, who are famous for being famous. There's speculation about whether the wedding presents will be kept, given back or donated to charity. Let's hope that Kim grows into the closeness, understanding and trust at the heart of women's friendships - it's actually the best gift she can give herself.

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