Ever since the book came out, I've received feedback about how it's made women think about friendships throughout their lives, as well as who is in their lives now. The goal of this blog is to open up and create a dialogue about friendships: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Each week I will post my thoughts, experiences, as well as various articles, topics or quotes that I feel are important when examining female friendships. Please feel free to leave comments; I look forward to hearing from you!

Email me: survivingfemalefriendships@gmail.com

Follow me on Twitter: @ZangaraNicole

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Playing House

I was bored one Sunday (which rarely happens, BTW) and decided to view the selection of movies and programs On Demand.  I came across Playing House and was hooked right from the first episode.  The friendship is realistically portrayed and the show is quite funny...actually, very funny.   

The main characters, Maggie and Emma, are best friends from childhood.  Maggie is pregnant and finds out that her husband has been doing some naughty things online with a German woman; Emma is a workaholic who was living in China, but after flying in for the baby shower, decides to stay to help Maggie raise the baby.

The first season focuses on Maggie preparing for the baby, as well as trying to deal with the marriage breakup.  Emma is having to face people and situations she left many years ago, including her mother and ex-boyfriend, and is figuring out her life now that she's back home.  We also see how Maggie and Emma manage their friendship now that they're living together as adults.  (I'd recommend watching the "Totes Kewl" episode, as it hysterically deals with what happens when friends have the same crush and are not honest about it).

In a recent article called Playing House: Finally, a TV Show Gets Female Friendships Right, Julie Beck writes:
"Though watching such friends together can be alienating when you don’t get their references, Playing House does a good job of inviting us into Maggie and Emma’s friendship. We see its flaws as well as its virtues. They reminisce a little too fondly about mean things they did in high school, they gang up on Mark’s wife, they pick at old sore spots from the old fights and misunderstandings that never quite resolved themselves: You work too much; you dreamed too small. Like any important relationship, friendship takes effort."

So, after spending the entire day watching the first season, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that USA renews it for a second one...pretty please, USA?!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More Articles to Share

I'm thrilled to share two more articles I was interviewed for.  One is on the pros and cons of mommy cliques, and how to cope with them.  The other is on some of the friendship changes that take place in your mid 20s, and how to manage them.

Mommy Cliques by Lucy Adams

An excerpt:
"When functioning well, however, mom groups lighten life’s load. Securing a circle of support can be critical to a woman’s well-being. A group of women with a common tie makes a great sounding board for each other when working out solutions to problems. The group is a safe place to vent frustrations and receive encouragement. Group members bring out the best in each other. They cheer on successes, and when crisis strikes they arrive with casseroles. A strong clique of female friends provides a sense of place and belonging in a world in which families are far-flung from their roots."

Why Friendship Changes In Your Mid20s by Danielle Page

An excerpt:
"Expectations change. According to Nicole, all friendships come with expectations — expectations that our friend will show up when we schedule plans, expectations that our friend will call us back when she had to take another call, etc. It’s not unusual for expectations to change as you become busier and have more responsibilities. Maybe your friend can’t spend as much time with you, or isn’t there for you during a difficult time due to her own busy schedule, so you have to shift your expectations of this friend.
 
It’s important to acknowledge that one friend can’t do everything or be everything. Learn to honor your friendship’s limits, and to appreciate what your friend does do."

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Town Vibe Fairfield Magazine Article

I'm excited to share an article I was interviewed for in the July/August 2014 print issue of Town Vibe Fairfield Magazine:
From Cheerios to Cocktails by Eileen Weber

Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Male Friendships

As you all know, I focus on female friendships in the book and on this blog.  What about male friendships, you ask?!  Back in December 2013, there was a segment on "CBS This Morning" that explored the difficulty of male friendships, how it impacts their health, as well as similarity/differences between male and female friendships.

Some fascinating facts from the clip in terms of the similarity between male and female friendships: 1. men also have a challenging time making friends, and 2. men look for similar qualities in friends, such as someone they can trust and is dependable.  Interesting, huh?!

Take a look:


What do you think about the findings of the research?  Do you agree or disagree?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

YouBeauty.com Article

I'm excited to share an article I was interviewed for:
How Gossip Can Be Good For You (If You Do It Right) by Dinsa Sachan

It's an interesting topic, especially because when we think of the word "gossip" we think of someone talking negatively about someone else.  However, this article puts a positive and creative spin on it.

An excerpt from the article:
"While people think of gossip as spiteful and unproductive, experts believe it can have great emotional benefits. "When friends come together, gossiping can help with bonding," explains Christine Weber, Ph.D., a Long Island, New York-based clinical psychologist. "It forms closer relationships with friends who share the same values, activities and interests."

Gossip can also boost social support where you didn’t expect it, says Nicole Zangara, a licensed clinical social worker and author of “Surviving Female Friendships: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” “When we learn information about a friend that we might not have known because they felt ashamed to tell us themselves—for example, they were recently diagnosed with a disease or are going through a separation—we can then reach out and be there for them.”'

Thus, Dinsa provides some tips on how to gossip the right way, which includes being smart about who you're gossiping with, as well as knowing when not to gossip.  

What are your thoughts?  Are you someone who likes to gossip?  Do you view gossip as a good or bad thing?  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Facebook and Friendship

I'm sure you've seen people post or share funny ecards from someecards.com; they can be hysterical.

Thus, I thought I'd share some about female friendship and Facebook.

Warning: you may laugh out loud.

Enjoy!

 

 





 





Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mother's Day and Friendship

As you know, Mother's Day is coming up.  I adore and respect my Mom and feel that as I grew older, she naturally went from being my Mom to my friend.  Good job, Mom!

It's important to value your Mom, as she probably taught you a few things along the way about female friendship and the various roles women can play in our lives.

Thus, here's an article on female friendship which was written before last year's Mother's Day, but I feel it's still relevant today:
10 Reasons Women Should Value Their Female Friendships by Jennifer S. White

Below are the 10 reasons from the article:

"1. No one knows you like a girlfriend. Those embarrassing moments, those hard-to-recreate experiences of hilarity—your girlfriends know more about you than you’d like to admit to a judge and jury under oath. How special is that?

2. Only another woman can understand. There are a plethora of life occurrences that only another female will get. Don’t get me wrong, a good man will try (thanks, honey), but no matter how much effort he puts in, he cannot understand everything you go through. You know who can? Your girlfriends. 

3. Wisdom. I’m also extremely fortunate to have been blessed with a wise mother. I’m aware that not everyone can say this. I know that I’m fortunate, but, let me tell you, being able to walk through life’s journey with someone who always (and I mean always) sees the pieces that I’m missing is enough to make me thank my lucky stars—and my mom.

4. Pedicures. Okay, this one might seem comparatively shallow (or at least, some of the commentors from one of my recent blogs would say this). However, there’s something purely relaxing and wonderful about sitting in a massage chair next to one of your best pals, delighting in something as basic as having pretty toes. (Yes, I’m aware that this could definitely be done with a man too, especially since one of my favorite movie scenes ever is Bernie Mac getting a pedicure in Bad Santa.) Let the negative feedback roll in, I’m sticking to my guns on this one—pedicures rock. 

5. Evolution. I can see the evolution of my own self by looking at the friends I’ve chosen at various points in my life. At the same time, some of my closest female relationships have been around since I was born, or shortly after. Surely, these relationships are special and worth investing in. Likewise, rather than viewing out-grown alliances as a waste of time or something to lament, try looking at them as learning experiences and simple opportunities to see how far you’ve come.

6. Fun. There’s a reason that “girls night out” has a connotation of joie de vivre—women are a blast, plain and simple. All women every where need to have the occasional girls night out—or they should if they want more laughter and joy brought into their lives and souls.

7. Sharing. No, I’m not only referring to sharing clothing or make-up (although, truth be told, that’s great too). The stereotype that women are better communicators is not necessarily spot-on, but I really do think there is truth to the notion that women share more—and bare more—in our relationships than many of our male counterparts; and, speaking from personal experience, sharing words, thoughts and affection with my girls is enriching to my life on more levels then I can name.

8. Beauty is ageless. Cheesy, but absolutely true is that beauty is timeless. Some women actually do grow more physically beautiful as they age, but I’m not talking about this. As women grow older, there’s a certain confidence, radiance, and authentic inner light that dazzles. Wrinkles be damned, I can’t wait to get older.

9. Not all women are b*tches. Women have a bad rap as being catty and nasty to each other. Unfortunately, you’ll be able to find examples of this almost anywhere you look. Still, I think this is like most groups in life—the loudest, most annoying participants often get heard, but this doesn’t make them the majority or the most important. Without a shadow of a doubt, I know that there are women who don’t judge each other harshly, who appreciate and lift up other ladies instead of dragging them down, and who possess the sort of self-acceptance that allows them to seek out other successful women; I know this because I am one. Believe what you want, but there are plenty of women out there who adore others of their sex—and who have no desire to tear them to bits.

10. We’ll likely be around for awhile. There’s a scene in Sex and the City where it’s mentioned that female friendships are important because, in the end, it’s just us anyways. Now, I know that I need my husband to stick around forever, and I’m certainly not putting too much stock into this sad thought. Regardless, girls, try to remember that your female friendships are important to maintain. Children grow up and husbands need their own space too. Don’t be a martyr. Put energy into your friendships."

Good reasons, huh?!  It's extremely important to be grateful for your friends, to acknowledge their strengths, and to realize it takes time, energy and effort to maintain a friendship...because in the end, it's all worth it.

What do you think?  Do you agree with the above reasons?

For all of the Mothers out there: