The Queen of My Self

What mid-life crisis?
How quality time with the girls makes women more optimistic about their future than men

By Tamara Abraham
Daily Mail, U.K.

Most women treasure the time they spend with their closest girlfriends.

And according to new research, it is exactly this that makes women in mid-life far more optimistic about their future than men.

A new study into Americans’ well-being found that 25 per cent of women aged 45 to 55 gave themselves an optimism score of ten out of ten when asked about attitudes to their present and future lives.

Girl power: Women aged 45-55 are more optimistic about life than men because they have stronger social support networks

Girl power: Women aged 45-55 are more optimistic about life than men because they have stronger social support networks

In contrast, just 17 per cent of men of the same age group said the same.

The reason for this disparity, the Gallup-Healthways survey revealed, was that women spend more quality time with their friends.

Men, it found, were less likely to have a strong support network.

Researchers said that it was not the volume of friends that seemed to make the difference, rather the quality, and the amount of face-to-face time.

The most optimistic women, the study found, had a close circle of between four and 12 girlfriends that ‘have their back’.

They spend around six hours a day with someone they are close to, be it a partner or a co-worker.

And having hundreds of ‘friends’ on Facebook is no substitute, says USA Today’s Gail Sheehy, who likens such relationships to business contacts.

‘Coming home from a conference with a fistful of business cards is not emotionally fulfilling,’ she writes.

‘”Contacts” won’t be there for you when you have a blow-up with your boss and fear for your job.

‘If you have no ready social outlet, you’ll likely start to sleep poorly and feel your energy drain. The best way to recover optimism is to walk and talk with a girlfriend or a group.’


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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to





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