Who Does the Tending?
In Shelley Taylor’s book, The Tending Instinct, she presents studies that show women are the ones who provide the social support for both women and men that leads to better mental and physical health (Taylor, p 86). One study conducted at the University of Rochester, led by Ladd Wheeler, demonstrated that in terms of loneliness, being with women helped alleviate the loneliness for both genders, but being with men did not (Taylor, p 87).
Dr. Louann Brizendine, in The Female Brain, describes women’s ability to “mirror” the people we talk with. “When talking with another person, women unconsciously imitate that person and in doing this our body connects with a memory of the emotions reflected in the body language, facial expression, and even the breathing pattern of that person. (Brizendine, p. 118)” Lampmann, p. 64.* This innate gift helps us tune into and connect on many levels in our relationships.
Both men and women benefit from our capacity as women to provide social-emotional support in relationships. The question is, how do we feel about that?
Questions for Circle Discussion
When you hear the phrase, “relationships need tending”, what does that stir in you?
How do you define what it means to “tend to” your relationships?
At this time in your life, what relationship or relationships need the most tending?
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*The chapter reference for this Wisdom of the Feminine theme is from The ABC Path toward True Wisdom: A Woman’s Guide to Trusting What She Knows in Her Heart Is True, Integrated Intuition, p. 63-67.
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©2019 Teresa Lampmann