Women are more likely to open up to work colleagues than to their partners, study finds


A quarter of women are more likely to discuss relationships, holidays, and social plans with their workmates – than their partner, according to research. A study of 2,000 females found career advice, parenting difficulties, and mental health challenges, are among the topics they open up about in the workplace.

This is because colleagues offer impartial advice (36 percent), are around when you need to vent (35 percent), and give different perspectives (26 percent).

However, 44 percent admit to opening up to friends instead of their partners because they can be more honest with them (30 percent), they don’t judge (24 percent), and they are honest in return (29 percent).

Nearly half (44 percent) consider work colleagues, both past and present, to be among their closest friends – with 21 percent feeling relaxed after pouring their heart out to them.

Rachel Anthony, spokeswoman for BlueIron, which commissioned the study, said: “We often associate strength with feeling physically strong – but we also get strength from the relationships in our lives.

“Whether it’s our colleagues, friends, or significant other, the people around us make us who we are. If we’re mentally strong, it can help us to feel tough in all walks of life – whether that’s physical health or otherwise.”

The study also found more than half of women (52 percent) feel they are open and honest with work colleagues about their personal life. Consequently, relationships at work help 42 percent of employed women get through their working day.

As many as 94 percent agreed it’s important to have people around you that you can have an open and honest conversation with.

As a result, a third feel mentally strong when having this kind of chat with friends – and a similar number (32 percent) find emotional support in the discussions they have with the people around them.

Nearly a third (32 percent) like to ensure their circles of friends come from all parts of their life – with school chums (37 percent), colleagues (48 percent), and fellow parents (20 percent) among those they are closest to.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found that speaking to just two people a day, be it in person, or via text or phone call, is enough to give women mental courage.

And other activities that women believe boost their mental resilience include spending time with their family (44 percent), exercising (32 percent), and participating in hobbies they are passionate about (27 percent).

Laura Clark, dietitian and expert for BlueIron, added: “This study just goes to show the importance of relationships in women’s lives to keep them feeling mentally tenacious.

“It’s important to nurture all relationships and take care of them, little and often if you can – much like our physical health.

“Good physical health has a huge effect on making us feel strong, and a good balanced diet is key to that. If we lack certain food groups, such as iron, this can make us experience symptoms like tiredness or fatigue.

“To ensure you are feeling strong and energised, always ensure you include iron-rich foods – like pulses, meats, or dark leafy greens – in your diet.

“If your iron levels are on the lower side, try introducing an iron supplement that can help fight fatigue, and support the normal function of the immune system.”

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