Women! They love to talk! But on the serious, teen girls especially love to chat, but sometimes when adolescent girls talk about their problems with each other, it does more harm than good. According to the New York Times, teen talk can be divided into two types: "self-disclosure," which is the positive sharing of feelings, and "co-rumination," which involves dwelling on negative thoughts and reactions. The Times reports: "Dwelling and rehashing issues can keep girls, who are more prone to depression and anxiety than boys, stuck in negative thinking patterns, psychologists say. But they also say it is a mixed picture: friends who co-ruminate tend to be close, and those intimate relationships can build self-esteem."What's especially negative for young girls is the related mental hazard of "'emotion contagion' or 'contagious anxiety,' in which one person's negative thoughts or anxiety can affect another's mood, sometimes over a long period." the Times reports. It's a hornet's nest for the adolescent woman! But we knew that already. Tessa, a Brooklyn teen whose mom says she talks on the phone so much that "sometimes I think they just like to hear each other breathe," tells the Times: "Sometimes we get into disagreements and we have to settle them. My friends think that my other friend did something wrong, but she didn't do something wrong. Sometimes it makes the situation worse than where we were when we began. It spiraled into something bigger than it was." For moms out there, shrinks say to watch out for obsessive modes of thinking in your daughters — even if you fall prey to those obsessive modes yourself. "It certainly does seem to be a female behavior, and grown women do it, too, ruminating about certain issues and experiences. It can become a mutual complaint society," psychologist Toby Sitnick says. The mutual complaint society sounds like a club that would have me as a member! Girl Talk Has Its Limits [NYT]
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