International Women’s Friendship Month – Kappa Delta & the History of IWFM

Friendship International Womens Friendship MonthHappy International Women’s Friendship Month! (IWFM) How this month of celebrating your girlfriends get started?

We’re glad you asked! We’ve been celebrating International Women’s Friendship Month since it was National Women’s Friendship Day! It’s grown over the years and we’re thrilled that it’s growing in awareness among women and that more women are celebrating their fabulous female friends! (Here’s how we’re celebrating Int’l Women’s Friendship Month on Girlfriendology including interviewing Miss America on BlogTalkRadio)

We didn’t just come up with Women’s Friendship Month because we’re all about ‘the girlfriend friendship thing’ and it’s not a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ created just for cards and buying gifts. It was started 12 years ago by Kappa Delta Sorority as National Women’s Friendship Day. Over the years it has grown to a full-month celebration every September – now known as International Women’s Friendship Month (or IWFM).

Now IWFM is celebrated across the world by individuals, women’s groups, companies, retail businesses and others. All women are encouraged to participate.

Kappa Delta shared that: Women celebrate in a variety of ways. Some women send cards or call their friends. Others have celebrated with spa days, weekend retreats, luncheons, etc. Some women incorporate a community service element to their celebrations. One women’s group collected toiletries for military women serving in Iraq. Another group of friends ran in the New York City Komen Race for the Cure in memory of a friend. Every woman and every women’s group can celebrate International Women’s Friendship Month during September. From the simple to the more complex, there are countless ways to celebrate our women friends!

Here are a few recommendations from previous posts: 10 Ways to Celebrate National Women’s Friendship Day (before it became IWFM!), how we’ve celebrated Friendship Month in the past.

And, from Kappa Delta, here’s WHY we Celebrate Women’s Friendship:

With a membership of more than 230,000 women, Kappa Delta knows the value of women’s friendship. Kappa Delta created International Women’s Friendship Month to acknowledge the importance of friendship among women. We encourage women to take the time to show appreciation for the friendships they sometimes take for granted. We hope women will develop and nurture their friendships with other women throughout the month of September each year. And Kappa Delta is not alone in its belief in the power of women’s friendship:

  • We all know that friendship can make us happier, but now we know that friendship can make us healthier. Studies have found that social ties reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol, major risk factors for heart disease. A landmark UCLA study found that when a woman engages in “tending and befriending,” her body, unlike a man’s, releases more oxytocin, a chemical that counters stress and produces a calming effect. From the famed Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School, researchers concluded that not having close friends or confidants was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight. “There’s no doubt,” says Dr. Klein, “that friends are helping us live longer.”
  • A nationwide survey released June 2006 found a sharp decline in friendships. The study’s co-author, Lynn Smith-Lovin, a sociologist at Duke University in Durham, N.C., said, “From a social point of view, it means you’ve got more people isolated.” Weakening bonds of friendship can have far-reaching effects. Among them: fewer people to turn to for help in crises like Hurricane Katrina, fewer watchdogs to deter neighborhood crime and fewer participants in community groups. By encouraging women to place value in their friendships with other women, International Women’s Friendship Month is meant to turn the trend around.
  • When life gets busy, women’s friendships are one of the first things to go. Life is full of deadlines, meetings, appointments, play dates and dinner dates, but it’s important to keep friendships a priority. According to Dr. Josselson, PhD., co-author of “Best Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls’ and Women’s Friendship,” “Women should be careful and NOT put their girlfriends on the back burner. Every time we get overly busy with work and family, the first thing we do is let go of friendships with other women, push them right to the back burner. That is really unfortunate because women are such a source of strength to each other. We nurture one another.” It’s important to keep our friendships a priority.
  • Women friends have played important roles in the history of our country. The cause of women’s suffrage and many other good causes have been born out of the friendship of women. In a speech, Harriot Stanton Blatch speaks about the friendship between her mother Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony:  “When the cause for which you have worked shall be victorious, then, as is the way of the world, will it be forgotten that it ever meant effort or struggle for pioneers; but the friendship of you two women will remain a precious memory in the world’s history, unforgotten and unforgettable.” From women’s shelters to women’s business associations, women friends have joined together to make a difference in our country.  
  • Women have a great impact on the economy. Women contribute $3.5 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, according to Women’s Consumer Network. “Women do 85 percent of the shopping in America. We buy 50 percent of all the cars. We spend 81 cents of every dollar spent in the grocery store,” says Melissa Moss, president of the Women’s Consumer Network. Women do most of the shopping, and quite often, they shop with friends.  Further, most women’s consumer choices are influenced by advice they receive from other women.  
  • Women make up a large segment of the labor force. In 1920, women represented less than 20 percent of the total U.S. labor force. Today 56 million women workers make up 45 percent of the nation’s civilian work force.  There’s no doubt about the important role women play in the success of businesses and organizations nationwide.  A USA Today article (Dec. 1, 2004), reported that “best friends are good for business” and that “employees with buddies at work are more ‘engaged.’”
  • Women’s friendship is a “hot topic.” Flip through almost any magazine and you will find an article that acknowledges the importance of women friends. We’ve all seen the headlines: “Real Women Tell What Keeps Them Close,” “Friends Share Parenting Advice” and “17 Steps for Having Friends for Life.” Broadcast news and television programs are no different. Surf the channels on any given day and you will find programs where two women friends join forces to make a difference in their community…close friends reunite after years of separation…two friends get makeovers for their class reunion. Women look for programs that offer support and encouragement, stories that reflect their lives and interests.

More? Visit womensfriendshipmonth.com.

How are you celebrating International Women’s Friendship Month? Why not plan a special event or get-together with your girlfriends?

lanyard

Back-to-School Gifts for Girlfriends – Celebrate the end of Summer & the start of School!

Friendship Back to school girlfriend gifts girlfriendologySeriously?! Can you believe it’s Back-To-School Time? Thankfully we have our girlfriends to help us adjust and get ready for another BIG year.

Each week we feature some girlfriend gifts as a way of showing your fab friends how much they mean to you. It could be for a birthday or sad day, a just-because-you’re-special day or maybe, at this time of year – aka: back-to-school, it’s a thoughtful way of acknowledging a child going off to school can be an emotional time (or time for celebrating!). And, for our girlfriends who are teachers or work in education, it’s a time of getting back to work and a girlfriend gift (aka: teacher gift) might just cheer up their day.

So, in honor of moms, teachers and all the fab friends with birthdays or special days at this end of summer, here’s a few thoughtful ways to say you care and that you’re glad to be friends!

(Thanks to girlfriend Judi for sharing girlfriend advice for moms on school lunches – just in time for back to school!)

I just saw this beautiful bush/tree at my girlfriend Amy’s house – it was gorgeous! Stunning! Brighten her day, even when it’s filled with back-to-school stress or a busy life, every time she sees this beautiful BOUGAINVILLEA. It’s August’s Blooming Plant. Send a stylish splash of summer color to her door with the vibrant pink of our Brazilian bougainvillea plant.

For school, meetings, conferences – so many reasons we find ourselves wearing a name or ID badge – and in such unstylish ways. This VERA BRADLEY Lanyard in Paprikais the perfect way to add a touch of Vera Bradley style at work or school. Designed to hold your/her ID card or name badge (or even just her keys and glasses), this lanyard features a large key ring plus a convenient clip. A fashionable accessory for our fashion-forward friends (:

Is your girlfriend still at girl at heart? Remind her that you love that sense of fun and the joy that she brings to your life with this Jump Rope Girl Necklace. We jumped for this charming gal skipping rope the moment we laid eyes on her playful silhouette. Subtle, yet irresistibly fun, this tiny charmer brings out the recess rebel, the free spirit and the pigtails in all of us–all while keeping it perfectly grown-up in sterling silver, of course. Handmade of sterling silver in New York.

Reclaimed Slate Cheese Board Who wouldn’t love a lesson in cheese? With this clever cheese board made of reclaimed chalkboards from Franklin Elementary School in Quincy, Illinois, you’ll never mix up the Jarlsberg and Swiss again. Features reclaimed wine cork feet to keep them from slipping and scratching the table. Divided into four sections. Includes a piece of chalk. Handmade in Wisconsin. (Also, check out the Reclaimed Slate Clock – also very cool!)

Bake It Yourself! Cookie Dough With Scoop (2 Tubs): – Can’t be there to bake cookies with her and her kids? Or know that she’s stressing about having so much going on with the kids going back to school, etc.? Send her a break in her day – a chance to bake cookies with the kids. Or, go over and join her. Have some great laughs and conversations while you’re making yummy treats from David’s Cookies. M&Ms, Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate/Chocolate Chunk – lots of cookie goodness options. Yumm! (& calories don’t count when they’re with or from a friend :)

Sometimes the best gift just happens to be … Chocolate! She’ll love this
Godiva Summer Basket that comes a burst of freshness. This basket is brimming with delightful new Godiva chocolates, beautifully wrapped for the season. Indulge in a medley of assorted truffles, signature chocolate-dipped biscuits, milk chocolate-covered strawberries, luscious white chocolate and other sinful Godiva chocolates. YUM! (Maybe arrange to ‘drop by’ to visit her when it arrives!)

Relaxation Spa BucketWhat girlfriend needs to de-stress after a wild, hectic summer? She needs this
Relaxation Spa Bucket
! She’ll feel pampered appreciated with this complete spa basket featuring an array of popular Kiss My Face natural products. A compact sauna bucket holds Olive & Aloe Soap, Honey & Calendula Moisturizer, Cool Mint Foot Scrub, Whenever Shampoo, Whenever Conditioner, Anti-Stress Shower Gel, Whitening Toothpaste, and Early to Bed Shower Gel. A loofah, pumice stone, massaging brush, nail brush, and hair brush make this unique spa collection complete.

How do you celebrate back-to-school? How do you make your friends feel as special as their friendship is to you? Share and inspire!

More Girlfriend Gifty ideas / links*:
Stella & Dot Crocs, Inc. Gaiam.com, IncSierra Trading Post Vera Bradley Designs, Inc. Save Up to 70% on Sale Items at ChineseLaundry.com

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Free Shipping @ Shoebuy.com!Uncommon Gifts for Her

* Girlfriendology is partially funded by affiliate ads, so shop girlfriends, Shop! (:

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Friends make every day better

Celebrating Girlfriends – September International Women’s Friendship Month

Every single day, our friends make our lives better. Every. Single. Day.

So, in honor of the relationship that makes women healthier, happier, less stressed, live longer and feel more beautiful – we’re celebrating ‘Girlfriendship’ in September for International Women’s Friendship Month.

Friends make every day better

It’s several weeks away but we’re busy planning things for September here at Girlfriendology. We’d love your involvement and help in celebrating female friendship. How can you help, get involved? We’re glad you asked!

Coming in September on Girlfriendology:

Tooth sensitivity

Smile! Girlfriend Advice on Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivityYou’re having a special birthday dinner with your BFFs. The gifts are special, everyone looks amazing (fabulous shoes, of course!), and the meal is wonderful. In Cincinnati, where I leave, dessert would be Graeter’s ice cream – even Oprah loves it!

But, not for me. For almost a decade I’ve experienced tooth sensitivity to cold. (Do you?! What are your tooth sensitivity triggers? Cold? Hot? Citrus/sour? Sweet? Breathing in cold air?) Per my dentist’s recommendation, I tried special tooth paste for tooth sensitivity and eventually gave up on it.

For me, my tooth sensitivity is only on one side so I often will try to eat on the right side of my mouth (but then, wonder if that eventually will throw off my bite). But, when you’re having a fun evening with your girlfriends, you don’t really want to have to stop and brace yourself for what might be a pain instead of a pleasure!

I’m not alone! Actually, 60% of Americans suffer from sensitive teeth and that only 40% of those people are satisfied with their current tooth sensitivity solution. For too many of us, it can range from an inconvenience to migraine-level pain.

Girlfriendology at Crest Sensi-stop strip testRecently I was asked by One2One and Crest® (sponsors of this post) to try out a new solution for tooth sensitivity. I’m always up for something that will make my life better (like girlfriends do!) – and something that I could share with my friends who also suffer with tooth sensitivity.

Crest® Sensi-Stop™ Strips are thin, flexible strips that contain an active ingredient used by dental professionals. (They’re smaller than whitening strips and flexible so you barely notice them when they’re applied.) Unlike toothpaste, Crest Sensi-Stop Strips are applied directly to sensitive areas, providing targeted delivery of the key ingredient that allows for longer contact time on the surface of the tooth. Within minutes, strips build a lasting barrier that helps stop sensitivity pain by blocking tubules, relieving symptoms of dental sensitivity for up to 30 days*.Crest-Sensi-stop-strips

I applied the Crest Sensi-Stop Strip directly to my teeth/gums that are affected by tooth sensitivity. In just ten minutes, the strip went to work to protect my sensitive teeth.

Did it work? Well, I admit. I was nervous when they asked me to bite down on a fudgsicle. Really nervous. But, trusting the brand that I’ve trusted for years, I did it. And it worked! It was pretty awesome.

The best things about it: it very easy and it lasts up to a month! So, bring on the ice cream and girlfriend birthday parties!

FYI: You can pre-order your own Crest Sensi-Stop Strips on Crest.com!

Disclosure: this post was sponsored. However, we only share what we would honestly recommend to a girlfriend. Honestly!

Khloe Kardashian interview

Girltalk with KHLOE KARDASHIAN – Hair, Life, Friendship Advice

Khloe Kardashian interviewGirlfriends share stuff. Like hair advice. Trends. Fashions. Life stories. Girl stuff. Girltalk.

At  BlogHer recently, I had the awesome opportunity to interview KHLOE KARDASHIAN. She was representing Hairfinity and sat down with us (four bloggers) to talk about hair, life, stuff – even friendship. Here is some of the girlfriend advice she shared:

ON HAIR AND BEAUTY …

  • - Khloe washes her hair every other day. (Her hair was beautiful – but that goes without saying!) When not filming, she likes to air dry her naturally curly dry. She does hair masks, and loves hair oil. Hairfinity helped her grow her hair out and be healthy.
  • - Her go-to hair style is a middle-part. More casual, she said, than a side-part.
  • - She noticed a huge difference when she started taking Hairfinity – whatever you’re missing in your diet, it takes over and keeps your hair growing and healthy.
  • - Her fave beauty trend currently is braids and hair accessories. Fashion wise – she’s really into fringe and boots right now.
  • - She also LOVES Coconut Oil – uses to take off make-up, on her skin. She has to moisturize (and uses bio oil).

debba of girlfriendology and khloe kardashianON LIFE …

  • - Khloe’s favorite gift to gift or receive is something personal, like a coffee table book. She’s kept every greeting card that she’s ever received. Her BFF gave her a Build-a-Bear with her voice that she said she will always cherish.
  • - I asked her about some of her dreams – like with whom she’s have lunch with, anyone, living or dead. Her response surprised me – she almost teared up and said ‘my dad, of course.’ The second person? President Obama – partly because she knew her dad would want to talk with him too.
  • - Life advice: Everything is going to be okay. Just enjoy life. Learn from the bad stuff, again – everything will be okay.
  • - Her favorite quote: Don’t let one bad day equal a bad life. She tries to enjoy her life every day. She said to focus on what we have, not what we don’t have.
  • - She encourages us to push our comfort zone but to be ourselves.
  • - When asked what brings her joy and satisfaction, she said her family. She said she’d rather have them drive them crazy than be with anyone else.
  • - She admitted to us that she’s shy and struggles to warm up with new people.

ON FRIENDSHIP …

  • - I had the opportunity to ask one specific friendship question: How can you be a good friend to your girlfriends? Her response: Be a good listener. Make time for each other. Prioritize that time together, pencil them in on your schedule.

So many girlfriends have asked … What was she like? She was incredibly sweet and real – and had really pretty hair! Other girlfriends have asked … What’s Hairfinity? Here ya go … Hairfinity is a nutritional supplement that is transforming the hair of women all over the world. A unique natural blend of vitamins, nutrients and our exclusive Capilsana™ Complex, it promotes healthy hair growth and nourishes your hair from the inside out.

It was great to meet Khloe!

What celebrity would YOU love to meet? What would you ask her?

The secret to fostering friendships

The Secret to Fostering Friendships in Transient Seasons of Life from Girlfriend Alysa Passage

The secret to fostering friendshipsThe best time to make new friends is before you need them.    Ethel Barrymore

When Making Friends Seems Impossible
More than likely, you’ll face transient seasons of life when fostering friendships seems impossible. You might wonder if it’s even worth trying.

Maybe you’re traveling for work and living out of a suitcase or studying overseas for a few months. Maybe you’ve taken a summer internship in a faraway city. Perhaps you live in a town where people come and go on a regular basis or you’ve just moved all the way across the country.

Whatever transient season you find yourself in – here’s what to do about it.

Remember when you were in kindergarten or first grade? How easy forming friendships was back then? Let’s start there.

When I was little, my parents owned several cottages that they’d rent out weekly. This gave us the chance to open our arms to new faces and friends all summer long.

I was about six when Sarah, a spunky intelligent 5-year-old, and her family came for a week. We bonded quickly over sandcastles, bonfires, and marshmallows. One night her parents let us have a sleepover. Sarah talked my ears off about The Babysitters Club books until the wee hours of the night.

And you know what I thought? ‘This is so awesome!’

I wasn’t stuck thinking about Sarah leaving in two days. I didn’t ponder the longevity and future (or lack of future) for this newfound friendship. The moment was precious and fun and meaningful and I was all in – soaking up every story and connecting with an open heart.

How to Make Friends Like a Six Year Old
It is a privilege and a gift to know others, even if the knowing is temporary. The more we begin to acknowledge this the easier it will be to risk and welcome others into our lives.

If you want to form friendships in the transient seasons of your life – the secret is to act like a six-year-old.

1) Be all in. Be all there.
Engage fully, just like kids on the playground swapping gummy bears for chocolate pudding and sharing giggles. Whether you’re sharing a ten minute conversation on a bus with a stranger or getting to know a new co-worker – receive all that they have for you in those moments.

2) Practice Presence in the Present.
No need to think about the future; kids live in the moment. If you have three days at a conference with a new friend, soak up each wonderful second. If you have three months at a new university, throw yourself into adventures, conversations, and delicious celebrations around the table with your latest comrades. Being hesitant and walled off from others will only leave you lonely.

3) Listen. Share. Chatter. Play.
Ever notice how effortlessly children converse when they meet? They love to share their “favorites” with each other and cannot wait to show off their toys. They chatter. You can do it too! Meet others where they are, with beautiful reckless abandon. Listen to their interests, passions, hopes, and struggles. Add your rich life story to the conversation.

4) Pass Notes.
Remember when kids passed notes in class? If you’ve formed an awesome bond with someone, make a point to stay in touch after you’ve parted ways. Write letters and emails. Send texts or silly packages in the mail. Video chat online. Just because you’ve moved away from each other doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected.

5) New Friendships Await.
After one friend leaves the park kids quickly and joyfully seek out their next playmate. Press this into your heart: there are always new friends, just around the corner, waiting to know you! Stay mindful and keep your eyes open for them.

It’s Worth It
Fostering authentic friendships is worth it no matter how long or short the duration. Because aren’t we all longing to be known? Longing to share our stories and lives with others who accept us as we are?

Yes, it’s difficult to part ways with new friends but so is living lonely. Take heart and remember that those connections (or the lessons you’ve learned from them) may resurface in the future.

Remember my friend Sarah? Well…we’ve seen each other nearly every summer since the first grade and she came to my wedding. That’s a twenty-four year friendship that wouldn’t have happened had I closed my heart to what might have been a momentary friendship.

The Secret to Fostering Friendships in Transient Seasons of Life from Girlfriend Alysa PassageALYSA PASSAGE blogs at Kitchen Fellowship and has lived a transient life: nine moves, new schools, 1 college transfer, short-term work assignments, fresh towns. She’s passionate about helping others foster a life of fellowship and authentic connections wherever they are and has discovered gathering people over a good meal does just that. To learn more about fostering friendship in your life visit Kitchen Fellowship.

What’s your girlfriend advice for finding new friends? Share in the comments below!

Here’s more on making new friends:

Thanks Alysa! If you’d like to be a guest blogger, check out this info on how to write a guest blog on Girlfriendology.

Treat yourself with love and compassion

5 Tips to Treat Yourself with Love and Compassion | Advice from Girlfriend Claudia Petrilli

Treat yourself with love and compassionLove and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. – Dalai Lama

Thanks guest blogger CLAUDIA PETRILLI for these 5 Tips to Treat Yourself with Love and Compassion.

I used to be the queen of negative self-talk: I loathe my thighs, I’m too short, I don’t make enough money. I should be more successful at my age. These are just a few phrases I’d feed myself daily. In a culture of social media, thigh gap books, and millionaire entrepreneurs, it’s no wonder we criticize ourselves for not having it all.

But what does it mean to have it all? Is it having the perfect job, slim thighs, or the beautiful home? Having it all is however you define it – whatever works for you and your life. Here are my five tips to eliminate negative self-talk, avoid comparing yourself with others, and how to be happy with where you are in life.

Tip 1: Stop those negative thoughts dead in their tracks. I know—easier said than done. But I’d like you to challenge yourself next time a negative thought about yourself creeps up. Instead of focusing on your flaws, find something positive about them or come up with an action step. Some examples:

Negative thought: I‘m underutilized at my job.
Positive thought: My job is a temporary steppingstone and I learn from all of my experiences.

Negative thought: My arms are flabby.
Action step: I can introduce strength training to my workouts to tone up.

Tip 2: Treat yourself as you would your best friend. Do you criticize your friend or call her names? I’m going to assume you don’t. You love her, support her, and are there for her unconditionally. Pretend you are that friend and speak to yourself with kindness. Some examples:

At the end of a long workday, look in the mirror and say: You did a great job in that meeting today!

Did you skip a workout? Instead of punishing yourself, say: It’s OK that you skipped your workout today—just make time for one tomorrow!

Tip 3: Make time for self-care. Go to bed early, take a warm bubble bath, read a romantic novel. Take time away from work, kids, your significant other and make time for YOU. Some of my favorite self-care activities are reading outside during my lunch break, self-massage with lavender oil, and yoga.

Tip 4: Start a gratitude journal. When you realize how blessed you are, some of the things you worry about start to seem insignificant. Do you have a roof over your head? Clothes on your back? Someone who cares about you? What are you grateful for? Whether it’s something as simple as your morning cup of coffee or your evening jog, write it down daily in a journal. You’ll be surprised to see all of the ways you are blessed.

Tip 5: Nurture your body and soul. Eat real food such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, lean meats, and water. Limit things that don’t love your body back like sugar, fried foods, soda, and alcohol. I’m not saying not to indulge in ice cream or a margarita on occasion, but these should be special treats. Feed your body with the nutrients it needs to perform optimally. Do things you love, surround yourself with positive people, and remember, you aren’t perfect and that’s perfectly OK.

Now stop that negative self-talk, follow these tips, and share this post with your girlfriends!

5 ways to take care of yourself, advice for GirlfriendsCLAUDIA PETRILLI, Certified Health Coach, teaches busy bees healthy cooking tips, better diet and lifestyle habits, and ways to manage stress. As a graduate of Institute for Integrative Nutrition and certified through The American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), Claudia offers one-on-one coaching, workshops, cleanses, and more. Visit www.behealthyhappywhole.com for more information or contact Claudia at info@behealthyhappywhole.com to set up an initial consultation.

For more great girlfriend advice, see …

Do You have a Gratitude Journal? #ThankfulThurs

 

Allison-Foster

Reconnecting with Girlfriends | Guest Post from Allison Foster

Friends are Treasures“Friends are Treasures.”

Horace Bruns

Do you know the joy of connecting with a long-lost friend? There is something magical about locating and reconnecting with friends you haven’t been in touch with for years. Often, those are friendships that pick right back up wherever they were. They can be comforting in ways that new friendships haven’t yet grown into. They can remind us of who we are, where are roots are, and what is truly important.

Guest blogger ALLISON FOSTER shares her story of reaching out and finding old and new friendships. It’s a good reminder for all of us that we’re never to old to rekindle a friendship or to form bond with new girlfriends.

Due to many unforeseen circumstances in my life in the last eleven or twelve years I have virtually lost contact with practically everyone outside of my family. It started with marital problems and then a serious automobile accident which made it impossible for me to walk or even to communicate for quite some time. And then when I could communicate my emotional state made it difficult to say the least. I lost touch with just about everyone except those in my immediate family.

After ten plus years I have felt a great need to reconnect with the outside world and long lost friends but really did not know where to start. My niece inadvertently helped me to reconnect by asking me to get on Facebook. I am not a real fan of social media but she wanted me to see pictures of my great-nephew so I signed up. As I was looking around I got to thinking about an old friend that I dearly loved from Junior High days and thought I might just put her name in per chance she might come up. Much to my surprise she had listed herself by maiden name and then married name so I was able to find her! I asked to be her friend and sent a message stating that I hoped she was the girl I knew in Junior High. She answered and was thrilled that I had contacted her and she told me she had been looking for me for years.

We decided to meet up a few months later with my daughter’s help in driving. It was as if we had never parted, and we had a wonderful time chatting, laughing, and getting caught up. We still had so much in common and I am blessed to have her back into my life. This really helped me to start reconnecting with other women. It gave me a sense of confidence in my ability to still be me that I thought I might have lost.

Surrounding myself with mature, loving, and kind women has really been healing for me. It has given me the strength that I need to reach out to other old friends and to have much deeper relationships with women than I ever thought possible. At this stage in my life it is interesting that I find so many things in common with all types of women. When I was very young my friendships were very different and we bonded in different ways. Going through life and getting older we all experience hardships in different ways and therefore we can relate on a whole different level.

When reconnecting with old friends or making new ones there is always a chance that it may not work out the way you planned but it is well worth the effort even if some do not work out. I was blessed that I have a daughter that was there for me to help me to re-enter the world. The most important thing is to find women who have something in common with you, women who will be supportive and kind.

There are many great women in the world that have hearts to nurture and help and many that need nurturing and helping. Whether you are reconnecting with old friends or making new friends, whether you need nurtured or can be the nurturer, it is important that we stay connected with other women. It makes a world of difference having friends to share things with, talk things over with, and laugh with. Talking things over with friends and finding the humor in our day to day situations can make a great difference in all of our lives.

ALLISON FOSTER is a mom and guest blogger. Blogging for was a natural progression for Allison once she graduated from college, as it allowed her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with www.nannyclassifieds.com.

More on Friendship …

How to plan the perfect Girls night out

Plan the Perfect Girls’ Night Out | Girlfriend GNO Ideas from Adrienne Erin

How to plan the perfect Girls night outWe love Girls’ Night Out, aka: GNO, at Girlfriendology. We love almost any excuse to get together with the wonderful women in our lives. Getting together with friends is good for our souls AND good for our health. When we have strong friendships we’re healthier and we live longer. And that’s more time to spend with our happy, healthy girlfriends, right?

As ADRIENNE ERIN reminds us, taking the time to plan a girls’ night out – no matter what is on the schedule – is one of the greatest things we can do for ourselves.

With all the stress of work, kids, errands and, yes, boyfriends or husbands, every woman needs a girls’ night out from time to time. If you haven’t been out with your besties in a while, it’s time to take the initiative and plan a fun get-together.

Shows like Sex and the City had a very specific idea of a girls’ night out, specifically involving overpriced drinks and uncomfortable shoes. But no two women are alike, and your night can be anything you (and your best friends) want it to be. Before picking up the phone, try out some of these ideas to turn your next night out into a night to remember.

Start with Food and Drinks

Would you ever go to a party without food and drinks? Of course not, so why would you plan a girls’ night out without them? You could take everyone to a restaurant, but this might be tough if space is limited or if someone is short on cash. Instead, eat at your house. Offer light fare like hors d’oeuvres or finger sandwiches, or make it DIY with fondue or a salad bar. Also include non-alcoholic beverages along with sangrias, especially if people are driving home.

Give a Gift

Gifts aren’t required for a great party, but they make your guests feel welcome – and your night a lot more memorable. Girls’ night out gifts don’t have to be girly. Hand out Mustang gift cards if your friends are into cars or Amazon gift cards if they’re addicted to phone apps. You don’t even have to buy anything to give great gifts — a handmade gift means just as much and doesn’t cost you a dime.

Planning a Great Girls Night OutDo Something New

Do you and your friends like to do things that are out of the ordinary? Will you try anything once? Then why not plan something new for your night out? Find an activity you wouldn’t do every day, like a booze cruise or a game night. Better yet, keep it a surprise until the last minute, unless everyone has to cough up a lot of money, in which case you might want to give your friends a heads up so they have the option of bowing out.

Indulge Yourselves

A woman doesn’t have to be girly to want to be pampered, so book a few hours at a spa and turn your girls’ night out into a spa day. Find a place with as many options as possible. You could book a set of packages, but you can’t assume all your friends will like the manicure or endure the 90-minute massage. Instead, print a list of services and let them decide what they want.Adrienne Erin, girlfriend ideas for staying in touch

With all the hustle and bustle of life, a girls’ night out is good for your soul. Follow these tips and make it a good time as well.

ADRIENNE ERIN is a writer who has always enjoyed a good girls’ night out! Some of her best memories involve staying up late playing board games with her friends, cruising around in an old Mustang, or scoping out the cool new fusion restaurant off the square. Follow her on Twitter to see more of her recent work.

When’s the last time you had a Girls’ Night Out? Isn’t it about time to plan one?!

Here’s some more ideas:

Choose a job you love

How to Offer Support to a Friend Who’s Lost Her Job | Advice from Maire Hunter

Choose a job you loveChoose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucius

Do you have a girlfriend who recently lost her job? There are times when it’s easy to help a girlfriend. “Wear the red dress.” “Do NOT even THINK that.” “Eat the chocolate.” There are times when it is much harder to know what to do or say. We want to offer the best friendship we can, but we have no idea what that might be.

Guest blogger MAIRE HUNTER recognizes some situations are harder than others and she offers great advice for being a great girlfriend to a friend who’s recently lost her job. What are your tips for helping a friend in this situation?

“You’re fired.” “You’re being let go.” “The company is downsizing.” These are all phrases that strike fear into the hearts of workers everywhere, and in the current rocky economy they’re being heard more and more frequently. But as much as we hope to never have these words spoken to us, chances are someone in our lives will hear them at some point. And what if it’s your best girlfriend?

When a close friend loses her job, it can be hard to know exactly what to do for her or how to act around her. You want her to know you support her and are there for her, but you also don’t want to be oppressive or bossy. Read on for a few tips on how to express your support and concern for your friend without stepping on her toes.

Give her space

When your friend first loses her job, your inclination might be to rush right over to her house to console her. But that may not be the best idea. Some people prefer to be alone while they process difficult emotions, so give her a few days or a week before you try to make plans with her. Having said that …

Make concrete plans

When your friend is going through a difficult time, she may feel that making plans with you is just one more thing added to her lengthy to-do list. Instead, you should be the one to set up a time and place to get together. In other words, don’t just say, “Let’s have lunch sometime!” Send her an email invite with a time and place for your lunch date, and call her the day before to make sure you’re still on. She’ll appreciate both the time with you and the fact that she didn’t have to make the reservations herself.

Remind her to take care of herself

One of the best things you can do for your friend is to help her take care of herself during this difficult time. Hit the gym together or take a stroll around the neighborhood. Offer to fix dinner for her and her family one night. Loan her your favorite books or DVDs to help take her mind off the stress.

Offer your help; repeat as necessary

Your friend probably has a lot on her plate: looking for job postings online and in the paper, attending job fairs and networking events, updating her resume and LinkedIn profile — all of this takes time and energy. If you can find a way to help your friend with any of these tasks — without being too intrusive — she’ll surely appreciate it. And don’t be afraid to repeat your offer if she doesn’t take you up on it the first time; she might be concerned about burdening you, so it’s important toMaire Hunter girlfriend get together be clear that you want to help.

When a dear friend goes through a trying time, it can be hard to know how best to support her. But the most important thing you can do is to be present and let her know you’re not going anywhere. With just a few small gestures, you can offer your friend comfort and stability during her time of need.

MAIRE HUNTER is a blogger and travel enthusiast who lives in Indianapolis when she’s not off gallivanting around the world. She enjoys sharing her travel tips and adventures with her readers on behalf of HCC Medical. She’s also an animal lover and shares a domicile with her gigantic orange cat, Walter.

45 Life Lessons for Girlfriends

45 Life Lessons – things Girlfriends Share. What Life Lessons can YOU share?

Thankfully, we learn so much from our girlfriends.

45 Life Lessons for GirlfriendsFrom how to wear make-up and do our hair when we’re young, to how to take care of our parents when they’re old, from girlfriend advice on a job or relationship, to tips on how to save money or raise children – we’ve got our own personal ‘advisory board’ with our best friends. And, we totally believe that ‘girlfriend therapy’ is right up there with ‘retail therapy!’

We’re amazing, lucky women to have each other – and to share life and life lessons with. Following are 45 ‘Life Lessons’ that my girlfriend Margye shared with me and I thought I should share with you. Kinda helps keep everything in a great perspective. (I did have to add something to #21!)  What life lessons can you add?

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Change the way you think.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. Release your children when they become adults, it’s their life now.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie (drink the good wine!). Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Just because you believe you are right, doesn’t mean you are. Keep an open mind.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. Your job is to love your children, not choose who they should love.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come…

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

What life lessons can you add?

More Life Lessons – like: Save the earth! It’s the only planet with Chocolate! :)

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend- check it out!

Follow Me on Pinterest
More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and @Girlfriendology (Twitter) where we’re connecting with over 50,000 women and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. (& our Pinterest Marketing site: Pinfriendology.com.) More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes. And – Thanks to YOU Girlfriend!


Friendship is like money, cash flow financial advice

Increasing Cash Flow | Guru Advice from Financial Expert Miata Edoga

I don’t know about you, girlfriend, but there are a lot of times when I wish there were more cash in my wallet. When I was in college, my roommate and I spent more than one evening scrounging around trying to find enough change for an exciting dinner of ramen noodles and Doritos. These days, I don’t usually have to dig through couch cushions and jeans pockets to find dinner money, but I don’t always have the cash for the things I’d like (generally that means not buying new shoes).

Our wonderful Financial Guru, Girlfriend MIATA EDOGA shares her financial girlfriend advice about increasing cash flow and making real financial change in our lives. She’s inspired me to take a good look at my finances. What about you girlfriend?

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.

Samuel Butler

Friendship is like money, cash flow financial adviceLooking for more cash flow? Focus on the right areas of your budget.

When I counsel people working to improve their financial lives, I often find that a common theme among people who struggle with cash is that they’re generally more than willing to make little changes, like clipping coupons or eating at restaurants less often.

The problems occur when I suggest large, life-moving changes.

Sadly,while incremental changes feel easier, sometimes making the big changes are the only way to find the life you’re really looking to achieve.

Here’s an example: I was sitting with a woman last week (we’ll call her Julie) reviewing her budget. Julie was completely frustrated.

“I just can’t get ahead,” she shared. “I work and work but nothing happens. I’m thinking maybe I need a better meal plan.”

I nodded. “How much do you think you’d save by doing that?”

Julie thought hard. “Probably a big number. Maybe $100 a week.”

“That would be a great amount to save. How much do you and your husband earn?”

Her brow crinkled. “Between both of us?”

I nodded.

“Around $220,000,” Julie sighed.

I bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?

When I dug further, it got worse. “How much is your home worth?”

“About 750,000.”

“What do you owe?”

She sighed again, a little louder this time. “740,000.”

….and on it went. They had huge car payments and a mortgage that was killing them. Their sizeable income was completely gobbled up by their expenses, making day-to-day living difficult.

A meal plan is nice, but won’t really help Julie much.

What will help? Focusing on ways to bring down her monster monthly mortgage, reducing the car payments, and finding a good tax strategy to shelter some of their income stream.

You may be thinking, “I don’t have an income stream like Julie’s, so this doesn’t apply to me!”

But it does apply.

Don’t avoid big life decisions, thinking that a few small changes will “fix” everything. Spend your time on actions that matter….and pay attention when those BIG life events occur. In hindsight, Julie knew she shouldn’t have signed on the dotted line for that home. They couldn’t afford it. They bought and financed expensive vehicles because their friends were driving new cars. Between slashing over $1,000 in car payments and finding a reasonable home mortgage, they could have saved well over $2,000 per month.

Meal plan? $400 per month.
Real change? $2,000 per month (or 5x the meal plan idea).

Don’t get me wrong: I recommended Julie start the meal plan and put the money she saved toward her current car payment AND a new car fund. Her next car? Julie’s paying cash. It’ll still be nice, but she’s assured me it’s going to be used!

financial advice, improve credit score,personal financial adviceMIATA EDOGA is the President and Founder of Abundance Bound, a 10-year old company committed to utilizing humor, inspiration and lots of love to give individuals around the world the necessary tools to thrive financially, while keeping focus on the things they treasure most. Visit the Abundance Bound Facebook Page for your free copy of Financial Success for the Creative Soul!

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Finding balance

Girlfriend, YOU Are the Chief Engineer of Balance! | Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Guest Blogger

Is your life in balance? Do you feel in control of things? Or, do you wish you did?!

Finding balanceGirlfriend Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell reminds us how important it is to have balance in our lives. We need to remember to take time for the things that matter in our lives – family, work, and of course Girlfriends! Or as this quote says it:

The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key.  ~Edward Abbey

At the start of the New Year, I developed a list of resolutions I would like to accomplish: learn to Salsa dance, Skydive, drive a race car. But as I thought about how to incorporate those new things into my “real life,” I began to think about the daily juggle that we’ve termed “balance.” Managing work, home, and social lives sometimes makes us feel out of balance and stuck on a never-ending road, like a car in gridlocked traffic. But remember girlfriend, you are not a car, trapped and powerless to move through the endless sea of brake lights. You are the Chief Engineer of the road, empowered to get off the freeway and pull over when you feel overwhelmed!

Force An Exit. As the Chief Engineer of Balance in your life, you have the power to disentangle yourself from the traffic and reset your navigation so that YOU decide what the most important thing is at the time. There are those who will demand that you focus on family, career, or health as the most important aspect of balance. But the truth is, the “main thing” shifts depending on the situation, and it is the person who understands that who will be the most successful in maintaining true work/life balance.

Create A Flexible Schedule. Just as an engineer helps the architect create a plan for the road, so too will you create a plan – or schedule – for your life. But try to be flexible with that schedule. External factors can force a schedule shift at the drop of a hat: snow days, impromptu girls night out, emergency meetings, and illness can throw a wrench into the best laid plans. Life happens, will happen, and is happening. And all the things that make up Life are important and must be faced as they come. One thing at a time, one instance at a time. That is true life balance.

Design An Alternate Route. Instead of trying to “make up” for time lost in one area of life due to some unforeseen circumstance, make a mental note of the quantity of time you “stole” from its appropriate place and work hard to ensure the quality of said time makes up for it. So if you miss a blog post, make sure the next post is more thoughtful and introspective, packed with goodies for the reader. If you work through the night and miss quality time with love ones, have movie night at home the following weekend. And when you are exhausted, rest! When you wake, you will be rejuvenated and ready to take whatever comes your way.

Build As You Go. Balance is your personal road and it is always under construction. It changes as you and your circumstances change. It is entirely of your own making. Make it work for you, taking the turns and curves along the road with the knowledge that you are the chief engineer and in control.

friendship be a better friendLYNITA MITCHELL-BLACKWELL is the Author of Leading Through Living: A Guide for Women Seeking Growth Through Leadership and CEO of the Leading Through Living Community. An Attorney & CPA, Entrepreneur & Coach, Lynita has utilized her expertise, experience, and network to train and coach people to be capable, equipped, and empowered leaders personally, professionally, and within their communities. Follow Lynita on Twitter @lynitamb. Join the Leading Through Living Community at LynitaMitchellBlackwell.com.

How do you find balance in your life? What’s your best girlfriend advice on living a balanced life? Is it possible?

More on Balance:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

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More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.

Lysse Girlfriend Recommended

Perfect style, fit & comfortable – like a BFF! | Lyssé Review – Girlfriend Recommended

Girlfriend Recommended bannerLysse Girlfriend RecommendedThere’s something comfortable about loving who you are and how you look. There something stylish about walking in a room and feeling great. And, there’s something awesome in feeling beautiful – like when you’re around your BFFs!

At Girlfriendology, we love to share things we’d recommend to our girlfriends. So, girlfriends – we’d love to introduce you to Lyssé Fashion! Here’s their great story:

Lysse leggings review on GirlfriendologyLyssé, a twist on the French word for ‘smooth’ (and pronounced Li-SAY) was born from the idea to bring back great fit and comfort with fashion. In late 2009, their founder, Beth Gold-Cohen was faced with a wardrobe dilemma.  Her favorite wardrobe staple, leggings, were missing something.  No matter what brand or price, each pair created an omnipresent muffin top by the waistband.  The solution hit one day while wearing an otherwise perfectly good pair: why not combine her favorite leggings with a high-waist control top undergarment!  She set to work sewing by hand the very first pair and the result was stunning; a perfect silhouette and a truly comfortable outfit.

Launched with that one revolutionary legging, Lyssé quickly became a favorite topic amongst fashion editors and stylists.  Encouraged by their immediate success, Lyssé has since expanded into a range of styles including tops, camis, wraps, skirts, pants, and of course – leggings.  Constructed with a signature high waist, their 3S™ technology Slims, Smooths and Shapes with tailoring and design that flatters each woman’s shape. Lyssé designs and sources its own innovative fabrics to ensure maximum comfort, softness, and performance in every style. Women love that they feel confident while looking fabulous wearing Lyssé!

I received my pair of Lyssé leggings to try out and was instantly impressed with the quality and weight of the fabric. These aren’t typical leggings (that show your undies through them!). Plus, the pair they sent to me have a gorgeous pattern. I couldn’t help it, I had to tweet about them as soon as I opened the box! (Note: the lighting is bad in this tweet photo – see the photo below for the beautiful design on these Lyssé Leggings!)Lysse tweet 2

The fit was awesome. The cotton, rayon and spandex blend gives the polished look of tailored pants and the comfort of leggings. The polyester and spandex panel provides elegant smoothing in this sharp cigarette pant. They’re ankle length and have faux welt pockets at the back.  Plus, I love that they’re stylish AND washable.

Lysse leggingsPlus, as you can see in the collage of images below (with me in the center!), there are lots of options for how to wear them – with boots (being winter and not having a pedicure recently, I opted for this!) and a jacket. As soon as Spring arrives and my toes are show-offy, I’ll be wearing my Lyssé Leggings with my rocking platforms and big wedges. I can’t wait!

Lyssé doesn’t just have leggings. They also have tops, wraps, skirts, capri’s and more. Lyssé clothing offers a range of silhouettes including tops, tanks, and their revolutionary leggings. Constructed with a double layer of control fabric at the waist, they sit at just the right place to eliminate “the roll” while slimming and smoothing each woman’s shape. Check out Lyssé fashion!

So, girlfriends, just like a wonderful BFF who makes you feel beautiful, comfortable and stylish – Lyssé helps you love your curves, feel beautiful and stylish. They’re ‘Girlfriend Recommended!’

Lysse collageIf you’d like to have your product ‘Girlfriend Recommended,’ contact us at info (at) girlfriendology.com. We love to work with brands we’d recommend to our girlfriends!

 

Social friendship quote

5 Ways to Put Socializing Back in Social Media | Guest Blogger Marie Rossiter

Social friendship quote“We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phone, log off Facebook, and just sit in silence, because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are.”
― Jefferson Bethke

What impact has social media had on your friendships? A LOT is what we’d venture to guess. That’s why we’re stopping today to share some great girlfriend advice on how to keep the ‘social’ in ‘social media.

Thanks MARIE ROSSITER, today’s guest blogger, for reminding us that being social requires a two way conversation. Not always, but frequently. Besides, that’s what being a girlfriend is all about, isn’t it?

Have you become a social media stalker?

I’m not talking about the obsessive, creepy person who uses the computer to trace someone’s every thought and move. I mean a person who has become simply an online observer of life.

In other words: are you an antisocial member of the social media world?

It happens more than you would think.

Posts fly by, pictures flash before our eye, attention spans are short, and time is limited. I sometimes feel like I’m crammed in the middle of a virtual mob with no real direction or purpose. With millions of voices calling out in the social media world, it’s easy to lose your own in all the noise. After all, who would hear me? Who would care? So, why bother engaging?

It becomes easier to lurk and hide behind the computer screen and be an observer. It’s safer to click a “like” button, to just re-tweet a post, or to give someone’s picture a heart to show how much you value someone’s opinion or contribution.

The funny thing is: there’s no heart in that. Reading posts and sharing links are only the first steps in being social. We ask ourselves why we don’t feel connected to others in a place supposedly created to bring people together. Critics blast social media as the reason why people don’t or can’t talk to one another anymore. Maybe there’s some truth to that.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Relationships require action to remain strong and grow. It doesn’t matter if they are personal relationships or based online. Here are a few easy tips that can go a long way to not only keep you authentically engaged, but also to help your voice shine through!

1. Take a close look at your list of friends: We’re probably all little guilty of having an inflated friends and follower list. I have 287 Facebook friends and I admit that I either a) actually don’t know all these people or b) haven’t seen a vast majority of them in a long time and probably won’t in the future. Sure, it’s great to keep in touch with old friends and even lurk around celebrity pages. But maybe it’s time to go through your list and decide who you really want to engage with and who can be weeded out. Sounds harsh, but let’s be honest: those people’s posts are likely clogging your timeline anyway. Focus on the people that matter to you!

2. Move beyond “like” and “retweet”: Clicking “like” or re-tweeting a post is like simply blowing by someone and giving them a nod after they’ve shared something with you. It’s not very friendly, right? If you see a post shared by a friend, colleague, or even someone famous, take a moment to leave a brief comment. If a friend posts a picture that catches your eye, tell them why! If a colleague shares a success story, congratulate her! If a family member shares a stressful moment, tell them you’re thinking of them. It means so much more than just another thumbs up or RT. It doesn’t have to be a novel, just something sincere to show that you’re “listening” and interested.

3. Ask Questions: This takes #2 a step farther. Sometimes you’ll read something on a person’s page that makes you go “hmmm…” Don’t be afraid to ask questions to get a conversation going! Social media should be about conversations. All it takes is one or two questions from a commenter and you’re off. This is not only an effective way to communicate with personal connections, but businesses, as well. Have a question about a product? Companies invest a lot of money into their social media network and often respond quickly to comments, questions, and even complaints received through their Facebook page or Twitter feed.

4. Post with other people in mind: It’s easy to fall into the trap of social media as a dumping ground or online storage area to keep your family pictures, funny quotes, video links, and random gripes you have about the world. As you post, think about how it might connect with other people. Is it truly interesting or simply space-filler? There’s nothing wrong with sharing posts that entertain or interest you, but think about why you want to share it with everyone else. You want some sort of response, right? Good content encourages people to take that extra time to share their thoughts with you!

5. Share your voice: Yes, I know I said keep others in mind when you post in the previous tip, but don’t base your online presence solely on what you think others want to hear. You have valuable contributions to make to the world’s conversation! What you think and have to say matters! Your voice is no better or no worse than anyone else’s. Post your thoughts, your dreams, your views, and even your memories. Never feel that what you have to say is not worth anyone’s time or thought. If everyone thought that way, cyberspace would be empty!  Above all else, remain true to yourself and your voice. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. You can only keep up appearances for so long. Your friends will know what you’re up to and those who don’t are still able to spot a phony. Don’t be afraid to share who you are with others. You’ll be amazed at how many others are likely afraid and welcome someone who’s honest in what and how they share on social media. You’ll not only build some possible new friendships, but strengthen the bonds with the ones you already have.

MARIE ROSSITER is a freelance writer and blogger who believes everyone has a story. Her passion is to find the perfect words to tell them. She is a mom of two girls (a teen and a tween–yikes!) and truly married her best friend. To connect with Marie, visit her at MarieRossiter.com or her personal blog “Mom Gets Real”. She is also a self-proclaimed tech-geek and Disney addict!

This week on Girlfriendology:

And THANKS Cincy Chic for featuring Girlfriendology!

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend‘ - check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.