Guest blog by Debba Haupert, Girlfriendology.com
Allison, Dana, Jill, Katie, Lisa, Amy, Holly, Terri … just some of the many reasons I started Girlfriendology. My friends mean the world to me. They’re my chosen family, my confidants and advisors, they make me laugh and sometimes cry, and they stand by me, like I do them, through thick and thin.
But where did it really start? (I get asked that a lot!) Maybe it was moving around so much when I was growing up. I always missed my girlfriends when we moved and wanted to stay behind to be with them. Perhaps it was college and my roommates and friends with whom I bonded, grew and learned life with.
But the specific point at which I recognized that I actually needed my friends wasn’t quite so fun. My college girlfriend Dana found out she had cancer. Then another friend, Allison got the same diagnosis. Fortunately both are fighters and strong survivors, but when that news first hit me – it hit me hard. It made me want to spend time with my other girlfriends – to learn from each of them how to care for my girlfriends who were facing fears I can’t comprehend. It caused me to appreciate all of them even more. And it actually made me stop to consider why my friends became so important to me.
So, I started blogging about it. I called it “Girlfriendology” and I wasn’t sure where it would lead, if anywhere. In doing some research, I came across a book titled: The Tending Instinct, by Shelley E. Taylor. She shares amazing findings that show that we actually need our girlfriends. These social ties actually help us be healthier, happier and less-stressed. Men and women are wired differently – we know that. This book shared what those differences are. One enlightening example – men deal with stress with a ‘fight or flight’ response. Women respond to stress with a need to ‘tend and befriend’ – we want to take care of our young/children and to be with our friends.
Through the discovery process, leaning on my girlfriends was exactly what I needed to do to survive. Along the way, starting Girlfriendology gave me a way of acknowledging my girlfriend gratitude and hopefully inspiring other women to recognize that too. Girlfriendology became the online community for women based on female friendship. It created a home for inspiration, appreciation and celebration of girlfriends. And, as it grows, women everywhere tell me amazing stories about their best friends and how their friendships are so special.
Do you have girlfriends that you appreciate? Have you told them lately? Any special women in your life who have gone out of their way for you and you would do anything for them? Celebrate these friendships on National Women’s Friendship Day (Sept. 21) or for that matter, any and every day of the year. Then stop by Girlfriendology.com and share your stories. Who’s inspired you? Tell them! In the process, you’ll inspire others, and then they’ll be better friends. We really can make the world a better place, one friendship at a time.
Thanks Allison, Dana, Terri, Amy, Anne and all the other wonderful women who have inspired me to start Girlfriendology and to cheer me on every day with your support and friendship.