Image: Sharon Schweitzer & girlfriends, Commodore Perry Estate Auberge Resorts, Austin, Texas

“We should always have three friends in our lives – one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.” Michelle Obama

National Girlfriend Day is celebrated annually on August 1st, in the United States, when girlfriends gather together to celebrate their friendship. Experts advise that the word girl was used to describe a youthful woman for the first time in 1863.

Our girlfriends may be with us from grade or high school, college, trade school, the military, dental or medical training, or law school. Regardless of when or how our friendship blossomed, this annual day was invented to recognize how beautiful and invaluable our female companions are to all of us. It is all about feeling gratitude for those with us through the hardships and the happiness. And to those girlfriends who inspire us daily to become better versions of ourselves. We are in a time where women are recognized for their successes, discoveries, and achievements.

One study makes it even more important to cherish our girlfriends. It may surprise readers that this study revealed that women tend to attack one another more than men attack women. In Why Women are Meaner to Each Other Than Men are to Women, University of Arizona professor Allison Gabriel describes the “Queen Bee Syndrome” as it applies to women. The study results emphasize some women are meaner to other women than men are to women. These powerful women are “more likely to be treated uncivilly” and disliked by other women who perceive them to be “violating gender expectations” and possibly “competing for the same resources.” Naturally, not all professional women behave in this manner; although many of us have witnessed or been the recipient of this type of rude behavior. So let’s surround ourselves with positive role models and those who inspire us on our journey.

One way to do this is to capitalize on this National Girlfriends Day and celebrate our female friendships by showing appreciation for all those we appreciate, admire, and respect. Consider these ideas on how to make this day a special tradition.

  • Write a note: Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest impact. Write an appreciation note, letter, postcard, or text to all the women you appreciate. Gestures like these make the day extra special.
  • Handmade craft: Crafting something with your own hands shows appreciation and dedication. Explore your creative side. Personalization is meaningful.
  • Shop local: Small boutiques and local stores in your city, town, or village stock unusual and unique gifts. Find something that represents your relationship.
  • Host a gratitude gathering: Essentials may be: chocolate, cheese, and wine. Play some girl empowering tunes:

Find little reasons to celebrate every day. Celebrating national holidays like these to share gratitude may brighten your life and the lives of others. These may be some of the best memories you make. What are your ideas to celebrate this special day?

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She is a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.

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