“The Healing Power of Girlfriends” by Deborah A. Olson

Deborah A. Olson
Galleria Publishing (2019)
ISBN 9781733701006
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (8/19)

Having just moved to a new state and new neighborhood, I found Deborah A. Olson’s, “The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection,” to be just what I needed. After living in our old state for thirty-five years, I left some very close and cherished friends behind. While I have met some great ladies here, I quickly learned who can be trusted, non-judgmental and have the same interests I have.

This book is well-researched with various studies presented, and the chapters are broken down into easy to read and understand real-life stories, graphs, and questions to ponder. The section on creating healthy boundaries is important so that a person doesn’t develop unhealthy friendships that drain them emotionally. I find that because I am very crafty and read a lot, some just come around when they want me to make something or borrow books from my library. Given that I am somewhat co-dependent, I have a hard time saying no. Through Olson’s chapter on boundaries, she states it’s time to have a chat with these people, express concerns and see if it can be rectified.

As she states, there are several types of friends, and I found the chart on page 36-37 to be very helpful and can put several individuals I know into these areas. I do as the author says, individuals come into our life for a reason, and all will not be best friends. I felt good after reading this in that we all can’t be the best of friends or be liked by everyone and that is ok.

The author provides a great perspective on different types of friendships, factors impacting friendships, and the importance of cultivating friendships among women. One example I thought of is how we love having friends over to our home – I find that many do not reciprocate and that’s ok. I will say it used to make me mad but given that many don’t entertain as I do (I have theme get-togethers for special times, etc.), several of us discussed it openly, and many don’t feel comfortable doing this or are embarrassed by their living conditions.

The discussion questions are very thought-provoking and will inspire one to reassess what friendship is, and how important they are. You don’t have to have a lot of friends. I am thrilled to have this book and, believe it or not, a couple of my new friends are reading it, after which we are going to talk about it over lunch.

I highly recommend “The Healing Power of Girlfriends” for women of all ages. Deborah A. Olson provides so much information – but she does not lecture, and the book reads as if one is sitting at the table with her having a discussion.

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