To put it simply, I loved this book. I loved sociology in college and this book juxtaposed the author's girl-dates with research that backed up things that she experienced. There were so many things I read in the book that made me say "YES!" because it was exactly what I needed to read right now.
For some backstory - I don't think I'm an unfriendly jerk, merely a victim of circumstance. I went to a commuter college, so I didn't really make lasting friends there. I worked in radio and my co-workers were my friends. After I left that radio station, those friendships didn't last. The same thing happened at my first real job - we weren't really friends outside of the office. Now, I have work friends who I hope I will stay close to beyond our time at our company and a few other friends from other places, but I don't have that core group that it seems like everyone else has. I'm seeking some additional BFFs, same as the author in the book.
Adult friendship is tricky. If there's a match.com for it, I haven't heard of it. The author points out that it's perfectly normal for women to find a date online or asked to be set-up. As a society, we are totally okay with it. Why aren't we okay with saying "Hey, I need some female companionship, do you know anyone?" We're worried about being labeled as losers or seen as weird, and we shouldn't be. There's nothing wrong with wanting to expand your social circle. The author talks about Dunbar's number, which is 150. The 150 is an approximation of the number of people with whom one person can maintain stable relationships. Now, I haven't taken out a pen and made a list, but I think I am short of my 150. I can definitely work on building relationships with a few more people.
Oprah and Gayle. I love that they are always there for one another in the public eye.
Tina and Amy. I would love to read their texts to one another. I bet they're hilarious!
So I guess basically after you realize your friend "needs," it's time to go meet people. The author was brave in asserting herself in different situations and basically asked out everyone from friends of friends to a waitress at a restaurant. I'm not that brave, but I like the encouragement to be friendlier. She points out that even if a person has too much going on and doesn't have room to cultivate a new friendship they would probably be flattered by your offer to want to get to know them. This really struck me; I mean, let's be honest, the blogging world has taught us that comments are the sincerest form of flattery. If someone takes it a step further and wants to continue our email chats, gchat, text, meet, whatever? I am completely flattered - it's like you want to be friends with me. I know how I feel, but I never considered how another woman would take it. It would make you feel pretty good about yourself, right? It was very reassuring and something great to remember in the future.
Courteney and Jennifer. These two have been through so much and together I bet they know all the best gossip in Hollywood.
When you find someone you want to befriend and you get together, you need to see if you "click." We've all felt that spark with someone where the conversation flows easily and you don't feel forced. I have been known to be awkward, so I have been in situations where the conversation didn't flow and I wondered what I did after the fact to make it so weird. The book basically tells you - hey, it's okay, it happens to everyone. It was something I had never considered too seriously before (I mean, blaming myself comes naturally) so the reassurance that not everyone clicks all the time made me feel better. It doesn't make either of us boring or unfriend-able; we just aren't meant to be.
Ben and Matt. Guys need BFFs too.
To make a new friend, the author says that you have to "date" your friends. Not in a weird way, but you have to work to cultivate the relationship. Focus on what you have in common, make plans to see one another, and follow through. It's very basic but something that I know I take for granted. Everyone loves the kind of friend that you can see once or twice a year and pick right back up where you last left, but who can't use a friend that you can text a pic to while you're in the dressing room? I tend to be bad about making plans in advance so this is a good reminder that it's a necessary step in making (and keeping!) new BFFs.
Beyonce and Gwyneth. Think they'll let me be their third BFF?
Something I've learned since starting to blog is that many of us are seeking additional female relationships. A lot of people are new in town or have grown apart from childhood friends. We all want as much positivity as is realistic on our blogs and saying that life is lonely sometimes isn't really cool. Blogging is awesome because you can gravitate toward people who are in the same place you are without being outwardly mean to those who aren't. So if you're reading this, here are my tips to building blog relationships: 1) Make sure you aren't a no-reply comment blogger. If you never receive comments back from the blogs you leave comments on, you probably are, and that's not good. Comment with your email address and I'll help you out! 2) When commenting on other blogs with a blogger you want to get to know, say something open-ended or ask a question. The blogger is likely to open up more in her response and that gives you a chance to continue the conversation. 3) Quantity breeds quality! Some bloggers may be working hard to keep their blog running and keep up with their family/friends/job, etc. and a new blogger BFF may not be feasible right now. Cast a wide net and you will probably make some great blogger friends and many more blog acquaintances, both of which are better than just reading blogs and not joining the conversation!
There were so many things I loved about this book! If I would have bought my own copy before Rachelle loaned it to me, I would have highlighted and dogeared many, many pages and written even more about it. But since I am still working to cultivate our friendship, I will give it back to her in tact.
What do you think of these points? How have you made friends as an adult? What friendship niche do you think you fill? If you read the book, let's talk about it!