Book Summary: Our world has diluted the meaning of friendship, but the reality is, there's nothing like the sustaining strength of true-blue, forever friends. Still, many people are convinced that they'll never find such lifelong connectionsÃ¢â¬âor that they don't need them. In this encouraging book, best-selling author and psychologist John Townsend delivers hope and help for making these relationships a realityÃ¢â¬âand for making them even better if you've already got a "bestie." His eight principles for building the very best kind of friendship, along with his shared experiences within his own friendships (including mistakes he's made), will move every reader to aspire to deeper connections and to stay the course when challenges arise. Townsend's simple but profound concepts are sure to transform readers' relationships and keep them from missing out on one of life's greatest and most essential joys: the joy of having a best friend.
Review: I found this book to be a good help for how to be a better friend and how to nurture a friendship. I really liked the aspect of the book referring to the how we need a variety of friends. It was a tremendous help with understanding the varied aspects of friendship. The book draws on the author's own experiences. It was very detailed with the varied aspects of friendship and how to grow a friendship even deeper through shared experiences and suffering. It also help with explaining how friendships may suffer from experiences that can stall a growing friendship.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Worthy Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
"In How to Be a Best Friend Forever: Making and Keeping Lifetime Relationships (Jan. 2012, Worthy Publishing), clinical psychologist and bestselling author Dr. John Townsend shows us the sustaining strength of forever friendships, helps us break through barriers, and reveals eight vital skills necessary for building long-term, rewarding friendships.
The book covers things like:
Ã¢â¬Â¢ The anatomy of a B.F.F. and 3 must-have qualities
Ã¢â¬Â¢ How to find and keep a BFF
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Learning to connect deeply in a friendship
Ã¢â¬Â¢ The trouble with family or spousal BFFs
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Does Facebook make friendships better?"
In modern times, the word "friend" has taken on a variety of meanings. With Facebook and Twitter, friends can be anything from vague acquaintances to people who truly are our BFFs. With the growth of digital technology it's getting harder and harder to maintain quality in our relationships.
Dr. Townsend believes we thrive on quality friendships and that these friendships bring tremendous joy into our lives. In his book, Dr. Townsend shows you how to build relationships that will last using research and stories from his own experiences and provides eight skills necessary to build long-lasting, rewarding friendships.
Much of what Dr. Townsend offers in his book are tools we should already and probably do know. The book is an easy read and one probably best read by teenagers and young adults or those who have found it difficult to maintain quality friendships.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Worthy Publishing as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
How important is a best friend to you? We know deep friendships are important but Townsend says many people do not know how to form them. Many people are isolated and have learned to live with just shallow friendships. Some just don't have the skill and abilities to go deep. Others put their energy into the opposite sex or family members.
Townsend has written this book to help you with friendship in general and particularly those few deep friendships. He wants you to experiences the highest level of good from our friendships.
Townsend clarifies what he means by friend, involving knowing, liking, and presence. They are people with whom you entrust yourself.
You'll need more than one person to provide all of the qualities you need. Different people have different strengths to offer. (He has caution and advice for pursuing friends of the opposite sex.) He explains that friendships need maintenance or will suffer and decline.
Townsend believes that most best friendships are being underutilized, not providing for either what they could. With exploration and effort the friendship can be maximized.
Townsend says your spouse as your only best friend is not enough. "We were not designed to have one person meet our deepest needs. We were designed for community." (50)
Townsend explains how to "connect" with people, how to deepen the attachment (such as venting, talking about core values). He also gives suggestions with respect to helping your friends, not give them excuses for their behavior. He writes about the social media world (such as Facebook) and its role in friendship. It may be great for updates but not for confrontations or serious dialogue.
Townsend writes about relational honesty. You are first to be truthful about yourself. You are to be truthful about the other person. He writes about fighting - the right way. Of healing, he says, "Time, plus relationship and truth, can heal just about everything." (114) He has recommendations for creating an honest environment. Time is essential. "Best Friendships require time to grow and produce the great relationships we need." (121)
Townsend says it is not good to have only family as best friends. "Love your home, love your family, but you were designed to let nonfamily members into the deeper recesses of your heart and life." (140) Do all you can to befriend those in your family who will be the kind of friends Townsend has described. "But beyond that," he says, "make sure you are connected to people outside the comfort zone of your family." (145)
He ends his book with a challenge. Best friends are powerful because you have made yourself vulnerable. They can be life-changing, positively or negatively. The same goes for your influence on them. Choose your words carefully. Pay attention to their care.
There is a discussion guide at the end of the book although the advanced egalley I received did not have it included.
This short book is packed with encouragement and ideas for creating and sustaining best friends. Teens and young adults would certainly benefit from this book
I received an advanced egalley of this book from Worthy Publishing for the purpose of this review
How to be a Best Friend Forever delves into becoming more than surface friends from the perspective of a Christian psychologist. The tone is easy to understand rather than professional, although occasionally, he describes ways of talking to your friends in doctor-ese. However, readers who want to deepen their dearest friendships will find useful information here.
Dr. Townsend discusses the importance of a best friend in crisis. You won't find information on getting these friends. He says that it takes time. Jumping into a close friendship with someone you don't know well probably won't work. It's through social groups or working together that people find their best friends. He spoke of a neighbor who became a friend when they decided to walk together for exercise.
He goes into detail about confrontation and other situations that can come up when people know one another well and gives concrete ideas for fostering these important bonds.
A Discussion Guide at the end makes this a useful tool as a teaching aid in a class about friendship, or possibly as a guideline for counselors. It offers good advice to anyone who wants to make deeper friendships.