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Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are 1st Edition

34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0385535434
ISBN-10: 0385535430
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Friendfluence provides a charming and informative examination of the impact of friendship at a time in which family relations and social structures have been scrambled.....awash in arresting insights with practical implications, many of them counter-intuitive.... timely, savvy, and judicious"
--The Huffington Post

"If you've been thinking of starting a book club with your BFFs, here's your first assignment."
--Book Page

"Intriguing...A convincing case for nurturing friendships in many of the same ways we nurture relationships with partners and other family--both online and off"
--Kirkus Reviews

"[Flora's] interdisciplinary discussion draws on scientific research, philosophy, and anecdotes to examine friendship across a lifespan, from playground pals to adolescent and adult relationships....Compelling....Discloses many of friendship's secrets"
--Publishers Weekly

“Contemporary scientists and ancient philosophers agree: friendship is a key to happiness, and FRIENDFLUENCE is a fascinating and thought-provoking examination of the new science that explores this crucial element of our lives. FRIENDFLUENCE is so persuasive that the minute I put the book down, I made three dates to see friends.”
--Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of THE HAPPINESS PROJECT

"Carlin Flora has written a delightful book on the power of friendship.  Combining the latest research with engaging stories, Friendfluence shines with authenticity and is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about our ancient human desire to connect."
-- James H. Fowler, co-author of CONNECTED and Professor of Medical Genetics and Political Science at the University of California, San Diego 

“We tend to think of friends as relationships we simply have, when in profound ways, friends both reflect and determine who we actually are.  Happiness and success begin with self-knowledge, and as Carlin Flora shows us in her compelling and delightful book Friendfluence, the key to understanding yourself may well lie in your friendships, past and present.  This is a must-read for anyone looking to experience greater well-being... in other words, for everyone.”
--Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., author of Succeed and Director of the Motivation Science Center, Columbia Business School.

“A captivating read about an eternally fascinating subject--friendship.  Flora's easy-to-read prose blends narrative and scientific research seamlessly.  You will finish the book with a better understanding of why good friends are worth keeping.”
-Jane Gradwohl Nash, Professor of Psychology and one of the "GIRLS FROM AMES"

"In our changing social world of flexible networks, shifting families and blurred boundaries, many of us sense that friends and friendships have increased in importance, but we can't say why.  In Friendfluence, Carlin Flora tells us precisely why in her lively account of both the science and poetry of friendship.  Worthy reading for anyone who is not a hermit in the woods--or, perhaps, especially by the friendless."
--Dalton Conley Ph.D., author of THE PECKING ORDER and Professor of Sociology at New York University

“Friendfluence offers a penetrating look at our most taken-for-granted relationship. Carlin Flora's observations, backed up by the latest research, will not only prompt you to dissect every key friendship you've had since kindergarten, but inspire you to become a better friend.”
--Sally Koslow, author of Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest and the novel, With Friends Like These

"I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be who I am without my dear friends. Now Carlin Flora explains why and how friends matter so much. A fascinating read!"
--MJ Ryan, author of THIS YEAR I WILL: How to Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution or Make a Dream Come True

 
 

About the Author

Carlin Flora was on the staff of Psychology Today for eight years, most recently as features editor. She is a graduate of the University  of Michigan and Columbia University School of Journalism and has written for Discover, Glamour, Women’s Health, and Men’s Health, among others. She has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Fox News, and 20/20. She lives in Queens, New York.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (January 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385535430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385535434
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #893,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dorothea Brooke on January 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In lucid, compelling language, Carlin Flora offers a gently radical new way to think not just of our friends but of ourselves. In a world full of self-help books that dissect romantic relationships and nuclear families, we tend to overlook the people who may influence more than anyone else: our peers.

From earliest childhood on, friends and playmates teach us empathy and the basic social skills needed to interact with others. The lessons we learn (or fail to learn) may have more of an impact on our future lives than what test scores we get or where we go to college. Flora also explores the way peer pressure is real--and not always bad. Did you know that kids from troubled, unstable families do fine in school--if their friends come from stable homes? Peers who exert a positive influence overpower the effect of a bad home situation. But if kids have friends who also tend to come from unstable homes, grades suffer and risk of dropping out, drug abuse, etc. increase? It doesn't end there. Throughout life, people whose friends are happier--people who set reasonable but ambitious goals and then take steps to meet them--will be happier themselves, while those whose friends are negative and self-defeating will absorb some of those tendencies, even when they think they aren't. If your friends gain weight, you are likely to. If your friends lose weight, you are likely to. Friendships are also great test cases for dealing with interpersonal conflict, so those with more healthy friendships will tend to have healthier romantic relationships. Moreover, Flora shows us that couples who have more couple friends are happier than those who don't.

All in all, this is a very engaging, hard-to-put down book that develops a very powerful idea. It will change the way you think of your life--and might make you both happier, and more empathetic and engaged with others.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tammy Blackwell-Keith on January 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Friendfluence investigates the types of friends people have and how these friends have influenced different types of behaviors. The novel looks at the development of friendships, male and female, over many years. From adolescence to adulthood, friends or lack thereof can provide significant influence. The onset of social media is examined and how this "instant contact" has altered the "face to face" friendships of the past. You may agree or disagree with the findings in the book, but I think you will find it is very captivating and filled with *aha!* moments.
Two of the most profound ideas that she discusses is how two people destined for different things can become disastrous if they become friends. This is highlighted in many shows such as Wicked Attraction on the ID Channel. The other is that those the student who move constantly have a harder time retaining friends. I did find as a military brat that it was harder to keep friends because I was constantly changing schools as were those peers of mine. I could be at a school for 6 months and then have to move to another. It did make it harder; however I find that I developed a strength to adapt to change better than those that didn't.
I disagree with her statement "while friendships among people of different races are statistically rare in the United States, having such a friend lowers your levels of prejudice and even those of your friends." As a military brat I always had interracial friends so I knew my perception could be inaccurate. I do however have five girls ranging in age from 13 - 23 and many of their friends I have "adopted." I asked them this question and was told they didn't believe this to be true. Yet, I think this shows the evolution of friends over the years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Friendfluence by Carlin Flora is an important work which outlines how people go about seeking friends. According to the author, friends are part of our identity. They make us who we are to some extent.

There are important defining characteristics of friends. For instance, they tend to be in close proximity. Friends care less about inequality than general affability. The author explains that having friends with a high GPA can rub off in a positive way. Many times, friends choose friends like themselves.

Flora believes that there is an interpersonal similarity for people to be friends. In addition, the author finds that
peer pressure is greater for teens because an important aspect of being a teen is fitting in with a peer group.

The author believes that friends can expand social horizons. Feeling happy for friends when they do well is a sign of a high point in a relationship, as well as a strong connection.

Flora covers social media friendships and provides specific guidance on email acquaintances, as well as Facebook. Friendfluence by Carla Flora is an excellent book which places importance on finding and having good friends.

A strength of the work is that the author explains the defining characteristics of friends together with common interests and
the domain of personal feelings, as well as interpersonal communications. This book will reinforce your own view of friendships
and provide important guidance on strengthening these relationships.

Credits: First Published on Blogcritics
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