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Friendshifts : The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our Lives Hardcover – March 11, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
A rewarding, sensible self-help manual for making, keeping and improving friendships, sociologist Yager's how-to takes its title from a word she coined, which refers to the way friendships change as we move through life's stages. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with adults, children, teenagers, workers and executives, she examines the challenges to friendship posed by marriage, divorce, parenthood, job changes and geographic relocation. Yager, whose 10 nonfiction books include Single in America, has distilled a morass of psychological and sociological research, including her own. Among her findings: it takes an average of three years to form a genuine friendship; women, as they advance in the corporate hierarchy, increasingly distrust workplace friendships, whereas men open up and trust these friends more; friendships can be a source of help for dysfunctional families, and for adults who had poor early relationships with parents or siblings. This primer amply supports its central message, that friends are vital to our emotional health.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
"Friendshifts" is the word that sociologist Yager (Business Protocol: How To Survive & Succeed in Business, LJ 6/15/91) invented to explain how friendships change throughout life. Drawing on her own research, Yager discusses how friendships develop and how changes such as relocation, marriage, or a new job often provoke changes in relationships. Yager sees making friends as a skill that can be learned, but she cautions that each friendship is unique, with its own rules and privileges. Arguing that shared values are more important in predicting the longevity of a friendship than shared interests, Yager gives practical advice on how to nurture new friendships, maintain old friendships, salvage shaky friendships, and terminate destructive ones. Friendships at work, friendships with relatives, and ethnic, racial, and gender friendship patterns are also covered. Throughout, Yager ably demonstrates how friends can improve the quality of our lives, enhance our self-esteem, provide encouragement, and compensate for family defects. Well recommended for public libraries.
Lucille M. Boone, San Jose P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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My first criticism, is that a tremendous amount of the actual content is glaringly obvious to anyone who has simply existed in the real world. I understand that some people have difficulty making friends, and many friendship books start with the fundamentals, but the entire first 60 pages of this book is devoted towards extremely obvious material that could probably be summed up in a few pages.
Let me be more specific. The second chapter for example covers 'types of friends.' Paraphrasing the book would starts off with something along the lines of - 'a best friend is someone whom you would share everything with.' She then goes on about defining a best friend, not in an insightful manner, more like something you might see in a dictionary.
Here are some direct quotes from the subsection:
"In theory, there can be only one best friend."
"having more than one best friend cancels out calling either one a 'best friend', or diminishes the exclusive status of being labeled best friends"...
In this manner she spends the rest of the chapter covering casual friends, acquaintances, and 'fair weather' friends.
In covering this kind of information, you might expect to find some insightful gem of knowledge, or a really well picked quote that drives home some over-arching point about friendship. In reality, the chapter reads like a very bad textbook for a 5th grade social studies class.
The entire Part I of the book is filled with this kind of very obvious, not at all useful content.
The content picks up a little bit during Part III, but is never enough to really constitute interesting reading material. I simply never felt as if I was reading useful information.
Another thing that made this book so difficult to read was the author's writing style. Much of the book is just paragraph-length anecdotes of random people she may have interviewed. I don't really have a problem with bringing up such anecdotes, so much as the fact that at times every other paragraph is an anecdote, some that only very loosely apply to the concept at hand. In paragraphs and subsections, she never ties together the anecdotes or research points that she may bring up, into any cohesive argument or stance.
The writing never really flowed anywhere in the book. The only reason I gave this book 2 stars is because the overall message is positive. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Having just also read "The Friendship Factor" by Alan McGinnis, I would strongly suggest that book over this one.
The author, Dr. Jan Yager has a Ph.D in sociology and her books are also based on interviews and surveys. She has created the word Friendshifts® to show us the way our friendships change as we go from one stage in life to another.
Our friendships change as our life does. We make friends in our childhood, as teens, as adults, and in our elderly life. We form new friends by moving, change in interests, entering a new school or getting a new job, a promotion or a new sport.
More insights in this book are how to be a better friend, how to prevent a friendship from ending and how we handle it when it does. Furthermore, it tells us about friendships at work and gender friendships.
rich successful life.
It ranks right up there with fulfilling work, a happy homelife
and good health.
In fact satisfying friendships often positively affect one's work,
homelife and health.
Considering how important friendship is to our lives, it's
to note how little has been written on the subject.
However, Dr. Jan Yager has written a wonderfully comprehensive book
on the subject entitled:
Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship and How it Shapes our Lives.
The research done on this book is very impressive.
Dr. Yager has not just made wild guesses and assumptions on how
friendships affect our lives.
The writer has gone to great lengths; conducting surveys and
interviewing scores of men and women to find out details on how
friendships have shaped their lives.
The first section of Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship...
explores the different levels of friendships (casual, close and best)
as well as the rich variety of patterns our friendships take on.
Section 2 is about how friendship changes throughout life; from
childhood and the single years, through marriage and on to the
end of our life. Different stages of life can affect the kinds of
friendships that we develop and maintain.
Section 3 is about how to be a better friend and is full of great
advice on making, improving and maintaining our friendships.
There's even advice on handling friendships that end.
Section 4 about work and friendship goes into depth about how
friendships can enhance our careers, and the differences and
challenges involved in male and female work friendships.
Section 5 also has great insights on how friendships affects our
everyday lives, with good advice on how to better friends with
our spouse, children and family members too.
Dr. Yager recaps findings and advice in the "Summing Up" Section
which includes a listing of resources for helping us reach out
to find new friendships. This is a very thorough book on a powerful
subject matter and is a must read for anyone who values friendships
and how they enrich our lives.