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The Friendship Crisis: Finding, Making, and Keeping Friends When You're Not a Kid Anymore Hardcover – March 18, 2004

3.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Marla Paul brings together the moving personal experiences of many different women with the keen insights of psychologists and other relationship experts in "her wise and helpful book on this much neglected subject.” ―Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

“With terrific insight and sensitivity, Marla Paul articulates what is so often felt but rarely explored: the various ways friendships tear and repair the human heart. Just as dear friends help us make sense of life, this book deepens our understanding of a relationship that so many of us cherish in theory but neglect in fact. Read it and pass it on.” ―Lauren Cowen, author of Girlfriends

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

The Friendship Crisis
Finding, Making, And Keeping Friends When You're Not A Kid Anymore

When Marla Paul returned to a Chicago suburb after a 5-year stint in Dallas, she found herself without the true core of friends she once had there or the close circle of pals she enjoyed while in Dallas. Bewildered and frustrated at how hard it was to make new friends, Paul felt like the only one not invited to the party.

So she wrote about her experience one Sunday in the Chicago Tribune, and later in Ladies' Home Journal. But she was embarrassed. She thought she was the only one having a hard time. Was Paul alone? Hardly. The response was overwhelming.

Women across the country began contacting Paul with sentiments and experiences echoing her own. Using feedback from hundreds of women, as well as interviews with top friendship experts, she began writing a regular column on women's friendships for the Chicago Tribune, casting light on this previously silent problem of epic proportions.

Now, she brings her culled wisdom to women everywhere, proving to them that they are in friendly company. Focusing on major life events that can crack and even shear a friendship-- having (or not having) children, becoming divorced or widowed, moving, leaving the office to stay home-- Paul charts a path to find new friends and community. Other chapters include finessing the inevitable challenges to friendship, like conflict, jealousy, and feeling neglected; creating a neighborhood community; finding Internet pals; and closing the generation gap on friendship. She also explores the behaviors that wreck a friendship and the ones that strengthen it.

With creative and solid tried-and-true tips for finding, making, and keeping friends, Paul shows us that laughter and friendship needn't end just because we aren't kids anymore.

Marla Paul writes a column on women's friendships for a nationally syndicated section of the Chicago Tribune. She is a journalist whose essays and features on friendship and parenting have been published in such national magazines as Ladies' Home Journal, 0Health, Parents, and Family Circle. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and daughter. Contact her via her Web site at www.marlapaul.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (March 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579547451
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579547455
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I read this book thinking that it would help ANY woman find more friends. Well, while it has some good tips that can be put into practice by any woman, it is largely geared toward women with children. That wasn't the help I needed as I do not have children. If you do have kids and live in a larger city, this book would be a lifesaver. Very well-written and easy to read... I got through it in about 3 days.
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Format: Paperback
This book was full of stories of women who struggled with common friendship troubles and hints about how to help yourself if you are in a position in which you don't have enough friends due to a life change. However, if you are reading it because you don't have very many friends and hope to learn ways to change that, a few hints aren't really going to be too terribly helpful. If you recently became a stay at home mom and hadn't thought of trying to meet your neighbors, this book will be useful to you. If you don't have friends because you are shy, don't know how to be friends with women, or one of the other multitudes of reasons why you might not have enough friends, this book won't help much, but you will be armed with new reasons why it is bad to not have friends.
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Format: Hardcover
While perusing the "New Non-Fiction" section of my library, I came across this book. I think it is very well written, and expresses many of the feelings I was ashamed and embarrassed to express, or didn't really realize were there. I really thought I was rare in the fact that I have very few female friends beyond work acquaintances, and in the fact that I long for that to change, but am too shy to do much about it. When we are kids, making friends is easy. What about those women working from home, or living in rural areas? If all the people you come in to contact with in an average day are the check-out lady and the bank teller, what's a woman to do? It gives some tidbits and ideas for making new friends, talks a good bit about the importance of female companionship to our well-being, along with info on things like how to know if you should cut a friend loose and what to do when your child's friend is no longer friends with someone who's mother you had become close with (that was wordy, I know). Anyway, I think this is a unique book worth reading. Those who give it just a star or two probably do so because they have many friends and therefore cannot relate to the content.
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Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this book as I felt the subject matter was so timely for what I've been going through, as a single, childless, woman in her late 30's. However, like many other reviewers said, it mostly fell short for me. I've tried, multiple times, many of the things the author suggests. Much of the book was written for women with children, however, I did read the entire book despite this fact. I consider myself shy and there's even a chapter about that - but I gleaned nothing from this chapter that I haven't already tried without much avail. I do think the author means well and although I really "liked" her, from what I could glean as she wrote about herself, I didn't find this book to be as helpful as I'd hoped.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a single woman without children, this is not the book for you. I was extremely disappointed in this book, especially given all the five star ratings. It took me less then ten minutes to read any portion relevant to my own life, as it was almost exclusively about maintaining friendships when you are married and especially if you have children. Furthermore, I completely reject the idea that a woman without children must make all the sacrifices to maintain a friendship with a woman who has children which is the premise of this book. Friendship is a balancing act and the sacrifices should not be placed on the shoulders of one person.

And while other reviews have stated this book says men do not need friends, I did not see that. However, this book is exclusively about female friendships with other females and does not include men in the equation at all. After all, women can be friends with men.
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Format: Paperback
I felt as though Marla Paul was talking directly to me! Because everything she said I completely understood. I understood what it is like to start all over again after a move (I've moved many times), how difficult it can be to find a niche in the community, and how difficult it is to be shy. Especially the last one. Like Paul mentions, it's like "a wallflower at a school dance" and "some shy women believe they are missing some elusive membership card". There is good news for women like me. Paul gives practical advice such as reassuring the reader that many people actually like shy and reserved people, to ways to bounce back from cattiness and rejection, to different groups and places to try to meet friends and/or be part of a community such as book clubs to Mothers Chapters like MOPS- Moms of Preschoolers. Also what boosts friendships to what wrecks them and how to deal with jealous friends, and also how to deal with conflicts that could come up if you have a friend who also happens to be a friend of your child.

Although Paul tells the reader that as an adult, it may be harder work as compared to in youth it came more effortlessly, there is hope. She tells us that we do have to have an attitude that friendship is very important. She never implies that it is more important than family or career life, but that it is an emotional aspect of women's life that we all need.

What this book has done for me is given me more confidence and more hope and I have met some women acquanitences so far in my community.
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