A couple of years ago when my agent was pitching my book to publishers, a common response was, "Oh we love Shasta's writing, her platform, and her message, but unfortunately women just don't buy books on friendship." The message we heard repeatedly: women will buy armloads of cookbooks, weight loss books, romance, and parenting... but when it comes to our friendships we think we know what there is to know. (Either that or we don't care what we don't know?!) And yet, for all that we want our friendships to just happen automatically, stay easy, and never leave us unsure of how to respond-- chances are high that at any given time, most of us will wish we had a few more meaningful friendships in our lives and wee bit less drama, angst, or uncertainty in the ones we do have.
Furthermore, few things are showing up in our lives as having as much impact on our happiness and health as our friendships are proving to have. To be clear, all healthy relationships boost our health, but experts acknowledge that our relationships with our kids and spouses are often associated with much of our stress, responsibility, and fear; whereas our friendships can hold the positivity, support, and joy with a little less of the stress and responsibility. So it's that feeling of being connected and engaging in love that boosts our immune system, heals our bodies after surgery, and promotes trust and wellbeing in our lives. This is no small area of life to leave to chance.
So because most of us want more meaningful relationships AND because few of us have been well-educated on the subject--I decided to offer a little school on friendship this month. (Did you know it's International Women's Friendship Month! Yes it is!) And this little Friendship University is opening with an impressive faculty of 13 leading experts (and I plan to keep adding more!) on friendship so that you can have all these psychologists, authors, and experts right at your finger tips! I'm calling it: The Friendships You've Always Wanted Learning a Better Way to Meet-up, Build-up, and Break-up with Your Friends. (details at the end to join us! Classes start Monday!)
Here are some of the authors whose books have contributed much to the growing awareness around just how important it is that we courageously keep making new friends, even as adults.
Rachel Bertsche, author of MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend
Ori Brafman, co-author of Click: The Forces Behind How We Fully Engage with People, Work, and Everything We Do
Dr. Andrea Bonior, author of The Friendship Fix: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Losing, and Keeping Up with Your Friends
Carlin Flora, author of Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are
Dr. Paul Dobransky, author of The Power of Female Friendship: How Your Circle of Friends Shapes Your Life
Dr. Geoffrey L. Grief, author of Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships
Sophia Dembling, author of The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World
Dr. Jan Yager, author of When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You
Dr. Jan Yager, author of Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our Lives
Diane Gage Lofgren & Margaret Bhola of Women I Want to Grow Old With: Grow Old Together with Courage, Health, and Attitude! (Volume 1)
Christine Arylo, author of Madly in Love with ME: The Daring Adventure of Becoming Your Own Best Friend
And the best news? If you don't have 100+ hours to read all of them, over $200 to buy all of them, or an entire empty shelf to hold all of them, then sign up today to access an hour-long interview with each author condensing their best information in our program starting this Monday! Or, commit to picking one book that you read through this month and put into practice in your life.
But whether it's buy a book or join "The Friendships You've Always Wanted" program where we will deliver interviews to your inbox 4 days a week-- do something this Friendship Month to invest in growing your friendship wisdom. Because as much as we want it to, friendships don't just happen! :)
Shasta Nelson, author of Friendships Don't Just Happen!: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends
p.s. Here's another blog I wrote where I featured fabulous friendship books-- some books make both lists!