From an early age, we learn that friendships hold such importance. Through play we are taught about sharing. We take turns in games. Friends tell each other secrets and celebrate different events together.
But what happens as we grow older to keep those unique bonds going? Our range of friends extends to all different personalities. How do we talk so that our friends listen and more importantly, how can we determine what we want out of a friendship?
In the book, “Friendship Matters”, the meaning of friendship is explored by two women, Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sandra Bernstein who have been friends for 47 years. Both authors are clinical psychologists who use their own example to discuss how time and experiences such as marriage, divorce, parenting, career changes, financial challenges, illness, loss, and so much more can impact a friendship.
Throughout “Friendship Matters”, their conversations about these wide range of topics help them dig deeper into understanding the thought process behind values in a friendship and how it all comes together to become more meaningful. Readers will recognize many situations of their own as the authors reflect upon them.
Each chapter is opened up with a discussion about an issue. The authors each give their own take on it by reflecting, commenting, and asking more questions. There are many times throughout this book that I found myself nodding in affirmation about how we tend to be afraid to bring up topics in friendship or even to share more personal thoughts of jealousy or excitement. There are wonderful tips that help guide the reader into becoming more aware about different situations and examining how a friendship can grow from these experiences. There is humor, warmth, and perspective throughout this book that shows when friends really do have strong communication and insight that so many benefits will come of it.
“Over the years we have come to appreciate and learn from our core differences in temperament and point of view”, writes Dr. Bernstein as they discuss how each one deals with these issues. In today’s world where there seems to be so much change and differing opinions, this is something that is much needed. In this book, you can learn about being open to discussion by examining your own feelings and your friend’s. There are important points that can lead to appreciation of where everyone involved is coming from. It is important to be aware that we all come from different places and circumstances and those play into our friendships as well.
Friendship Matters is a go to read for anyone who is examining where a friendship went wrong, faded away or how one has succeeded. It will also give you the tools to understand and be a stronger friend and can improve the relationships you currently have.
At the end of each chapter, there is a take away page of the main topic points. I really enjoyed taking these and applying it to evaluating my own friendships over the years. Let’s face it; many of us at all different stages in life know that friendships can come and go. Some serve a purpose while others seem to lack one. When we take this time to examine those bonds, we learn more about ourselves and the ones that can potentially be lifelong relationships.
And those are the friendships that really matter.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are mine.