The friendship crisis addresses lonelinessas a crisis in our lives today.
Book Review by Dorito
The Friendship Crisis Finding, Making and Keeping Friends When You’re Not a Kid Anymore
by Marla Paul
Moving, losing a partner, and other changing life factors often make you lonely. Paul lays out a roadmap for finding one’s way out of loneliness through making new friends.
Have you found yourself adrift, without the warmth of a circle of friends, as a result of relocating, the loss of a partner or other life changes?
Loneliness is a silent epidemic in our world today.
Marla Paul has written for the Chicago Tribune about her personal "friendship crises" when she moved to Chicago after having worked in Dallas for five years. Her experiences struck a common chord with women all over the country. Gathering wisdom from the many letters readers sent and interviews with friendship experts, she authored a book that lays out a roadmap for finding one’s way out of loneliness.
"When we’re unplugged from friends, we may devolve from our once confident selves and begin to question our likeability. My self-assurance plummeted after I moved to Dallas. When I prepared to entertain my new next-door neighbor, my hands were as icy as if I were going on a blind date. The stakes seemed so high. When she didn’t touch the feta cheese dip I’d concocted, I fretted that it was too exotic and I’d blown it. Even though a bevy of devoted pals may live several states away, the transition between leaving old relationships and bridging new ones can knock us off balance." P. 74-75
"Who hasn’t inched gingerly, heart hammering, into a gathering of strangers, gaped at the sea of unfamiliar faces, and wondered how soon you can bolt and whose idea was this anyhow?
It’s not fun in the beginning. You have to force yourself out the door when it’s a lot less threatening to stay home and re-arrange your knickknacks. Here’s how Sharon triumphs over her nerves. "I give myself a pep talk and say, ‘You need to get out and meet people. They’re not going to go out and look for you. This is something I have to do for myself’. The toughest part once she gets there is trying not to act too desperate and blurting out, "I need some friends!" p. 85
"Moving tears us from the people we love. Then we have to buck up and build an entire web of new friendships. It’s less overwhelming if you have a well-honed strategy. That means venturing into groups and classes even when it feels scary. But a future friend may also be the saleswoman at Bloomingdale’s who helps you pick out your new china. Take some risks and be open to all the possibilities." P. 89
"New relationships require finesse. If you’re overzealous, you may scare someone away. Likewise, detaching too early – an ‘if she doesn’t call me this time, I’m not calling her again’ attitude – may pinch a bud before it blooms. We used to plot like this to lure a boyfriend or mate. Now it’s friends.
So, would it have been okay for me to call my new pal one more time? Yes, but not too soon. The primal rule is don’t look desperate, even if you are very desperate indeed. ‘It’s a turnoff,’ author Martha Bullen says bluntly. She has several cross country moves under her belt. ‘People will be worried about getting involved with you. They think you may be clingy, that you’ll be at their doorstep every day.’ Bullen watched a new friend of her daughter’s follow her around all day at school. ‘It drove her crazy. I thought, this is not a good way to start. You may have to play it more cool. Not like, ‘If you don’t become my friend, I’ll go jump off a bridge.’ You can go into a deep depression going through these life changes’, she acknowledges, ‘but you don’t want to convey that you are teetering on the edge.’ P. 125