Glenda D. Shaw – Better You, Better Friends
We know that our friendships increase our happiness, our health, and our longevity, yet people in the U.S. have fewer close confidantes today than we did three decades ago. Even though there’s a huge amount of information in the media discussing these relationships, and our social media feeds run 24/7, most of us haven’t come up with a constructive approach to friendship. But learning to BE a better friend is the first step to acquiring and cultivating better, more rewarding friendships.
At her own birthday celebration, Glenda Shaw found herself questioning the friends and the friendships there to help her. It dawned on her that she did not feel truly connected to most of them. Something felt terribly wrong. She realized that what she shared with her birthday guests was proximity: they worked together, they lived close to each other, they went to the same networking events and movies. There were, however, other friends with whom she shared more fundamental qualities: the disposition of being encouraging to people, an attitude of looking for purpose in life, a spirit of adventure. Those were the friendships that meant something, the ones that felt truly deep and real.
Friendship is voluntary; it’s not legally binding; and it usually has no economic consequences. Yet, friendship, true friendship, is important and comes with challenges the can make or break a relationship. Each chapter of Better You, Better Friends: A Whole New Approach to Friendship explores and addresses a particular kind of challenge—envy, money, honesty—and discusses ways to overcome them or to know when to bow out of a relationship that brings more stress than happiness. Through expert input and personal stories, including her own, Shaw offers a new level of understanding of what makes a good friendship and a good friend.