This essential go-to guide reveals how women can enhance their lives by creating valuable friendships in today’s busy, mobile world, from nationally recognized friendship expert and CEO of GirlFriendCircles.com. Every woman is searching for a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life. Many realize the significant role that an intimate, tightly knit circle of friends plays in creating a more fulfilling life, but with hectic schedules, frequent moves, and life changes, it’s more important than ever for women to establish natural, meaningful friendships that will contribute to their overall wellbeing. In Friendships Don’t Just Happen!, Shasta Nelson, friendship expert and CEO of GirlFriendCircles.com, reveals the most important proven steps, processes, and secrets vital to establishing the five different levels of friendships, or Circles of Connectedness, that women—no matter their age or relationship status—are longing for in today’s stressful and mobile culture. This revolutionary, engaging guide will also benefit women who already feel rooted to fabulous friends, with insightful principles that will help them maintain and enhance their current friendships. Full of practical how-to tips, fun activities, guiding questions, and step-by-step instructions, Friendships Don’t Just Happen! highlights several areas of developing lasting friendships, teaching women how to: Evaluate their current circle of friends Recognize what types of friends they are seeking based on career, interests, location, and relationship status Create a prioritized friendship action plan Find extraordinary friends—where to look and how to approach them Take initiative to jumpstart friendships and face fears of rejection Establish “frientimacy,” trust, and happiness through conversation and activities Maintain meaningful friendships and determine which ones are worthwhile Excerpt from Friendships Don't Just Happen: There is a lie out there that real friendship just happens. When I was new to San Francisco eight years ago, I remember standing at a café window on Polk Street watching a group of women inside, huddled around a table laughing. Like the puppy dog at the pound, I looked through the glass, wishing someone would pick me to be theirs. I had a phone full of far-flung friends’ phone numbers, but I didn’t yet know anyone I could just sit and laugh with in a café. It hit me how very hard the friendship process is. I’m an outgoing, socially comfortable woman with a long line of good friendships behind me. And yet I stood there feeling very lonely. And insecure. And exhausted at just the idea of how far I was from that reality. I knew I couldn’t just walk in there and introduce myself to them. “Hi! You look like fun women, can I join you?” I would have been met with stares of pity. No one wants to seem desperate, even if we are. We don’t have platonic pick-up lines memorized. Flirting for friends seems creepy. Asking for her phone number like we’re going to call her up for a Saturday night date is just plain weird. All the batting of my eyelashes wasn’t going to send the right signals. And so I turned away from the scene of laughter and walked away. No, unfortunately, friendships don’t just happen. We Value Belonging Friendships may not happen automatically, but what we crave about them sure seems to! We all want to belong—that need to be connected to others is an inherent desire. We live our entire lives trying to fit in, be known, attract acceptance, and experience intimacy. We desperately want to have others care about us. This book is about that hunger. And more pointedly, it is about listening to it and learning how to fulfill it.
Admitting to a lack of friendships is difficult for those who see their own desire to overcome the problem as desperation. Once a woman finds reasonably good friends, going deeper can prove difficult, particularly if the friends regularly spend time together. Nelson, a public speaker and the founder of www.girlfriendcircles.com, has a solution for women in search of close, lifelong friends and offers these clueless friends-to-be advice on what to do to make existing relationships more meaningful: all parsed down as time, respect, "sharing questions" and direct honesty. Nelson's platonic girlfriend-matching website plays second fiddle here; this tome is a stand-alone compendium of tips, research, and wisdom that will help women who want more from their friendships with other women. She refrains from excessive pop psychology, outlines important distinctions in otherwise mundane concepts like "forgiveness", and readers will learn about her central model of "frientimacy". Much of the advice is original and of Nelson's own design and readers will be pleasantly surprised by the depth of her knowledge about what makes healthy friendships work.