I picked up Marla Paul's book, The Friendship Crisis, because I needed to know that I was not alone. After a series of moves, starting when I was in my early twenties, I was finding it more and more difficult to keep up long-distance friendships, let alone make new ones. Paul's book promised to give me keys to making and keeping new friends, so I figured it was worth a look.
A journalist, well known for her features and syndicated column on friendship for the Chicago Tribune, Paul complied data from formal research in the relationship field and from testimonies of friends and column readers. Her personal narrative about her loneliness after she moved from Texas to Chicago and decided to work at home to be with her children rang true for me and many others who belong to the "stressed out" generation.
Written like an extended feature article, the book creates a feeling of camaraderie, helping the reader to feel normal for needing friends. I already do many of the tips she gives for making new friends, such as joining book clubs, volunteering, and inviting neighbors over for coffee. But reading Paul's work renewed my desire to keep at it, as part of a sisterhood of women who need, value, and fight for friendships.
The Friendship Crisis is an easy read with lots of practical information and resources. Whether you need to figure out how to make new friends or keep old ones, it is worth a look.
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