Monday, January 16, 2012

How To Be A Best Friend Forever by John Townsend

What is a friend and how can someone bring friends into their lives?  That is the premise of Dr. John Townsend's book, How To Be A Best Friend Forever.  His position is that friends are our second family, those who after we are nurtured in our birth families, help us to finish growing outside that protective environment.  They bring needed diversity of opinion.  Of course, to have a friend, one must be a friend and Townsend covers what makes a great friend and what one must do to have them.

Best friends should not be considered an exclusive title, he suggests, but rather an inclusive category such as best movies or best songs.  An individual needs a variety of best friends, each of whom brings a different viewpoint that allows the rounding out of one's personality.  Nor are best friends better than other friends rather they are those whom an individual feels the most connection with.

In order to be a good friend, several items are required.  One must commit time and effort to building the relationship.  The shared times are currency in a friendship bank that allow withdrawals when that is inevitable.  Friends should make sustained efforts to carve out time for their friends and to be available when they are needed.

Another item that is required is the commitment to be vulnerable, to let the friend see you as you are, to know your strengths and weaknesses, your faults and your best characteristics.  Without this vulnerability, there is not a best friend relationship but a strong acquaintanceship one.  Finally, truth is an absolute necessity; the truth to reveal yourself honestly, and the truth to tell your friend what they may not want to hear but need to.

Dr. Townsend is a psychologist, speaker and leadership coach.  He has a daily radio show and has authored several other bestselling books.  His advice is succinct and written in an approachable manner.  This book is recommended for those interested in bringing another resource into their lives, and those interested in nurturing and sustaining the friendships they already have.

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