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Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are Hardcover – Jan 15 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (Jan. 15 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385535430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385535434
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #585,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Friendfluence provides a charming and informative examination of the impact of friendship at a time in which family relations and social structures have been scrambled.....awash in arresting insights with practical implications, many of them counter-intuitive.... timely, savvy, and judicious"
--The Huffington Post

"If you've been thinking of starting a book club with your BFFs, here's your first assignment."
--Book Page

"Intriguing...A convincing case for nurturing friendships in many of the same ways we nurture relationships with partners and other family--both online and off"
--Kirkus Reviews

"[Flora's] interdisciplinary discussion draws on scientific research, philosophy, and anecdotes to examine friendship across a lifespan, from playground pals to adolescent and adult relationships....Compelling....Discloses many of friendship's secrets"
--Publishers Weekly

“Contemporary scientists and ancient philosophers agree: friendship is a key to happiness, and FRIENDFLUENCE is a fascinating and thought-provoking examination of the new science that explores this crucial element of our lives. FRIENDFLUENCE is so persuasive that the minute I put the book down, I made three dates to see friends.”
--Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of THE HAPPINESS PROJECT

"Carlin Flora has written a delightful book on the power of friendship.  Combining the latest research with engaging stories, Friendfluence shines with authenticity and is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about our ancient human desire to connect."
-- James H. Fowler, co-author of CONNECTED and Professor of Medical Genetics and Political Science at the University of California, San Diego 

“We tend to think of friends as relationships we simply have, when in profound ways, friends both reflect and determine who we actually are.  Happiness and success begin with self-knowledge, and as Carlin Flora shows us in her compelling and delightful book Friendfluence, the key to understanding yourself may well lie in your friendships, past and present.  This is a must-read for anyone looking to experience greater well-being... in other words, for everyone.”
--Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., author of Succeed and Director of the Motivation Science Center, Columbia Business School.

“A captivating read about an eternally fascinating subject--friendship.  Flora's easy-to-read prose blends narrative and scientific research seamlessly.  You will finish the book with a better understanding of why good friends are worth keeping.”
-Jane Gradwohl Nash, Professor of Psychology and one of the "GIRLS FROM AMES"

"In our changing social world of flexible networks, shifting families and blurred boundaries, many of us sense that friends and friendships have increased in importance, but we can't say why.  In Friendfluence, Carlin Flora tells us precisely why in her lively account of both the science and poetry of friendship.  Worthy reading for anyone who is not a hermit in the woods--or, perhaps, especially by the friendless."
--Dalton Conley Ph.D., author of THE PECKING ORDER and Professor of Sociology at New York University

“Friendfluence offers a penetrating look at our most taken-for-granted relationship. Carlin Flora's observations, backed up by the latest research, will not only prompt you to dissect every key friendship you've had since kindergarten, but inspire you to become a better friend.”
--Sally Koslow, author of Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest and the novel, With Friends Like These

"I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be who I am without my dear friends. Now Carlin Flora explains why and how friends matter so much. A fascinating read!"
--MJ Ryan, author of THIS YEAR I WILL: How to Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution or Make a Dream Come True


About the Author

Carlin Flora was on the staff of Psychology Today for eight years, most recently as features editor. She is a graduate of the University  of Michigan and Columbia University School of Journalism and has written for Discover, Glamour, Women’s Health, and Men’s Health, among others. She has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Fox News, and 20/20. She lives in Queens, New York.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Carlin Flora has done a beautiful job in explaining the dynamics of friendship in this easy-to-read, yet academic level book. She cites lots of research material, other writers’ books as well as many real life examples to clarify the points being made. Friendship and its influence is looked at from many different ways – the childhood and adolescent friends, the perks as well as the dark side of friendship, the online friendship and what it means in relation to real-life friends.

She has done her research well, and therefore knows what she is writing about. She lifts friendship up, outside of the brackets of parental and familial relationships and the romantic ones, and shows us how they fulfill a key position in our lives. After reading this book you will be far more conscious of how friends are affecting you, which helps you appraise the friendships you have and decide how to move forward to get the most out of it, or realize the relationship has come to an end and gracefully slide out of it. You will no longer underestimate friendfluence – the influence of your friendships!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa393230c) out of 5 stars 35 reviews
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3a48e88) out of 5 stars From the Nook Users Book Club Jan. 28 2013
By Tammy Blackwell-Keith - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Friendfluence investigates the types of friends people have and how these friends have influenced different types of behaviors. The novel looks at the development of friendships, male and female, over many years. From adolescence to adulthood, friends or lack thereof can provide significant influence. The onset of social media is examined and how this "instant contact" has altered the "face to face" friendships of the past. You may agree or disagree with the findings in the book, but I think you will find it is very captivating and filled with *aha!* moments.
Two of the most profound ideas that she discusses is how two people destined for different things can become disastrous if they become friends. This is highlighted in many shows such as Wicked Attraction on the ID Channel. The other is that those the student who move constantly have a harder time retaining friends. I did find as a military brat that it was harder to keep friends because I was constantly changing schools as were those peers of mine. I could be at a school for 6 months and then have to move to another. It did make it harder; however I find that I developed a strength to adapt to change better than those that didn't.
I disagree with her statement "while friendships among people of different races are statistically rare in the United States, having such a friend lowers your levels of prejudice and even those of your friends." As a military brat I always had interracial friends so I knew my perception could be inaccurate. I do however have five girls ranging in age from 13 - 23 and many of their friends I have "adopted." I asked them this question and was told they didn't believe this to be true. Yet, I think this shows the evolution of friends over the years.
One of my favorite comments from the book is: "If you are not willing to be bored sometimes, you can't have friends." I know we have all listened to a friend drone on about something we could care less about (we have done it ourselves as well...admit it). But we do it because the other person needs to *vent* and that's what friends are for. We listen, we agree, we disagree, but in the end we are there for each other.
Even with the disagreement I found the book interesting because it made me think about the friendships we had and how they have changed over time. Ms. Flora use of surveys, studies, and interviews reinforced her points that friends influence our lives and can push us to do better. We found it to be an intriguing dissection of something I wouldn't normally have though about.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3a48edc) out of 5 stars Wonderfully engaging, fascinating book Jan. 17 2013
By Dorothea Brooke - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In lucid, compelling language, Carlin Flora offers a gently radical new way to think not just of our friends but of ourselves. In a world full of self-help books that dissect romantic relationships and nuclear families, we tend to overlook the people who may influence more than anyone else: our peers.

From earliest childhood on, friends and playmates teach us empathy and the basic social skills needed to interact with others. The lessons we learn (or fail to learn) may have more of an impact on our future lives than what test scores we get or where we go to college. Flora also explores the way peer pressure is real--and not always bad. Did you know that kids from troubled, unstable families do fine in school--if their friends come from stable homes? Peers who exert a positive influence overpower the effect of a bad home situation. But if kids have friends who also tend to come from unstable homes, grades suffer and risk of dropping out, drug abuse, etc. increase? It doesn't end there. Throughout life, people whose friends are happier--people who set reasonable but ambitious goals and then take steps to meet them--will be happier themselves, while those whose friends are negative and self-defeating will absorb some of those tendencies, even when they think they aren't. If your friends gain weight, you are likely to. If your friends lose weight, you are likely to. Friendships are also great test cases for dealing with interpersonal conflict, so those with more healthy friendships will tend to have healthier romantic relationships. Moreover, Flora shows us that couples who have more couple friends are happier than those who don't.

All in all, this is a very engaging, hard-to-put down book that develops a very powerful idea. It will change the way you think of your life--and might make you both happier, and more empathetic and engaged with others.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa38921d4) out of 5 stars All About Friends Feb. 6 2013
By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Friendfluence by Carlin Flora is an important work which outlines how people go about seeking friends. According to the author, friends are part of our identity. They make us who we are to some extent.

There are important defining characteristics of friends. For instance, they tend to be in close proximity. Friends care less about inequality than general affability. The author explains that having friends with a high GPA can rub off in a positive way. Many times, friends choose friends like themselves.

Flora believes that there is an interpersonal similarity for people to be friends. In addition, the author finds that
peer pressure is greater for teens because an important aspect of being a teen is fitting in with a peer group.

The author believes that friends can expand social horizons. Feeling happy for friends when they do well is a sign of a high point in a relationship, as well as a strong connection.

Flora covers social media friendships and provides specific guidance on email acquaintances, as well as Facebook. Friendfluence by Carla Flora is an excellent book which places importance on finding and having good friends.

A strength of the work is that the author explains the defining characteristics of friends together with common interests and
the domain of personal feelings, as well as interpersonal communications. This book will reinforce your own view of friendships
and provide important guidance on strengthening these relationships.

Credits: First Published on Blogcritics
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa38926f0) out of 5 stars A solid & very interesting Non-Fiction March 6 2013
By Gina Hott - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Hott Synopsis
We've just gotten past the visiting season. The season where we spend time giving gifts to those we love the most... but how many times doing that glorious season did you find yourself cringing over the people you were going to see, wishing you were somewhere else, or wondering if you were saying the right thing?
That didn't happen when you were with your friends though, did it? Generally, it was with family.
So what makes those relationships different -- and more importantly how can we make them better?
Carlin Flora's book helps you through these questions and more.

Hott Review
What I liked: Overall, I really enjoyed this book. As you all know, I'm not big on non-fiction but this book intrigued me and I really wanted to see what she had to say. Though it's not meant to be a "how-to" book I found myself really seeing applications and fixes for not only my life but the lives of my children to help us all create lasting relationships with purpose.
What I didn't like: Though it's not the author's fault, in the beginning I found myself wanting to argue with some of the studies she presented. As I got more into the book I saw most of those arguments fade away though.

Source: Providence Book Promotions
Grade: B
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3892708) out of 5 stars A Lovely Read Jan. 24 2013
By Pamela L. Kerpius - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It was a pleasure to read Flora's Friendfluence. From the first page to the last, this book is defined by its smart, clean prose. She gets right to the point and says exactly what she means, jargon-free. Which is not to say it's not grounded in diligent research to corroborate her engaging, personal stories of friendship. The research is in fact remarkable. More than anything else though, I walked away from this book beaming with delight that there was so much to be grateful for in my friendships. It made me appreciate the friends in my life more and be aware of how marvelously influential they are on me. I love the idea of celebrating friendships the way we do conventional relationships, which Flora advocates. I'm buying another copy of this book today for my own BFF. Just a little thank-you to him for making my life so enriched and happy. Definitely check out Friendfluence, it's truly a lovely and thoughtful read.