Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are

Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are

by Carlin Flora
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Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Carlin Flora in her new book, “Friendfluence” published by Doubleday shows us The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are. From the back cover: Discover the unexpected ways friends influence our personalities, choices, emotions, and even physical health in this fun and compelling examination of friendship, based on the latest scientific research and ever-relatable anecdotes. Why is dinner with friends often more laughter filled and less fraught than a meal with family? Although some say it’s because we choose our friends, it’s also because we expect less of them than we do of relatives. While we’re busy scrutinizing our romantic relationships and family dramas, our friends are quietly but strongly influencing everything from the articles we read to our weight fluctuations, from our sex lives to our overall happiness levels. Evolutionary psychologists have long theorized that friendship has roots in our early dependence on others for survival. These days, we still cherish friends but tend to undervalue their role in our lives. However, the skills one needs to make good friends are among the very skills that lead to success in life, and scientific research has recently exploded with insights about the meaningful and enduring ways friendships influence us. With people marrying later—and often not at all—and more families having just one child, these relationships may be gaining in importance. The evidence even suggests that at times friends have a greater hand in our development and well-being than do our romantic partners and relatives. Friends see each other through the process of growing up, shape each other’s interests and outlooks, and, painful though it may be, expose each other’s rough edges. Childhood and adolescence, in particular, are marked by the need to create distance between oneself and one’s parents while forging a unique identity within a group of peers, but friends continue to influence us, in ways big and small, straight through old age. Perpetually busy parents who turn to friends—for intellectual stimulation, emotional support, and a good dose of merriment—find a perfect outlet to relieve the pressures of raising children. In the office setting, talking to a friend for just a few minutes can temporarily boost one’s memory. While we romanticize the idea of the lone genius, friendship often spurs creativity in the arts and sciences. And in recent studies, having close friends was found to reduce a person’s risk of death from breast cancer and coronary disease, while having a spouse was not. Friendfluence surveys online-only pals, friend breakups, the power of social networks, envy, peer pressure, the dark side of amicable ties, and many other varieties of friendship. Told with warmth, scientific rigor, and a dash of humor, Friendfluence not only illuminates and interprets the science but draws on clinical psychology and philosophy to help readers evaluate and navigate their own important friendships. The Bible tells us that iron sharpens iron or, in other words, those that we hang out with help to sharpen us while we help to sharpen them. The choice of our friends is very important if we choose bad friends we will start to behave as they do. As human beings we need to have friends that we can share with, open up with, be ourselves with, more than family alone can provide. Ms. Flora has written a book that clearly points out the need of our friends and the enormous benefits we receive from them as well as provide in return. In eight chapters that include defining friendship, the perks of friendship, the dark side of friendship and how media affects friendship and others Ms. Flora goes into great detail about our strongest connection after our families. This is a book that you can read and put on your shelf close by as you will want to come back to it a few times for a refresher. This is a book that you should give as a gift to your friends and family, which they will thank you for, as they need their friends as well. Everyone should have this book! It is that good and that needful to have! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Providence Book Promotions. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
This is a very comprehensive, well-written book that covers every aspect of friends and their unmistakable influence on our lives. Everything is covered including the negative side of friendship (something I am experiencing now) and internet friends. I don't want to give away too much of what is included, but you will find stories to which are easy to relate, and there is much research in the book. Differences between the sexes and ages were pointed out, and I found some things that even helped me understand my unique situation. Everyone can relate to a book like this, and because of the arrangement of the chapters, you do not need to read it cover to cover. Go to the chapter of your choice, and although it is not necessarily an exciting topic, it is very educational. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Hotchpotch More than 1 year ago
Easy-to-read yet academic level how friends influence you 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!
MeteorFlower More than 1 year ago
Usually self-help books and psych books aren’t my thing but Friendfluence is your one stop shop for everything friends. Wanna know why you’re still hanging out with that toxic friend that seems to suck the life out of you? Or would you like to know why you still feel lonely even though you have real friends and internet friends right at your fingertips on Facebook? Carlin Flora provides insight with figures, facts, quotes and stories. You’ll find no jargon or wordiness in Flora’s writing and while I didn’t find the things she pointed out very surprising, it did make me think about not only myself and how friends have influenced me but about my friends and what they’re contributing to me and vice versa. I even found myself reading parts to my friends and having discussions about it. There were things I agreed with and things I disagreed with but all in all I found this book to be a very sound read if you’re into understanding why we form relationships, why some stay and some fall apart and really love a book that incites discussion. Thank you to Carlin Flora, Doubleday and Providence Book Promotions for the review copy. It in no way influenced my review.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A nonfiction read that is definitely out of my usual reads, but with a center on friends, I was definitely excited to read this one.  I value my friends very much and just as the book states, my friends are really close to me and may even know more about me than my family and spouse.  As this book centers on friends and the influence they have on our lives, I wanted to read about the good, the bad and the big deal with friendfluence.
Tbkeith More than 1 year ago
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. From Michelle & Tammy The Nook Users Book Club
coziecorner More than 1 year ago
Carlin pens "Friendfluence" in a story line that teaches us the basic social skills to interact with one another. A hard to put down book that will change your live and the way you look at things. Highly recommended and important subject for all readers. This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.