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Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make--and Keep--Friends

de Marisa G. Franco PhD

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Family & Relationships. Psychology. Self-Improvement. Nonfiction. HTML:Instant New York Times bestseller
Is understanding the science of attachment the key to building lasting friendships and finding your people in an ever-more-fragmented world?

How do we make and keep friends in an era of distraction, burnout, and chaos, especially in a society that often prizes romantic love at the expense of other relationships? In Platonic, Dr. Marisa G. Franco unpacks the latest, often counterintuitive findings about the bonds between usfor example, why your friends arent texting you back (its not because they hate you!), and the myth of friendships happening organically (making friends, like cultivating any relationship, requires effort!). As Dr. Franco explains, to make and keep friends you must understand your attachment stylesecure, anxious, or avoidant: it is the key to unlocking whats working (and whats failing) in your friendships.
Making new friends, and deepening longstanding relationships, is possible at any agein fact, its essential. The good news: there are specific, research-based ways to improve the number and quality of your connections using the insights of attachment theory and the latest scientific research on friendship. Platonic provides a clear and actionable blueprint for forging strong, lasting connections with othersand for becoming our happiest, most fulfilled selves in the process.
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Facebook tells me that I have five hundred friends. I don’t believe it. While I value each connection I have on social media and enjoy keeping up with what and how they are doing, I can’t invest what it would take to truly be a friend with that many people.
Aside from the limits of time and attention, why would I want so many friends? In 1936, Dale Carnegie published one of the best-selling books of all time, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Despite its ubiquity, I avoided reading it until it was assigned for a college psychology class and found it contained much helpful advice. Yet the second half of the title remained off-putting. It suggests a motive for friendship: the advantage I can gain by influencing the other person.
Now Marisa G. Franco presents an update. In keeping with the Carnegie tradition, I am told in the first part of the book how friendship benefits me with increased life expectancy and happiness, trumping even romantic love. However, whereas Carnegie relied on anecdote and common sense, Franco can cite many psychological studies to ground this assertion.
In the longer second part, Franco outlines tips for how to make and keep friends. Again, there is much valuable insight here. She draws on her clinical experience as a psychologist to illustrate each point. And Franco is an encouraging mentor; the book reads like a series of TED talks.
However, one dilemma is at the book’s heart, which is only partially resolved. Many of Franco’s intended readers are those who, from childhood, have not had friends and consequently view themselves as unlovable. Yet a prerequisite for friendship is to believe that you are friend-worthy.
Similarly, as helpful as Franco’s tips are, simply applying them as a strategy will likely not work. She stresses that we must do what she calls the internal work of facing ourselves, not merely saying the right things.
The Bible tells us that in the beginning, God looked at the first human and decided it was not good for him to be alone. Cultures worldwide recognize this ancient wisdom; Franco peppers her book with quotations attesting to this. Zulus say, for instance, that a person is a person through other persons. In other words, there’s a strong link between relationship and identity. So I get it that, in keeping with the spirit of the times, this book focuses on the personal benefit of a strong network of friendships.
Yet there’s a reason this is called our “social” life. The fabric of society is strengthened by nets of understanding, empathy, and caring that Franco advocates. It might not work as a book marketing slant, and Franco doesn’t touch on it, but it seems we have a moral obligation to develop strong friendships. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jan 22, 2023 |
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The stories of friendship you'll read in Platonic are all based on true stories.
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Prejudice thrives in the abstract, but once we become friends, others become complex beings who hurt and love just like we do, and no matter how different we think they are, we see ourselves in them. (p. 10)
When we confide our shame, and friends accept us or even identify with us, we learn our disappointments don't make und unhuman. They make us deeply human. (p. 17)
... as a Zulu saying goes, "a person is a person through others persons." (p. 29)
If we do the internal work, if we face ourselves, then we won't just make friends by saying all the right things; we'll feel the right things deep inside us. (p.57)
...the larger lesson is that to make a friend, you must be a friend. (p.90)
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Family & Relationships. Psychology. Self-Improvement. Nonfiction. HTML:Instant New York Times bestseller
Is understanding the science of attachment the key to building lasting friendships and finding your people in an ever-more-fragmented world?

How do we make and keep friends in an era of distraction, burnout, and chaos, especially in a society that often prizes romantic love at the expense of other relationships? In Platonic, Dr. Marisa G. Franco unpacks the latest, often counterintuitive findings about the bonds between usfor example, why your friends arent texting you back (its not because they hate you!), and the myth of friendships happening organically (making friends, like cultivating any relationship, requires effort!). As Dr. Franco explains, to make and keep friends you must understand your attachment stylesecure, anxious, or avoidant: it is the key to unlocking whats working (and whats failing) in your friendships.
Making new friends, and deepening longstanding relationships, is possible at any agein fact, its essential. The good news: there are specific, research-based ways to improve the number and quality of your connections using the insights of attachment theory and the latest scientific research on friendship. Platonic provides a clear and actionable blueprint for forging strong, lasting connections with othersand for becoming our happiest, most fulfilled selves in the process.

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