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Just as the role of friends is expanding in our culture, Friendfluence explores their powerful and often under-appreciated influence on our personalities, habits, physical health, and even our chances of success in life. In this fascinating book, packed with the latest research findings, Carlin Flora traces friendship from its evolutionary roots to its starring role in childhood and adolescence to its subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) impact on adults—both positive and negative, online and offline. Told with warmth as well as rigor, Friendfluence not only illuminates and interprets the science of friendship but will help you reflect thoughtfully on your social history and wisely navigate your present and future friendships.
“A charming and informative examination of the impact of friendship. . . . Timely, savvy, and judicious. . . . Awash in arresting insights with practical implications, many of them counter-intuitive.” —The Huffington Post
“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
“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
“A seminal contribution to the literature on friendship. In this meticulously researched and eminently readable book, journalist Carlin Flora has mined the extant research on this complex topic and woven it together with real-life examples (both her own and others). In so doing, she helps explain how these relationships evolve and their impact on our day-to-day lives from childhood through adulthood.” —Irene Levine, Ph.D., author of Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend
“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
“If you’ve been thinking of starting a book club with your BFFs, here’s your first assignment.” —BookPage