My friends are very important to me. I think that is especially so since my mother and father are now dead, I don't have any brothers, sisters or children, and my remaining relatives (apart from my hubby) live quite a long way away.
I seem to spend half my day on social network sites chatting with my friends, yet I also know I'm probably not the easiest friend to have. For a start, I know I can be a bit opinionated and not afraid of speaking my mind. According to The Joy of Friendshipthat's probably because I'm a "decisive" character type.
The book gives plenty of tips and advice for people who feel they struggle to make friends for a variety of reasons such as shyness or because they have moved to a job, college or area where they don't know anyone. Written by self-help author Lois Blyth, The Joy of Friendshipis partly a guide to helping overcome difficult aspects of friendship such as making up after a row, or what to do if you feel a friend is perhaps taking advantage of you. But more than that it is an honouring of friendship - the subtitle is "A celebration of life, laughter and lasting memories".
Publisher Cico Books says about The Joy of Friendship on its website: "They are the walls of comfort that protect us from loneliness; they are the scaffolding that holds us up when we are reaching for greater heights; they are the mirrors that remind us who we truly are. They are there for us when life doesn't turn out quite as planned; and we are more than happy to be there for them too... But what does it take to be a true friend? What are the qualities of enduring friendship? How can you be a better friend to others, while also being true to yourself? The Joy of Friendship is a tribute to those who enrich our lives with their support, strength and laughter."
The book encourages us to look back at those we played with or hung out with in childhood and teenage years as well as to make the most of the relationships with work colleagues, the people we socialise with and the people who are always there to offer us advice or a hug on Facebook when we need it. It is gentle and heartwarming, but also thought-provoking.
I'll be handing my copy on to my best friend now I have read it. It is a book that needs sharing.
The Joy of Friendship