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How Your Friends Can Make or Break Your Health, Happiness, Family, and Career

by Florence Isaacs

Pub Date: March 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-688-15442-5
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Most women will have figured this out for themselves by age 30, but for those needing help, here are reasonable parameters for defining friendship, when it’s a good thing, and when it goes bad. Isaacs (Just a Note to Say: The Perfect Words for Every Occasion and Business Notes) cites research findings to instruct us that friendship involves such elements as “mutual trust, respect, understanding, affection, compatibility, acceptance, and affirmation”; and she delineates three categories of relationships: best, good, and casual. Among the predictable sources of friction cited here are the tension between dependence and independence, unrealistic expectations, envy, rushing the friendship, and “poor friendship choices.” The rest of this guide looks at particular circumstances: friendships on the job (those between peers have, not surprisingly, the best chance of success) and how friends affect marriage, parenting, singlehood, family life, health, and retirement. Isaacs has researched her subject, and her case stories are entertaining, but readers of women’s magazines especially will find this mighty familiar ground.