Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness
With the constant connectivity of today’s world, it’s never been easier to meet people and make new friends—but it’s never been harder to form meaningful friendships.
In Frientimacy, award-winning speaker Shasta Nelson shows how anyone can form stronger, more meaningful friendships, marked by a level of trust she calls “frientimacy”. Shasta explores the most common complaints and conflicts facing female friendships today, and lays out strategies for overcoming these pitfalls to create deeper, supportive relationships that last for the long-term.
Shasta teaches readers to reject the impulse to pull away from friendships that aren’t instantly and constantly gratifying. With a warm, engaging, and inspiring voice, she shows how friendships built on dedication and commitment can lead to enriched relationships, stronger and more meaningful ties, and an overall increase in mental health.
The book is divided into three parts:
1. The Intimacy Gap, we’ll discuss what it means to acknowledge and own our intimacy gaps.
2. The Frientimacy Triangle, we’ll discuss the tri-fold approach to embracing and deepening frientimacy: by enhancing the positivity, consis- tency, and vulnerability in all our friendships.
3: Obstacles to Intimacy, we’ll discuss the various stumbling blocks that can trip up our path to frientimacy.
Then, in the conclusion, we’ll cover how we can measure how far we’ve come by tracking our growth in the areas of relationship growth, courage growth, and love.
Frientimacy is more than just a call for deeper connection between friends; it’s a blueprint for turning simple friendships into true bonds—and for the meaningful and satisfying relationships that come with them.
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Here's an Excerpt
When I’m in front of an audience, I often ask, “How many of you are lonely?” As you might imagine, the inclusion of the dreaded L word means very few hands go up, though I do see a few heads nod.
But when I ask, “Do you wish you had more deep and meaningful friendships?” nearly every hand rises.
Some would say only recluses and “loners” are truly lonely—and most people are neither. But to limit the classification of loneliness to only those whom professionals might consider chronically lonely (or even depressed) is like using the word “hungry” to describe only those dying of starvation with no access to food. Just because I’m not malnourished doesn’t mean that I don’t regularly feel hunger—and that certainly doesn’t mean I don’t need to respond to my hunger. Likewise with our loneliness: just because we aren’t extremely lonely doesn’t mean we don’t experience loneliness. We do, and we need to respond to it, because the reality is that many of us are far more disconnected from intimacy than we want to be.
When I ask my audiences to call out what comes to their minds when they hear the L word, common responses include: depressed, sad, isolated, and bitter. Given those replies, it’s no wonder we’re so afraid to concede to feeling lonely. To utter the word “lonely” might reveal that something is wrong with us, that no one likes us, that we have no friends.
We’re fine, we tell ourselves. We know people we could call. We talk to people every day, sometimes all day long! Our friends really would be there for us if we needed them. In fact, we’re actually too busy to stay in touch more than we do now, right? We already feel guilty for not being better friends, parents, daughters, and partners. Truthfully, we have so many responsibilities that we really don’t even have the time or energy to do much more than we’re already doing. In fact, if given the choice between a quiet night in the bathtub with a favorite magazine versus an evening of going out, we’d prefer that quiet night— so doesn’t that prove we’re not lonely? Put simply: we are so resistant to the possibility that we feel lonely we can talk ourselves out of any hint of the truth.
Indeed, many of us aren’t lonely because we don’t know people; we’re lonely because the vast majority of those relationships lack the depth and ease and intimacy that we crave. For many of us, it’s not that we need to meet new people, it’s that we need to know how to go deeper with the people we already know.