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Book Review: The Friendship Factor by Dr. Alan Loy McGinness

The book, “The Friendship Factor: How to Get Closer to People You Care About,” is about close relationships that are often referred to as friendships. The subtitle explains the main purpose of the book: How to get closer to the people you care for.

Intimacy is something that is difficult to develop but is well worth the time and energy to develop. Friendships without any degree of deep intimacy are just acquaintances. There is a process of developing friendships. It is more an art than a science. This book looks at the reasons and factors why you should have friendships. A variety of friendships is good for improving all of your relationships.

The book has an interesting perspective that can help any relationship. It’s about overloading your friendships on one person. Most people would approach friendships based on similarities as relatives (family similarities) and then expect (with an emphasis on hoping) that all facets of that particular relationship are aligned and united. That is not the case. You can’t make one person everything to you to the point that if that person doesn’t fulfill that role, the friendship is doomed.

The “Friendship Factor” talks about having a variety of friendships based on different interests. You may have a group of friends who enjoy fishing or reading classic books. You can stay within the realm of that relationship based on the ordinary, like fishing or classic books. Your “fishing buddies” will serve to fish. You don’t have to talk about your work with this group of friends. With the expansion of online communities, it’s easy to meet others with similar interests (although approach this path with caution and discretion).

It puts a huge burden on one person (for example, your spouse) if you expect them to have the same hobbies or ways of thinking. Instead, consider that “variety is the spice of life,” including your relationships. As a precaution, the type of activity may be reflected in the quality of that relationship. Drinking buddies may not be the best kind of friendships, as they could get you into trouble, like driving under the influence. The type of activity strongly reflects the long-term quality of that relationship.

Friendship is by choice, not luck. You have the option to choose who to be friends with. This book provides tools to expand or enhance those friendships in your life.

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