Wednesday, July 23, 2014

REVIEW: Social Elephant

Social Elephant
By: Kia Wakefield

Genre: Social Psychology & Interactions, Relationships
Publication date: 9.14.2013
Pages: 146

Date read: 1.11.2014
Recommended by: Read 2 Review

Summary: Friendship often starts when two people's priorities, interests, schedules and appetites click. Unfortunately, more people are finding that they simply aren't clicking. Despite an authentic, human desire to connect, millions of people are predisposed to undermine social connection. But the problem isn't always a lack of social skill.

Cicero, the Roman philosopher, defined friendship as an agreement in things sacred and profane, accompanied by good will and love. And Henry Adams, the first cosmopolitan American journalist, said that to have one friend in life is much, two are rare and three are hardly possible. People tend to mistake acquaintances for friends, and unfortunately, many people don't have any true friends at all.

Social Elephant: New Rules for Making Friends in Our Changing Social Economy is an amalgamation of personal experiences and academic research on friendship. After moving five times in the past five years, Kia Wakefield struggled with developing close friendships. On her quest to make friends in her new cities, she's learned a lot and would like to share. 

When I was given the opportunity to read this book, I jumped at the chance.  I won't lie - I secretly (well, not so secretly now) love self-help books.  Any time one looks interesting, I pick it up - and I always find at least part of them to be beneficial.  But this, this was more than that.

Over the last couple of years, I have found myself in many conversations discussing how hard it is to make friends in this day and age.  I always thought it was me - I'm getting older, sometimes I would rather stay at home and read then go out, I moved to a different city where I didn't know anyone, I'm not really a drinker - but these people all felt the same way.  We complained, vented about the situation - but none of us knew how to fix the problem.

This book was perfect and exactly what I needed.  In fact, it's a book that I have recommended to some of those people that I had those conversations with and kept in touch with.  It is not just full of advice and ideas, but friendship philosophies and the reasons why things have changed.  It was easy to read and very helpful.  It just made sense.

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