Friendshifts with Jan Yager

Cmtdarden: Thanks, Dr. Yager I'll check with her, that helps.
CL-Vigade2: Jan, what was the inspiration for your book?
Jan Yager: I actually started the book back in 1979, my sister had relocated to Manhattan and we lived a block away from each other after being separated for most of our 20s. We got very close and she had to move again and I wondered who would be there for me. Suddenly friendship was extremely important. Also at that time I was dating someone who had a longstanding friendship network going back to junior high school. I had never had a friendship with three friends at the same time and I wondered if male and female friendships were the same.
Jan Yager: So I was in graduate school and chose friendship patterns as my dissertation topic. Not only has my research back in the 70s and over the last two decades helped my relationships with my friends, but it has definitely helped my friendship with my sister. Also what's been a wonderful benefit is that I've applied to my relationship with my mother the friendship principals that I learned and that I detail in Friendshifts and I have evolved a wonderful relationship with my mother in my older years that unfortunately I was unable to have growing up. I'm sure anyone who's had a disappointing relationship with a parent/sibling or friend is rare and when it occurs it is to be celebrated.
CL-Vigade2L: That's right, Jan.
Jan Yager: I've seen so many open their minds to the examples Friendshifits can give in our lives including romantic ones. The strength of friendship is it's voluntary, there are many you can chose and yet you chose only a few, you have to work hard to maintain them. This is wonderful to apply to those relationships that unfortunately too many of use take for granted because we either live with that person or it is a relative. One of the key findings is that we have to cut our friends and the other relationships in our lives that are meaningful some slack and try to see conflict from their point of view. It is a complete myth that you can tell your friend "anything." You have to always think about what will what I say do to our friendship, what will it do to the friend I'm sharing it with, do I listen or do I just speak to my friends. Going back to my inspiration, up until recently there was so much attention on parent/child/romantic relationships everyone took friendships for granted. What I discovered is there are rules and there is scientific information that can actually help improve not only our own friends, but the friendship of our children and loved ones.

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