Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Never Unfriended, by Lisa Jo Baker
I'm cooking up a post on character observations about Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. I've been super impressed with some things I've discovered lately, in company with a book I've been reading about being an adult. But while I do that, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about a fantastic book that's been kept waiting in the review queue for far, far too long.
Never Unfriended, by Lisa Jo Baker.
The story behind the story is just as cool as the book itself. I clicked on an Ann Voskamp post one day and saw Never Unfriended featured there. There were some questions about friendship swirling around in my mind, and I thought this book might have some answers. By the time I scrolled to the end of the post, the pre-order goodies were so pretty, I was sold. So I pre-ordered this book without a giftcard, which is like a red-letter event. And it was totally, totally worth it.
In a world where women can unfriend each other with the swipe of a finger, how do we find friendships that we can trust to last?
As the community manager at the website incourage.me since 2010, Lisa-Jo Baker has had the chance to engage hundreds of conversations with women about friendship. She’s learned that no one can make us quite as unsure about ourselves as another woman. And nothing can wound as deeply as unkind words from a friend. While we are all hungry for friendship, it’s the fear of feeling awkward and being rejected, left out, or hurt (again) that often keep us from connecting.
But what if we knew we could never be unfriended? Would we risk friendship then?
Starting with that guarantee from the most faithful friend who ever lived—Jesus—this book is a step-by-step guide to friendships you can trust. It answers the questions that lurk under the surface of every friendship—What are we afraid of? What can’t we change? What can we change? And where do we start?—with personal stories and practical tips to help you make the friends, and be the friend, that lasts.
Lisa has a warm, conversational style that not only gives you a lot of good advice about friendship but also makes you feel like you're sitting in a lawn chair next to her, watching kids play and visiting together.
(I know, I don't have kids. So I'd just be the college-age kid coming over to visit.)
It's a welcoming, mothering book that makes you feel safe and held and cared for. Lisa talks about a lot of tricky topics and gives some really helpful advice. Friendship PTSD. What to do when your friends process in a different way than you do. How to deal with jealousy in a safe way that doesn't end up wounding your friend more. How time heals a lot of things, and a lot of times you just need to hang in there and not give up. How to have a guilt-free friendship that gives each other space when life is busy. How to give the benefit of the doubt. How to be a friend to yourself.
These topics were by turns maturing, healing, and helpful to read about, and the whole way Lisa wrote it made me feel very, very loved. My mom and I have both read this book and enjoyed it. Lisa's notes section alerted me to another book that I think will be helpful and maturing to consider. And I love the beautiful wooden photo frame with printed quotes that came with it. It was entirely worth the pre-order--something that could be called a lucky chance but was not a chance at all. It was an unexpected, happy gift from a good Father, and Never Unfriended is well worth the read. If any of those topics above sound like ones you'd like to explore further, then this book is worth checking out.
(By the way, this isn't a review copy. I just really enjoyed it! You can find a free sample of the first two chapters by giving your email address here, or you can find the entire book on Amazon.)