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You Must Be My Best Friend... Because I Hate You!
Friendship and How to Survive It
US$ 16.99 (+ tax)
Like love, friendship is what life is all about - but being a good friend isn't always easy. This book bursts the myth that friendship is all giggling over cocktails. With the help of true-life stories, it surveys every kind of 'bad friend' act and offers consolation, a wry laugh and some ever-so-practical solutions.
Vision Paperbacks; November 2006
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Most books on friendship are saccharine tomes about how wonderful friends are; they make life easier, are the new family and will ‘be there for you when the rain starts to pour’, as the TV series claimed. But that only gives one side of the story. OK, so friendship is fab, and most of us would hate the idea of being without our pals, but it’s a myth that having a circle of good friends is an easy way to enhance your life. Real friendship takes work, and can drive you up the wall. Sometimes, your best friend will call to have a moaning session about the idiot bloke she’s dating and you’ll think, ‘Well, if you’d listened to my advice the last 30 times we had this conversation you wouldn’t be in the situation you’re in …’ At other times, you’ll be the one needing support and all that your best friend is able to witter on about is her new job/man/hobby. Managing expectations, and making sure that you have a balanced relationship with your pals, takes time and effort. Friends can gossip, hurt your feelings, get depressed, develop addictions that you could do without, fall in with people who are bad news – and, sometimes, your friends will just be plain old boring. But no one dares admit that friendship is about anything more than a loving support network that gives you a warm feeling inside, or tells you how to deal with problems that you’re bound to encounter. While there are endless books out there on relationships, when was the last time you saw a book called ‘Getting Over Her: What to Do When Your Best Friend Ditches You’? Friendship gets even tougher to negotiate the closer you get to each other. You might face the joys of holidaying with a pal, only to discover that, while your idea of heaven is ogling Miguel the waiter and lazing by the pool, she wants to get up at 7am to go and check out some crusty old ruin (no, not Miguel’s dad). Many a friendship has ended because of too many Pina Coladas in the sun. And then there’s living with a friend. It may seem like a good idea when you live apart from each other, get your telephone bill through and realise that you’ve spent hundreds of pounds chatting to your best friend over the last month. ‘Surely it’d be more practical to live together than spend all this money talking on the phone,’ you think. But a hefty phone bill is a small price to pay compared to falling out with someone you care about. And no matter how close you may be to start with, it’s much easier to like someone when they haven’t finished your milk for the third time in a week, and put the empty carton back into the fridge; or kept you awake all night by shagging the barman from your local so loudly you felt like you were involved in a threesome; or left their bright purple top in the washing machine meaning you inadvertently turn your entire white wash mauve. This book busts the myth that friendship is all nights giggling over cocktails and snuggly slumber parties. It looks at all the common friendship dilemmas no one talks about: ‘thirdwheel’ syndrome – when you get a new best friend, introduce her to the woman who’s been your best friend for years and things go horribly wrong (or your pal does the same thing to you); sex and friendship – from fancying your friend (male or female – bicuriosity has certainly added a new load of complications to friendship) to dealing with it when their new partner (or worse, long-term lover) comes on to you; jealousy in all its forms; what to do when you outgrow a relationship; maintaining a friendship when your lifestyles or locations change; and every kind of ‘bad friend’ act you could possibly imagine. If you have friends, and want to keep them (or bin them), you need to read this book.
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