There’s no denying that friendship is crucial part of our health. Whether it’s having someone to vent to, cry with or share a private joke, meaningful friendships can enhance your life and even heal. The new book, Friendship Matters addresses some of these issues as told by two clinical psychologists, Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein, and “best friends” as the celebrate the story, values and healing powers of friendship. In fact, good friendships are seen to be a good predictor of health, overall well-being and longevity.
The book addresses their 47 years of friendship, as they examine the complexities of maintaining a good friendship through its many ups and downs. The book, a combination of memoir, life lessons and laughter, is a foray into understanding and further strengthening these ordinary yet extraordinary relationships. To learn more about this exciting new book, we chatted with authors, Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein, as we discovered more about the power of friendship and how having this connection is so crucial to our lives.
The Importance of Friendship in Friendship Matters
Wellness Patterns: Why was it important for you to cover the topic of friendship?
Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Who doesn’t want to brag about what they are good at? Seriously, we are so capable in our friendship- utilizing all the skills which we help inform patients everyday to use in their lives. We know that friendship has made us more effective in our interactions with others (spouses, work, families, other friends) and besides that, our laughter and wisdom which we share back and forth is a pleasure. Sometimes it is better to give than to receive and sometimes vice versa…and we do both. We want others to “have what we are having.” Truly we enjoy it everyday.
Wellness Patterns: What have you learned about yourself through your friendship with one another?
Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Plenty of self awareness and acceptance. We don’t feel ashamed…we feel accepted and understood and normal. Wendy has learned to be more precise and go deeper and Sandy notes Wendy’s persistence in her choices. Safety first is what we learned as kids: that’s what our friendship provides.
Wellness Patterns: What advice would you give to someone who has a toxic friend?
Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Notice it and check it out with your friend..so you are not “assuming” you understand their intent and you are letting them know how it feels. That makes you skillful for yourself and a good friend for the other. And if deliberate and conscious conversations don’t work, let them know what was so wonderful and what you will miss in your “dear john” letter (which you might or might not send…depending on the type of toxicity)
Wellness Patterns: What do you think friendship is so complex?
Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: We have much in our pasts that contribute in a positive or negative way to our friendship, including our growing up experiences, relationships with siblings, experiences with friends as a young person and , self-perceptions (which can be wonderfully enhanced by a healthy friendship.) In some ways, if we communicate honestly, openly and kindly, it is very simple…and rewarding. When it is work, it’s worth the effort. Friendships are a big payoff.
Wellness Patterns: What can a reader expect in your new book, Friendship Matters?
Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Entertainment, knowledge, skill, and growth. Not fattening, except for growing in comfort and capability.
For more information on the book and authors, visit www.friendshipmattersbook.com