Platonic – How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends {A Book a Day 23}

“When you choose to be a friend, you choose to show up.”
– Marisa G. Franco

Eating our breadsticks at Olive Garden yesterday, my friend Kay and I talked about our friendship through the years.

We acknowledge our ups and downs. But we’ve made it work. Through changes and conversations and commitment, we’ve built a strong relationship. I’m grateful Kay consistently shows up for me. 

Did our attachment styles also play a role in keeping our friendship strong?

We’re both new to learning about attachment styles, so we can’t say for sure. (But I can say for sure we’ll talk more about it. It’s the kind of conversation we love.)

Do you know your attachment style?

In this new book by Dr. Marisa G. Franco, Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends, you’ll learn more about the three attachment styles.

Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make and Keep Friends

The attachment styles are:

    Secure people assume they are worthy of love, and others can be trusted to give it to them, leading them to give others the benefit of the doubt, open up, ask for what they need, support others, assume others like them, and achieve intimacy.
    People who are anxiously attached assume others will abandon them, so they act clingily, are overly self-sacrificing to accommodate others, or plunge into intimacy too rapidly.
    Avoidantly attached people are similarly afraid of abandonment, but instead of clinging, they keep others at a distance, eschew vulnerability, and leave relationships prematurely.

In other words, the rich get richer in friendships, at least when it pertains to attachment styles. Because when we feel accepted and loved (secure attachment style), we develop qualities that lead us to continue to connect better.

“Assuming the best sets secure people up to receive the best.”

But when we’re anxious or avoidant, we may self-sabotage our friendships in harmful ways.

I was surprised by the depth of this book about friendships, including chapters on initiative, vulnerability, authenticity, anger, etc.

You’ll find lots of practical advice here based on scientific data (yet easy to understand) about making and keeping friends.

“The crux of these theories is that people like people who like them.”

And don’t we all need strong friendships?

“Out of 106 factors that influence depression, having a confidante is the most powerful. Loneliness is more fatal than a poor diet or lack of exercise, as corrosive as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day.”

Quotes from Platonic 

“One study found the most pronounced difference between happy and unhappy people was not how attractive or religious they were or how many good things happened to them. It was their level of social connection.”

~ * ~

“If someone has a history of being rejecting in your moments of need, don’t assume they’ll change. Don’t look for water in an empty well. Your vulnerability is too precious for that.”

~ * ~

“If we can’t tolerate sadness, we may avoid friends who need support. If we can’t tolerate tension, we may withdraw from friends instead of addressing problems.”

~ * ~

“Studies have found that expressing anger is more likely to benefit a relationship than destroy it. . . . Addressing your hurts makes the friendship better.”

~ * ~

“Not every friend has to be a best friend. Maybe we expect less from them, share less of ourselves, and compartmentalize the friendship to what feels most fulfilling about it.”

~ * ~

“The more contacts we have, one study found, the less time we spend with each one. The larger our network, the weaker our relationships tend to be. If we try to invest in everyone, we may end up investing in no one. We first need to figure out who our friends are.”

~ * ~

“What is the distinguishing quality of the super friends? It’s security.”

Did all your friendships survive the pandemic? Share your thoughts in the comments.

You are on Day #23 of the series, A Book a Day {Nonfiction Favorites}.

Each day of February 2023 I’m recommending one book a day from favorite nonfiction books I’ve recently read.

The Table of Contents for all 28 books is here, updated daily.

A Book a Day - Nonfiction Favorites

Nonviolent Communication” {Book 22}

The Fire Next Time” {Book 24}

3 Ideas for Your Word {One Word 2023 February Linkup}

3 Ways to Engage Your One Word 2023

Link all of your One Word blog posts below. Share an update about your One Word in the comments.

Stay Engaged with Your One Word

Still remember your One Word? If you feel your interest slipping already, plan something new to do with your word in the next few weeks.

Listen for a song with your word in the title or theme. Add it to your playlist or print out the lyrics.

For my word HUMAN, one of my nieces sent me to Human Heart” by Coldplay. It’s a powerfully moving acappella song. The chorus is:

Oh, my human heart
Night and day, light and dark
Any day could be torn in half 
Only got a human heart

And yesterday I discovered this song, Perfectly Loved” by Rachael Lampa:

You’re perfectly human
Made from the dust
You’ve got a heart, broken and scarred,
Yet perfectly loved

What song have you found about your word?

Find a poem, a scripture, or a quote about your word. Record yourself reading it and listen to it once a day for a week.

Here are a couple favorites I found for HUMAN.

“It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they were so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I will believe, in spite of everything, that people [humans] are truly good at heart.”
– Anne Frank (1929-45)

Human life is as short-lived as grass. It blossoms like a flower in the field.”
– Psalm 103:15 (GW)

Do you have a verse or quote with your word in it?

Add a new visual of your word somewhere in your home or office. The more you see it, the more you’ll live it.

I printed out a quote and scripture to hang on my refrigerator with my little Human magnet.

This One Word February linkup will remain open for two weeks through Thursday, March 9. Each link shared here will also be shared with our One Word Facebook group

Next month’s One Word linkup will be Thursday, March 23 (every linkup in ’23 will be on the 23rd).

If you’d like to receive our monthly One Word emails sign up here for free.

Join Us for One Word 2023

Do you have a favorite song, scripture, or quote with your One Word?

Leave a comment here about your One Word.

Link Up About Your One Word!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Nonviolent Communication {A Book a Day 22}

We often know what we want in a relationship.

But do we think about what we need from another person?

And even if can identify a need, do we know how to communicate that need?

“Most of us grew up speaking a language that encourages us to label, compare, demand, and pronounce judgments rather than to be aware of what we are feeling and needing.”
– Dr. Marshall Rosenberg

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life is a wonderful book to help us trade in our harmful communication patterns for healthy ones.

Nonviolent Communication

Instead of defending, withdrawing, and attacking, use observing, identifying, and articulating.

“No matter what else is going on, we all have the same needs. Needs are universal.”

Author and psychologist, mediator, and teacher Marshall Rosenberg (1934-2015) also wants us to differentiate between our feelings and our thoughts. We often confuse statements of “I feel…” and “I think…” to our detriment.

Why does it matter?

Because Dr. Rosenberg says that articulating what we feel (not just what we think) is one of the first steps to identifying what we need.

“The objective of nonviolent communication is not to change people and their behavior in order to get our way; it is to establish relationships based on honesty and empathy that will eventually fulfill everyone’s needs.”

It may sound easy, but anybody in a relationship can attest that communication between any two people can be tricky.

We all have room for improvement.

This book is a great place to start.

“When we listen for feelings and needs, we no longer see people as monsters.”

Quotes from Nonviolent Communication 

“Connect your feeling with your need: ‘I feel…because I need…'”

~ * ~

“Expressing our vulnerability can help resolve conflicts.”

~ * ~

“What others do may be the stimulus of our feelings, but not the cause.”

~ * ~

“Use positive language when making requests. [You can’t do a don’t.]”

~ * ~

“Listen to what people are needing rather than what they are thinking. . . . You’ll find people to be less threatening if you hear what they’re needing rather than what they’re thinking about you.”

~ * ~

“Focus on what we want to do rather than what went wrong.”

What do you most need from a relationship? Share your thoughts in the comments.

You are on Day #22 of the series, A Book a Day {Nonfiction Favorites}.

The Table of Contents for all 28 books is here, updated daily.

Table of Contents - A Book a Day

How to Human” {Book 21}

Platonic” {Book 23}

How to Human {A Book a Day 21}

Jeff and I are in the living room watching our local nightly news (not a nightly thing for us). We’re waiting on a specific report of a local event.

Here it comes. The TV screen splits between the news anchor and a new guy, the reporter in the field. We lean in to closer to hear the details.

But the reporter keeps bungling his words. Again and again. We wonder how he got this job. And how long he’ll keep it.

He stammers and starts over. But this is live TV. He can’t call for a repeat.

After an excruciating two minutes, the reporter gives his sign-off statement, “This is ___, reporting live for WAFF-48. Liz, back to you.”

But instead of the cameras switching back to the single screen of Liz at the anchor desk, they hesitate a second too long, still rolling on the reporter, too.

The reporter doesn’t realize his video and audio are still on live TV.

All the viewers watch as the reporter hangs his head and makes a face. We hear him as he visibly groans, “I messed up so much!

And in that moment, instead of wanting this new guy to be fired for incompetence, I become his biggest fan. Why? Because I see myself in him. I see him as a fellow human being struggling to do a tough job. And I love him for it.

Forget professionalism. I want human.

As I work with my word of the year, Human, I’m seeing how the humanity in others makes me more happy to be a human myself.

This new book by Carlos Whittaker does this for me, too.

How to Human

In How to Human: Three Ways to Share Life Beyond What Distracts, Divides, and Disconnects Us, Carlos Whittaker, an author, speaker, and social-media pro, reveals his own stories and advice on being human, seeing humans, and freeing humans. Although he writes from a Christian lens, his larger goal is to help all people everywhere become better at being a human.

“We are called as Christians and, dare I say, as humans to wake up every day with one goal: to love others ferociously. All others.”

When we learn to see the good in each other, treating other humans better, we become better humans ourselves.

“Let’s remind the world exactly how to do this. How to help. How to hope. How to human.”

(I also love in this book that Carlos uses human as a verb. Perfect.)

Watch this video of Carlos to get a taste of how he humans:
How to help the black community in this moment… If you’re not black…

How to help the black community in this moment...if you're not black

You can also find Carlos Whittaker living life out loud on Instagram @LosWhit.

More Quotes from How to Human

“If we want to get back to being human, we must recover our compassion.”

~ * ~

“Being human means purposely bringing wonder into your God Speed life. . . . So, the task at hand is simple. Slow down. Wonder up. Be more like birds and you’ll be more human.”

~ * ~

“To see another human is not only for your benefit but for theirs. Almost all the ugliness that we encounter online can be boiled down to people wanting to be seen.”

~ * ~

“We need to see past who we think people are and into who they really are. That’s what Jesus did so well.”

~ * ~

“We’ve got to continue getting near to the people we are doubting or are doubting us. It’s the most human thing you can do.”

~ * ~

“What really matters most is also what is most simple: showing up and loving.”

What do you love about being human? Share in the comments.

My thanks to NetGalley + WaterBrook &
Multnomah for the review copy of this book

You are on Day #21 of the series, A Book a Day {Nonfiction Favorites}.

The Table of Contents for all 28 books is here, updated daily.

Beating Guns” {Book 20}

Nonviolent Communication” {Book 22}

Beating Guns {A Book a Day 20}

Jeff and I saw this monument “Guns into Plowshares” in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on our way to Washington, D.C. last fall. It’s a large plow blade made in 1995 by Mennonite artist Esther Augsburger and her son Michael from 3,000 confiscated guns collected by the D.C. police department in an amnesty program.

It was moved from Washington, D.C., to Eastern Mennonite University in 2017, where it now resides.

I’m not anti-gun. I’m married to a hunter. We have guns in our house, safely secured.

But I am also pro-common sense gun laws.

And we don’t have enough of these, especially in my state of Alabama.

Our gun safety laws are among the worst in the nation.

So it’s not surprising that Alabama is #5 in the nation for firearm death rates (as of 2021 statistics), behind only Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico and Wyoming. Our gun homicide rate now even outpaces our suicide rate. (In most states, gun suicides are greater than gun homicides.)

We have been better at protecting guns than protecting people.
– Shane Claiborne

Gun violence disturbs all of us.

This book, Beating Guns: Hope for People Who Are Weary of Violence by Shane Claiborne and Michael Martin, shows how gun violence is both a heart problem AND a gun problem.

There is a way to slow down our gun violence problem in America. But are we willing to take it?

 Beating Guns

Claiborne and Martin write from a Christian perspective in this book, but you don’t have to be a Christian to benefit from the truths they share.

“Some will say, ‘All we can do is pray.’ That’s a lie.
We can pray, and we must pray. Gun violence is spiritual.
But we can do more than pray. We can organize. We can dialogue. We can boycott and keep vigil. We can write letters and make phone calls and go to jail for nonviolent civil disobedience. Gun violence is social and political and economic; it is also a moral issue.”

Beating Guns is full of statistics that reveal just how extensive our problem has been for many years.

  • America has as many guns as people.
  • More Americans have died from guns in the last 50 years than in all the wars we’ve been in.
  • Americans own almost half the world’s guns, yet we are less than 5% of the world’s population.
  • America’s biggest gun problem is suicide.

I recommend Beating Guns to anybody concerned about gun violence and wanting to make a change.

I also recommend joining or donating to your local chapter of Moms Demand Action, a non-partisan grassroots organization for all women and all men dedicated to ending gun violence.

Quotes from 

“The Golden Rule—do to others what you would have them do to you—is a greater commandment than the Second Amendment.”

~ * ~

“A gun is much more likely to be used in a suicide, a domestic homicide, or an accidental shooting than it is to be used to ward off a criminal.”

~ * ~

“The Jesus I worship carried a cross. Jesus did not tell us to kill our enemies; he told us to love them.”

~ * ~

“When Jesus said to love your enemies, isn’t it safe to assume he meant that we shouldn’t kill them?”

~ * ~

“We have been better at protecting guns than protecting people.”

~ * ~

“Every human is created in the image of God. We have love in our DNA. There is something in almost every person that recognizes that killing is wrong.”

If you also have guns in your homes, make sure they are safely secured. Did you know that 4.6 million American children live in homes with guns that are both loaded and unlocked? Get great advice here on how to safely store your firearms.

Have you lost anyone to gun violence, either homicide or suicide? Share your thoughts in the comments

You are on Day #20 of the series, A Book a Day {Nonfiction Favorites}.

Each day of February 2023 I’m recommending one book a day from favorite nonfiction books I’ve recently read.

The Table of Contents for all 28 books is here, updated daily.

A Book a Day - Nonfiction Favorites

Stories I Only Tell My Friends” {Book 19}

How to Human” {Book 21}

Stories I Only Tell My Friends {A Book a Day 19}

As a young girl, I fell hard for Rob Lowe. Maybe first in St. Elmo’s Fire? Then I grew up and realized he’s just a person like every other person with his own set of problems. 

But when I heard he’d written an autobiography—and I kept hearing it was good—I wanted to catch up on him again. Not as a star, but as a very interesting person who’s had a very interesting life.

I don’t read many celebrity memoirs, but I am often delightfully surprised when I do. That’s what happened to me with this one, Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends

I actually listened to it as an audiobook, read by Rob Lowe himself. His stories were fascinating and Lowe was very humble in the telling of them.

In the end, even though our experiences may vary wildly, our basic humanity is more alike than different.

Quotes from Stories I Only Tell My Friends 

“I followed my heart and stayed out of the results.”

~ * ~

“So I came to the realization: Nothing in life is unfair. It’s just life.”

~ * ~

“I’ve learned to only concern myself with my end of any transaction. I do the best job I can and then let the results be what they will. I am out of the people-pleasing business.”

~ * ~

“If you can’t get honest with yourself, if you can’t look yourself in the mirror, no matter how much money they pay you, or how much you are lauded, you are literally putting your life at risk.”

~ * ~

“Anyone can run a career when the going is good. But it’s in the down times, the quiet times, that long-term careers are really made. You need to find ways to stay in the conversation, to be current and to reinvent yourself.”

~ * ~

“You can’t build a life on a backstage pass or free swag at Sundance.”

~ * ~

“The best part is not the biggest, it’s the one that’s most memorable.”

What celebrity memoir would you recommend? I also recommend Bruce Springsteen’s memoir, Born to Run. Share in the comments

You are on Day #19 of the series, A Book a Day {Nonfiction Favorites}.

A Book a Day - Nonfiction Favorites

I Take My Coffee Black” {Book 18}

Beating Guns” {Book 20}