Platonic Book Summary - Platonic Book explained in key points
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Platonic summary

Marisa G. Franco

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

4.4 (187 ratings)
18 mins

What is Platonic about?

Platonic (2022) is an actionable guide to making and keeping friends as an adult. It combines true stories of friendship with psychological research to give you clear, actionable, and practical advice on building better friendships. 

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Friendships shape who we are.

    Harriet had searched for a spouse her whole life. She envied her coworker Denise for having a loving husband and gorgeous twins – and wished she could have the same, too.

    Thankfully, after decades of searching, Harriet met and married Frederico. She thought her life was finally complete. But then, Frederico sadly passed away. In that moment, Harriet made an intriguing realization: friends are more valuable than a husband. She found solace in them when she mourned. And after she healed from losing Frederico, she had friends to fill her time and make her life more meaningful than ever.

    Westerners would probably frown at Harriet's claim that friendship is more important than romantic relationships. This comes as no surprise, given how Western culture significantly undervalues platonic ties.

    However, friendship, as it turns out, has a much greater effect on our lives than we often give it credit for. According to meta-analyses, exercise reduces mortality by 23–30 percent. But having a big social network reduces it by 45 percent! Another study reports that socializing with friends increases happiness levels more than time spent with spouses or children.

    Apart from improving our well-being on the physiological and psychological side of things, friendship also molds us as individuals. For one, having friends teaches us to be more empathetic – not only to our peers but to people in general. This is because friendships provide opportunities to practice and cultivate empathy.

    Having quality connections also boosts our appeal as potential friends. Research reveals that the better friends we have, the more moral, attentive, and, again, empathetic we ourselves become. 

    Simply put, friendship serves as a portal to our most authentic, generous, and rich selves. By shaping us into more well-rounded individuals, our friendships equip us to build relationships that last.

    But how exactly do we make and keep friends in the first place?

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    About the Author

    Dr. Marisa G. Franco is a professor at the University of Maryland, where she also earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology. She has done extensive research on friendship, which she presents to various organizations across the United States. 

    Who should read Platonic?

    • People who want to become better friends
    • Anyone who’s struggled to make new friends as an adult
    • Friends who’d like to strengthen their relationships

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