The Southern C x Badass Women’s Book Club: May 2023
How to Make Friends as an Adult:
Books About Friendship and Community-Building
by Gina Warner, founder of Badass Women’s Book Club
I’m going to say out loud something that’s very hard to admit: It’s hard to make friends as an adult. Maybe, like me, you’ve moved away from your hometown and your college town. You can no longer count on finding friends from PTA or children’s birthday parties. You’re working from home more, so you’re naturally meeting fewer and fewer people. What do you do? (Well, I started a book club!).
Making friends as an adult is something we don’t talk enough about. Thankfully, some authors have opened the door to normalizing this very common problem. Below I’ve gathered some books full of ideas and strategies to help you find friends, make your current friendships more meaningful, and build a community of women to support you.
by Laura Tremaine
You’d love to have a “ride or die” posse like you see on social media, but instead you have a host of really good . . . acquaintances. After all, trying to find a soul friend in the midst of dirty dishes, deadlines, and, oh, a crazy busy life can be overwhelming. But what if developing great friendships was actually easier than we thought? And what if finding a “soul friend” wasn’t necessarily our highest goal? In The Life Council, Laura Tremaine—the writer and podcaster behind 10 Things to Tell You—tells us what we’ve been hoping was true all along: making, keeping, and even releasing friends doesn’t need to be as hard as we make it. This fun and practical guide gives you what you need to create your own “life council” with the friends you already have, understand the ten kinds of friends every woman needs (and how to find them), learn how to evaluate your friendship circle for what’s working and what might need to change, and get excited again about the possibility of new friendships. You can read more and get your copy here.
by Lane Moore
From Lane Moore, the critically acclaimed author of How to Be Alone, comes a searingly intimate, yet wildly funny exploration of the frustrating, messy, and, at times, deeply joyful experience of learning how to make meaningful friendships as an adult. Part memoir, part self-help, You Will Find Your People uncovers the complex, frightening, and often vulnerable process of building real, healthy friendships and finally creating your chosen family. Moore takes readers on a journey that examines and challenges the ideas of friendship we’ve seen in pop culture, answers every question you’ve ever had about friend breakups, and teaches us how to fearlessly ask for what we want in friendships once and for all. Full of Moore’s hilarious personal anecdotes, advice on how to identify your attachment style, and real tools to create better communication and boundaries, this book is your personal guide on how to heal from your past friendships, improve your current ones, and finally have the friendships we know we deserve. You can read more and get your copy here.
by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman
A close friendship is one of the most influential and important relationships a human life can contain. Anyone will tell you that! But for all the rosy sentiments surrounding friendship, most people don’t talk much about what it really takes to stay close for the long haul. Now two friends, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, tell the story of their equally messy and life-affirming Big Friendship in this honest and hilarious book that chronicles their first decade in one another’s lives. As the hosts of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, they’ve become known for frank and intimate conversations. In this book, they bring that energy to their own friendship—its joys and its pitfalls. Through interviews with friends and experts, they have come to understand that their struggles are not unique. And that the most important part of a Big Friendship is making the decision to invest in one another again and again. You can read more and get your copy here.
by Rachel Wilkerson Miller
If you’re having trouble connecting with those around you, know that you’re not the only one. Adult friendships are tricky! Part manifesto, part guide, The Art of Showing Up is soul medicine for our modern, tech-mediated age. Rachel Wilkerson Miller charts a course to kinder, more thoughtful, and more fulfilling relationships—and, crucially, she reminds us that “you can’t show up for others if you aren’t showing up for yourself first.” You can read more and get your copy here.
by Laura Tremaine
In spite of the hyper-connected culture we live in today, women still feel shamed for oversharing and being publicly vulnerable. And no matter how many friends we seem to have, many of us are still desperately lonely. Laura Tremaine says it’s time for something better. Openness and vulnerability are the foundation for human growth and healthy relationships, and it all starts when we share our stuff, the nitty-gritty daily details about ourselves with others. Laura has led the way in her personal life with her popular blog and podcast, and now with lighthearted self-awareness, a sensitivity to the important things in life, and compelling storytelling, Laura gives you the tools to build and deepen the conversations happening in your life. Each chapter offers intriguing and reflective questions that will reveal unique details and stories you’ve never thought to tell and will guide you into cultivating the authentic connection with others that only comes from sharing yourself. You can read more and get your copy here.
by Natalie Franke
Many of us feel more alone than ever despite living in the most connected society in human history. We need to belong in the same way that we need oxygen–our physical bodies require it. We perform better and have greater successes as individuals when we are connected to the collective. Join author Natalie Franke as she shares her story of longing for connection in the chaos and lessons learned on her journey to true belonging. This fresh, inspiring call to community and connection from an entrepreneur and leader is perfect for anyone feeling alone and ready to set off on a journey to true belonging. You can read more and get your copy here.
What are some other badass books you’ve read that have helped you build friendships and grow your community? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always looking to recommend the best books FOR badass women, BY badass women! And does starting a book club sound like a good friendship strategy to you? Reach out – I want to make it easy for you with book recs, discussion guides and other resources!
Gina Warner is an expert on women’s leadership and female empowerment. She is the Founder of the Badass Women’s Book Club, where she challenges women to live their best badass lives by sharing and celebrating the stories, advice and encouragement written by other badass women. For more recommendations about the best books for personal and professional development, visit www.badasswomensbookclub.com.