Friendships Don't Just Happen!: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends (Paperback)

Friendships Don't Just Happen!: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends By Shasta Nelson Cover Image
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This essential go-to guide reveals how women can enhance their lives by creating valuable friendships in today's busy, mobile world, from nationally recognized friendship expert and CEO of

Every woman is searching for a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life. Many realize the significant role that an intimate, tightly knit circle of friends plays in creating a more fulfilling life, but with hectic schedules, frequent moves, and life changes, it's more important than ever for women to establish natural, meaningful friendships that will contribute to their overall wellbeing.

In Friendships Don't Just Happen , Shasta Nelson, friendship expert and CEO of, reveals the most important proven steps, processes, and secrets vital to establishing the five different levels of friendships, or Circles of Connectedness, that women--no matter their age or relationship status--are longing for in today's stressful and mobile culture. This revolutionary, engaging guide will also benefit women who already feel rooted to fabulous friends, with insightful principles that will help them maintain and enhance their current friendships.
Full of practical how-to tips, fun activities, guiding questions, and step-by-step instructions, Friendships Don't Just Happen highlights several areas of developing lasting friendships, teaching women how to:
  • Evaluate their current circle of friends
  • Recognize what types of friends they are seeking based on career, interests, location, and relationship status
  • Create a prioritized friendship action plan
  • Find extraordinary friends--where to look and how to approach them
  • Take initiative to jumpstart friendships and face fears of rejection
  • Establish "frientimacy," trust, and happiness through conversation and activities
  • Maintain meaningful friendships and determine which ones are worthwhile
Excerpt from Friendships Don't Just Happen:

There is a lie out there that real friendship just happens.

When I was new to San Francisco eight years ago, I remember standing at a caf window on Polk Street watching a group of women inside, huddled around a table laughing. Like the puppy dog at the pound, I looked through the glass, wishing someone would pick me to be theirs. I had a phone full of far-flung friends' phone numbers, but I didn't yet know anyone I could just sit and laugh with in a caf .

It hit me how very hard the friendship process is. I'm an outgoing, socially comfortable woman with a long line of good friendships behind me. And yet I stood there feeling very lonely. And insecure. And exhausted at just the idea of how far I was from that reality.

I knew I couldn't just walk in there and introduce myself to them. "Hi You look like fun women, can I join you?" I would have been met with stares of pity. No one wants to seem desperate, even if we are. We don't have platonic pick-up lines memorized. Flirting for friends seems creepy. Asking for her phone number like we're going to call her up for a Saturday night date is just plain weird. All the batting of my eyelashes wasn't going to send the right signals.

And so I turned away from the scene of laughter and walked away.

No, unfortunately, friendships don't just happen.

We Value Belonging

Friendships may not happen automatically, but what we crave about them sure seems to We all want to belong--that need to be connected to others is an inherent desire. We live our entire lives trying to fit in, be known, attract acceptance, and experience intimacy. We desperately want to have others care about us. This book is about that hunger. And more pointedly, it is about listening to it and learning how to fulfill it.

About the Author

"Shasta Nelson" is a nationally recognized friendship expert. She is the Founder and CEO of, the only online community that matches new friends offline by connecting local women in cities across the U.S. She has been featured as a friendship expert on "The Today Show, ""The Early Show" and in "The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, Martha Stewart Radio, Essence, Parents, More, Redbook, " and "Glamour, " among others. Her current book, "Friendships Don't Just Happen!, " is the culmination of years of proven success from her work at

Shasta is also a nationally acclaimed public speaker, most recently for Tory Johnson's Spark & Hustle Tour in Chicago and at Savor the Success in San Francisco. She regularly hosts Speed-Friending events in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, where she facilitates local women getting to know each other and inspires them with her book.

Praise For…

“I knew I’d adore Friendships Don’t Just Happen! as soon as I saw the title. It’s tough to make friends as an adult, and women are often made to think we’ve done something wrong if new pals don’t come easily. Shasta Nelson does a great job of breaking down how to identify the friendships you need, how to go about forging new relationships, and how to turn those relationships into true friendships. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is looking to make new friends or strengthen their existing friendships. In fact, there is no one who won’t benefit from reading Friendships Don’t Just Happen!
—Rachel Bertsche, author of MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend

“As CEO of, Shasta Nelson has made bringing women together her life’s work. Now, Shasta has written an inspiring book that empowers women to reach out and connect as individuals. Friendships Don’t Just Happen! is a call to action, offering women practical tips and tools to find and nurture meaningful friendships. The perfect workbook for someone who wants to work on their friendships!”
—Irene S. Levine, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend

“How could it be that I made it through graduate school and yet I was never taught about healthy friendships? As I was reading Friendships Don’t Just Happen!, I had this profound wish that someone had shared all of this amazing information with me when I was much younger. This book should be required reading for women of all ages and especially for mothers of daughters.”
—Christine Bronstein, CEO of A Band of Wives, editor of Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God: 51 Women Reveal the Power of Positive Female Connection

“Loving friendships are essential to feeling fulfilled and well nourished. And this is one AWESOME book that walks us through really well laid-out steps of creating and nurturing supportive and lifelong friendships that too few of us have been taught or shown.”
—Christine Hassler, author of 20 Something, 20 Everything and 20 Something Manifesto, speaker and coach

“At a time when so many people are “friending” one another online yet reporting feelings of loneliness, Friendships Don’t Just Happen! reminds us that friendships worth creating are done with intention and significance.”
—Dale V. Atkins, PhD, psychologist, author, media commentator

"Shasta articulates and deconstructs friendship so powerfully, inspiring women to reclaim the soul of friendship and giving us the tools and language to be able to do so with depth and connection." —Ayesha Mathews Wadhwa, Savor the Success Leader

"Shasta has created extremely powerful tools to help women evaluate . . . their friendships so they can clearly see what they need to do to have fulfilling friendships in their lives." —Nancy Larocca Hedley, SF Coaches Programs Co-Director, 2009

"Women read books on parenting, romance, and diet all the time, but when was the last time we read about our friendships? As I read this book I was amazed by how much I didn't know that I didn't know. We need this book in huge ways! We've never been taught about the types of friends, healthy expectations, incremental vulnerability, and the steps of developing friendships. This book was so eye-opening and hope-filling. Read this book, get one for your mom, sister, friend, clients . . . the art of friendship is seeing a revival thanks to Shasta Nelson!"
—Angela Jia Kim, Founder of Savor the Success and Savor Spa

"When it comes to getting the girlfriend love you need (and we all need it!), Shasta Nelson has the path. No longer do you need to wish you had close, soulful relationships with other women; with this book as your guide, you are empowered to create them! This book is SO good, so thorough, and so perfect!"
—Christine Arylo, self-love teacher and author of Madly in Love with ME: the Daring Adventure to Becoming Your Own Best Friend

“Shasta sums up what it takes to make and sustain relationships, and validates all my neuroses about this subject. She teaches us how to nurture friendships, how to focus on what can be a most important thing in our lives . . . OUR GIRLFRIENDS!”
—Melody Biringer, Founder of

“When it comes to friendships, there is no better person to learn from than Shasta Nelson. Her book is a beautiful reminder of how important it is to maintain healthy friendships throughout our lives, as many women tend to put themselves and their friendships last on the to-do list!! Inspiring and practical, Shasta's step-by-step guidance is not only uplifting, it is deep and honest. She teaches us necessary skills to deal with difficult, real-life issues, and helps us move forward from what she calls 'The 5 Friendship Threats' with true forgiveness, compassion, and understanding. I highly recommend this book for every woman who yearns for a meaningful, lifelong connection to her girlfriends!!”
—Jennifer Tuma-Young, author of Balance Your Life, Balance the Scale

Friendships Don’t Just Happen! not only strengthens and deepens current friendships, but it starts with reminding us how normal it is to actually need new friends regularly through life. It can be hard to admit when we need more friends, and even harder still to know how to develop meaningful friendships. I love how Shasta Nelson walks us through every step of the way.”
—Debba Haupert, Founder of

From Publishers Weekly:

Admitting a lack of friendships is difficult for those who see their own desire to overcome the problem as desperation. Once a woman finds reasonably good friends, going deeper can prove difficult, particularly if several friends regularly spend time together. Nelson, a public speaker and the founder of, has a solution for women in search of close, lifelong friends and offers these clueless friends-to-be advice on what to do to make existing relationships more meaningful: all parsed down as time, respect, "sharing questions" and direct honesty. Nelson’s platonic girlfriend-matching website plays second fiddle here; this tome is a stand-alone compendium of tips, research, and wisdom that will help women who want more from their friendships with other women. She refrains from excessive pop psychology, outlines important distinctions in otherwise mundane concepts like “forgiveness”, and readers will learn about her central model of “frientimacy”. Much of the advice is original and of Nelson’s own design and readers will be pleasantly surprised by the depth of her knowledge about what makes healthy friendships work. (Feb.)

Product Details
ISBN: 9781618580146
ISBN-10: 1618580140
Publisher: Turner
Publication Date: February 12th, 2013
Pages: 254
Language: English