A Closer Look at '101 Ways to Facilitate Making Friends'

101 Ways to Facilitate Making Friends has been popular with individuals who want to have a handy resource to look up friendship tips. One self advocate told us that he uses it like an encyclopedia of networking ideas. "When I'm feeling lonely, I flip through my book and I try something new. Or, if I am going out to my photo club, for example, I flip to #38 in the book and re-read the section called Take Photos and Show them Around."

It has been a great resource, as well, for facilitators/educators who want to lead small groups in building their networks. Each 'way' has ideas to talk about, questions to discuss, things to practice within your group, or with your supporters, and concrete things to try when you're out in the community. 

On its own or as a companion to 101 Ways to Make Friends, this collection of strategies is for parents, leaders, and teachers of all kinds.

In his introduction, David Pitonyak says, "What I love most about 101 Ways… is that it is not just a book about making friends. It is a book about being a friend."

From 'way' #52 Be the Kind of Friend You'd Like to Meet -- "Create a vision of yourself as the kind of a person that you would like to spend time with. If you would choose yourself as a partner, you will be much more likely to be attractive to other people. And if you are someone who has the traits that other folks are looking for -- your chance for friendship increases."

Many people with disabilities are lonely, and this book was written to help them find ways to build their personal support networks. But other groups have found this book to be helpful, too. Seniors groups have used it. Kids have used it. People who are new to their community or new to the country have found it extremely helpful. In fact, anyone who has trouble making friends will find ideas in this book that will make their lives better.

I will close with another quote from David Pitonyak's introduction to 101 Ways to Facilitate Making Friends. "Ours is a social brain. When we are connected to meaningful and enduring relationships, we are significantly more likely to live longer and healthier lives… In short, we are hot wired to belong."

Jim Reynolds