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Read We Should Get Together

Read We Should Get Together by Kat Vellos

Have you recently moved to a new city and are struggling to make friends?
Do you find yourself constantly making plans with friends that fall through?
Are you more likely to see your friends’ social media posts than their faces?

You aren’t alone! Millions of adults struggle with an uncomfortable and persistent ache: platonic longing, which is the unfulfilled wish for authentic, resilient, close friendships. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Making and maintaining friendships during adulthood can be hard—or, with a bit of intention and creativity, joyful.

Author Kat Vellos, experience designer and founder of Better Than Small Talk, shares the best tools to overcome the four most common challenges to adult friendships: constant relocation, full schedules, the demands of partnership and family, and our culture’s declining capacity for compassion and intimacy in the age of social media. Combining expert research and personal stories pulled from hundreds of interviews with a diverse group of adults, We Should Get Together is the modern handbook for making and maintaining stronger friendships.

With this book you will learn to:
• Have deeper and more meaningful conversations
• Conquer awkwardness in social situations
• Become less dependent on your phone
• Identify and prioritize quality connections
• Balance friendship and everyday obligations
• Create closer, more durable friendships

Full of charming illustrations, relatable stories, and practical tips, We Should Get Together is the perfect gift for anyone who wants to have dedicated, life-enriching friends, and who wants to be that kind of friend, too.

A fitting follow-up to read after Seek You‘s discussion of American loneliness.

Different from but complementary to Frientimacy, with some overlap but more of a focus on looking inward at your own blockers to spending time with people and getting to know people on a deeper level. Probably more similar to The Art of Showing Up.

Her four “seeds of connection” for making (and keeping) friends are:

  • compatibility
  • frequency
  • commitment
  • proximity

Key Notes

List things your friends do that make you feel valued and connected. What do you do to show your friends you’re committed to them too?

Be vulnerable before you’re ready — people are usually OK with it but don’t want to be the first one to expose themselves

What kind of friend are you?

Feelings when your needs are or are not met

Needs from a relationship

4 main types of social support:

  • emotional – caring, showing love and affection
  • tangible – helping out, making food
  • informational – advice, recommendations
  • companionate – showing up to support the other person (birthdays, hard times)

Recipe for deeper connection with friends:

  • momentum – making them part of your life
  • continuity – not too long in between hangouts / communication
  • authenticity
  • familiarity

Her suggestion: agree with a friend you want to be closer, and over three months do something together at least 12 times, and at least 3 different things.

“Better than small talk” conversation prompts:

  • What would you do if you won the lotto?
  • If you had a month to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?
  • What book do you think everyone should read?
  • If you could change anything about your neighborhood, what would it be?

I like her framework of prompting whether you’re being emotionally available to make and keep friends:

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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