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Friendship by the Book: Nine Rooms of Happiness BOOK GIVEAWAY

March 16, 2010 | By | 28 Replies Continue Reading

The Nine Rooms of Happiness: Loving Yourself, Finding Your Purpose, and Getting Over Life’s Little Imperfections (Hyperion Voice, 2010) offers straightforward strategies, or "pearls" of wisdom, for resolving relationship conflicts. One gem that particularly resonated with me was: "You can’t change them. You can change yourself." Having wasted incalculable time in my own youth trying to change others, I couldn’t agree more.

 

Co-authored by Lucy Danziger, the editor in chief of Self-Magazine, and Catherine Birndorf, M.D., a psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, this new book joins the burgeoning genre of happiness literature. The authors cleverly employ a house as a metaphor for a woman’s emotional life. As in any house, the rooms (chapters) of this one are interconnected, but, of course, I took an immediate detour into the chapter named the Living Room, which represents the area of women’s friendships and social connections.

 

In the Living Room, we’re introduced to a number of women whose friendships are "messy" for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s the friend who is insatiably needy, self-involved, mistrusting, or jealous, the authors provide insight into the unconscious motivations that impede these women from achieving healthier friendships that can enhance their happiness quotient. The book helps the reader identify and understand the psychological defense mechanisms that often undermine and destroy friendships. By offering readers tools, they can take ownership of their messy rooms and make changes that improve their friendships and their lives.

 

Friendship by the Book is an occasional series of posts on The Friendship
Blog
about books that offer friendship lessons.

 

To find out more about The Nine Rooms of Happiness or its the authors, click here.

 

 

BOOK GIVEAWAY:

 

You have TWO chances to win a free copy of The Nine Rooms of Happiness, courtesy of Hyperion Voice.

1. Post a comment here telling why you would like to clean up your own messy "living room." Please include your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.

2. Click on this link at Girlfriend Celebrations to catch their exclusive interview with Lucy Danziger and enter the contest there as well. While you’re there check out their great ideas for Girls’ Nights In and Girls’ Nights Out.

Winners will be selected at random from all entries received by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. U.S. shipping addresses only, please. Good luck, girlfriends!

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Comments (28)

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  1. acoustical says:

    The article “Nine Rooms of Happiness” and the topic related to that How to Love Yourself, Finding Your Purpose, and Getting Over Life’s Little Imperfections (Hyperion Voice, 2010) offers straightforward strategies, or “pearls” of wisdom, for resolving relationship conflicts.

  2. eztv says:

    I travel so much for my work. I have friendships which date back to high school, and newer girlfriends I’ve met in the last few years. But unfortunately, they are not in my living room – I communicate with them online. It is time to blow off the dust on all my objects, light a wood fire in my fireplace, and giggle with my friends while toasting marshmallows and eating s’mores. Because let’s face it — a living room is to be lived in.

  3. I really need some help straightening my messy living room! I tend to attract people who are needy and that is no longer working for me! I need help to focus my attention on friends who are willing to reciprocate the good things I can offer. I need a new perspective on my own behaviors so I can see what changes I can make to faciliate quality friendships.

  4. charm-rose says:

    Is it an absolutely recommendable book! It is very pleasant to read, but language still on a high level!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I loved this book too .

  6. Fashion tips says:

    I loved the book and have encouraged many of my friends to read it..!

  7. Irene says:

    A copy of The Nine Rooms of Happiness is on its way to you!

    Thanks to all the entrants for the wonderful comments, too.

    Best,

  8. Mary says:

    You would think since I’m pushing 40 I would understand friendships, women, and the couple dynamic but in the past 2-3 years I believe it has gotten harder! I tend to be cluttered and disorganized in life and am afraid this has translated into my friendships. I would love to read this.

  9. Mary says:

    Going through friendship transitions is a lot like redecorating a living room. What friends are moved more to a focal point, and what friendships are relocated to a less prominent area seems similar to culling through one’s accessories and figuring out what works in the here and now. It sounds simple, but having been through life transitions during the past few years, knowing what works and what doesn’t can be tough to see when it comes to friendships, especially when juggling everything else (spouse, child, job vs. career).

    I am interested in reading the book to see how the author deciphers the sometimes overlooked room in a house, the living room, as well as the other rooms. Of course, it would be awesome to receive a copy gratis :)

  10. Strangely, I’ve picked up this book several times in the past week or so wanting to buy it, but have put it down due to an extraordinarily tight budget this month. Needless to say, it’d be nice to know what it said without going over my budget! My own “living room” is pretty messy. Actually, it’s more like empty. I just broke up with a live-in boyfriend of 4 years two weeks ago, and even though I tried to avoid it, I totally fell into the “lose all your friends and yourself” thing that happens sometimes in long-term relationships. I’ve got a lot to love in my life, but my relationships with girl friends leave a lot to be desired. I need to work on repairing the few friendships I may have left and seek out new ones—and as an adult I don’t even know where to start! This would be so much easier if we were still in college or something. I know I need to make more time for other people in my life—as a workaholic that sure always gets bumped to the bottom of my list. More than anything, I’d like to have an event I’d like to go to and be able to call someone to see if they want to go too—and not have them think I’m crazy because I haven’t talked to them in months. Oh boy—my living room is a mess, I guess!

  11. Irene says:

    It is pretty easy to fill in the WORD and get through…..sorry for the problem!

    Best,

    Irene

  12. Starrlife says:

    It let me do it but not without the message -“We are sorry, but the spam filter on this site decided that your submission could be spam. Please fill in the CAPTCHA below to get your submission accepted.”

  13. Marianna says:

    I have trouble making friends – and the few long-distance good friends I have I have trouble staying in contact with d/t our busy schedules. I’d love to read this and learn and change some things in my life!

  14. Irene says:


    IF ANYONE EVER HAS TROUBLE POSTING, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. STARRLIFE DID AND USED THE CONTACT FORM

     

    Dear Irene-
    Sorry to bother you- I can’t seem to post this comment-
    get a spam filter message. I don’t know why since I’ve posted other
    comments, hmmmm. Since this was the book giveaway I thought it was
    worth emailing you with it. Would you please post this for me, if that
    is possible? I will try again but I’m scared of that mean message!

    Starrlife

    Here it is:

    Wow- just as I was
    about to hire a cleaning lady! I’m inspired just reading the book
    cover- finding purpose (other than work, wifehood and parenting),
    loving myself (that’s a tall order, talk to my therapist!), and getting
    over life’s little imperfections ( get out the mountaineering
    equipment)- I need all of those!

    Then when you said, "insight into the unconscious motivations that
    impede these women from achieving healthier friendships that can
    enhance their happiness quotient", I knew that I HAD to have that
    book…..

    My living room is littered with unfinished attempts at friendships like
    half eaten sandwiches that I abandoned because I got distracted by some
    other needs in other rooms of my life. As I walk in with the light of
    day I can see that It needs an overhaul, new paint, refreshed pillow
    covers on the overstuffed (ahem) couch, there are dust kitties and cat
    hair in the corners that I generally try not to look at. I see the
    comfy chair in the corner that I spend my spare time whiling away in
    fantasies of warm, refreshing friendships.

    Well, needless to say- I’m sure the book was written with me in mind! Thanks for turning us on to it Irene!

  15. Trishell says:

    I think this is an awesome sounding book. To put it in a house is perfect really understandable. I went through the house descriptions and it is right o topic. I am a military wife and we are moving at least once a year and live in Germany for four years now. I believe this book regardless if I win the entry or not I will get it. I think this book will help me develop and maintain friendships throughout our military life. This is important for a military wife with deployments and training months. Then on top of it all friends you do make moving so staying in touch is very important too. I could not agree more that friend ship is most of after ones religious life and marriage very important to a woman. Thank you for this book!!

  16. Trishell says:

    I think this is an awesome sounding book. To put it in a house is perfect really understandable. I went through the house descriptions and it is right o topic. I am a military wife and we are moving at least once a year and live in Germany for four years now. I believe this book regardless if I win the entry or not I will get it. I think this book will help me develop and maintain friendships throughout our military life. This is important for a military wife with deployments and training months. Then on top of it all friends you do make moving so staying in touch is very important too. I could not agree more that friend ship is most of after ones religious life and marriage very important to a woman. Thank you for this book!!

  17. Irene says:

    I love some of your very creative entries. But several of you haven’t left any way for me to get in contact with you. If you don’t want to put your email address here, please post your entry here but send me your email address using the Tab marked CONTACT above so I can contact you if you are the winner.

     

    Thanks!

    Irene

  18. Kelly says:

    Oh, I need to win this! In my early 30’s, I have still not figured out the trick to forming and maintaining good relationships. I have a few close connections, a ton of online friends, but no in-betweens. Nobody to call up to go have a drink, etc. I know it’s due to my shy nature, but I hope there’s a way to clean that up!

  19. Jess says:

    Spring is here and my living room could use a bit of cleaning! My actual living room is a haven of special people and memories. My internal one could use a fresh coat of paint. This book sounds like my personal interior designer. :-)

  20. Sheila Callahan says:

    Cleaning is my favorite activity in life. If I could do it professionally, I’d be the Warren Buffet of the industry. So of course I’d love to learn the secrets of tidying up all those messy female friendships in my life: the lifelong girl pals who didn’t bother to give me wedding gifts; the other friend whom I never hear from but who wants us to host her for a week, etc. Oh, does it sound like it’s always the other person who’s bringing the dust bunnies into the room? I guess it does, but I know it’s also me who needs to address some of the messiness. Need book, will read and apply pearls of wisdom. Good luck, everyone, and hats off to the incomparable Friendship Doctor.

  21. My living room is the heart of the house, the place where friends and family gather — the scene of sometimes raucous parties (depending on how many grandchildren are present or how much wine is served). It’s where neighbors and girlfriends gather, jokes are told, snacks are eaten, dust collects, books are read, television is watched and life is lived. Messy? I don’t think so. It’s a microcosm of everything I love.

  22. For me, it’s all about the personal and professional relationships my life. While I don’t have a particularly “messy” living room, there is always room for rearranging, redesigning and reevaluating. Better understanding makes good relationships. So the more I understand about myself and others, the better my relationships will be.

    The Nine Rooms of Happiness seems like a wonderful book that will help me identify what’s working and what isn’t so that I can ultimately make good relationships even better.

  23. My living room is a shrine to my travels. There are wall hangings from India, Mandalas from Tibet, sculptures from Burma and throw pillows from Nepal. There are candlesticks Mexico, Moai statues from Easter Island, a porcelain Kiwi egg from New Zealand, and oil paintings done by American painters. Instead of curtains, in my windows hang bells—from Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Honduras and Chile. But my friends are rarely there because I travel so much for my work. I have friendships which date back to high school, and newer girlfriends I’ve met in the last few years. But unfortunately, they are not in my living room – I communicate with them online. It is time to blow off the dust on all my objects, light a wood fire in my fireplace, and giggle with my friends while toasting marshmallows and eating s’mores. Because let’s face it — a living room is to be lived in.

  24. David M Beach says:

    No. Its not for me, but I have a close female friend that spends a lot of time.. every day.. texting me..emailing me about various “hims” in her life. From the guy that is unobtainable to the guy she wants.. etc etc…

    If nothing else.. giving her something to read will give me a little free time.

    thanks

  25. Liz says:

    To try to imagine what it would look like if you put my friendships into a living room, I see dust and old newspapers. It is quiet and while streams of sunlight
    peek through the curtains here and there, it is dimly lit. There hasn’t been a party, or a
    celebration of any kind in quite a while and that would be very nice to change. Of course,
    before I could invite people in, I would need to clean it up and make it presentable. A place
    that someone would want to come to! To invite them now, would only cause sneezing
    and not friendship. That’s why I really need to clean up my messy living room.

  26. Dina says:

    I really need some help straightening my messy living room! I tend to attract people who are needy and that is no longer working for me! I need help to focus my attention on friends who are willing to reciprocate the good things I can offer. I need a new perspective on my own behaviors so I can see what changes I can make to faciliate quality friendships.

  27. My Living room is so full of excuses why I cant, even though I am a very highly motivated person who when actually in motion, succeeds at life. I stop myself from reaching that goal I know is very possibly by not giving myself permission to wish, hope or dream of it. Its time to sweep away the excuses to be a better friend to myself, and also to others….PLUS to be as successful as I KNOW I can be at my 2 party planning businesses.

    Looking forward to reading this book, whether by winning OR buying….or perhaps BOTH…

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