The 10 Best Books About Friendship: Expand Your Circle

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Do you want to make more friends? What are the best books about friendship? 

Friendships are among the most important relationships people can have. Having a friendly relationship with someone builds a bond that becomes unbreakable and strengthens your communication skills.

We’ve compiled a list of the best books about friendship that you should check out if you’re looking to expand your social circle.

Books on Keeping Your Friends Close

Friendships are especially unique because they give people an opportunity to be themselves around others. Sometimes, you can’t do that in a relationship with your family. Additionally, keeping things friendly has benefits for romantic relationships.

If you want to learn how to make friends and why they’re so important, check out these ten best books about friendship.

The Like Switch

Do you struggle to make friends? Have you ever wanted to learn how to read people? If so, Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins’s The Like Switch can help. Schafer spent 22 years as a Special Agent in counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism, and behavioral analysis at the FBI. In The Like Switch, Schafer—with the help of Karlins, a management and organizational behavior expert—applies his experience earning the trust of witnesses, suspects, and spies to the art of making friends and fostering powerful connections. 

In this book, you’ll learn how to use nonverbal signals to identify potential friends and show others that you’re open to friendship. The authors also outline techniques for attracting new friends and maintaining strong relationships. Finally, they discuss the unique dynamics and challenges of online connections.

The Fine Art of Small Talk

Do you avoid small talk because you find it intimidating or lacking in value? If so, The Fine Art of Small Talk is your ticket to conversational success. According to Debra Fine, small talk is a skill well worth developing because our careers, romantic prospects, and social lives depend on connecting with other people. Indeed, it’s difficult to succeed socially without small talk because it establishes the emotional tone of our interactions and helps us gauge how deeply we’d like to connect with each other.

Fine walks you through her small talk tips and her ideal conversational process step by step—from the first introduction to exiting the conversation—teaching you everything you need to appear confident and engaging in any context. Learn how to break the ice with strangers, keep a conversation going, and avoid the most common conversational pitfalls—in a way anyone can follow.


Does the idea of attending a wedding solo or standing in a room full of strangers make you cringe? If so, best-selling author Vanessa Van Edwards has a message for you: You got this! In Captivate, she provides strategies to help you become a social superstar. Van Edwards argues that by taking control of social situations and presenting your best self, you can dazzle the people you want to know and forge meaningful relationships. 

A self-proclaimed “recovering awkward person,” TEDx Talk presenter, and blogger on how to master interpersonal skills, Van Edwards has drawn on the research of social psychologists and counselors to develop strategies to make yourself magnetic, bring out the best in other people, and build strong partnerships and relationships at home and work. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is one of the best books about friendship that needs little introduction. It’s one of the best-selling books of all time and a major developer of the “self-help” book genre. Many principles written in How to Win Friends and Influence People have been repackaged and articulated in different forms.

Published 80 years ago, it contains universal principles of interacting with other people that ring true even today. Since its publishing, much has changed about the way we access information, work, and communicate—but little has changed about human nature and what we crave from other people. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, you’ll learn how to be a great conversationalist while saying barely anything and how to influence people to see your way of thinking without arousing their anger.

Talking to Strangers

In today’s society, people often find themselves in encounters with complete strangers. Judges have to grant or deny a stranger’s freedom. College students meet a stranger at a party and have to decide whether to give out their phone number. People invest large sums of money based on a total stranger’s recommendations.

This book is about why we are so bad at understanding the strangers we come across. By looking at stories from world history and recent news, you’ll begin to understand the strategies people use to translate the words and intentions of strangers. You’ll learn where those strategies came from. And, you’ll begin to notice how those strategies ultimately fail. 

How to Talk to Anyone

People who are comfortable in social situations have the best chance of establishing beneficial relationships and creating opportunities for personal and professional success. Unfortunately, many people struggle with social situations and don’t know how to confidently approach and talk to others. Their discomfort prevents them from creating new connections and they miss out on enjoying opportunities that spring from social and professional relationships.

In How to Talk to Anyone, Leil Lowndes presents practical techniques to help you overcome social discomfort and confidently develop new connections. You’ll come away knowing how to encourage meaningful conversations, confidently approach people you want to talk to, and appear more likable without saying a word.

The Charisma Myth

Most of us assume that charisma is something you’re born with: an indefinable “star quality” that makes some people irresistibly charming. This is a myth—charisma is nothing more than a set of habits and behaviors that anyone can learn. In The Charisma Myth, Olivia Fox Cabane offers specific skills and tactics you can use to become a magnetic presence wherever you go.

The Charisma Myth breaks down the mysterious quality of “charisma” into three simple components and explains how to integrate each one into your personal relationships, especially friendships.

The Happiness Project

Everyone wants to find true happiness in their lives, but many of us believe that happiness can only come from experiencing huge changes—such as a trip around the world or a lottery jackpot. But, as it turns out, you can change everything… without changing much at all. 

In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin explains how resolving to make the smallest of changes in your everyday life—using the “good” dishes, remembering friends’ birthdays, or singing in the morning—can translate into more vivid memories, stronger friendships, and a deeper sense of happiness and gratitude in your life.


Tribes is a self-help book about how to create and lead your own tribe—a group of people who are connected by a leader and an idea. Godin contends that, thanks to the ability to connect easily via the internet, there’s never been a better time to build a tribe (or step up to lead an existing one). 

An entrepreneur and marketing guru, Godin is perhaps best known for his book Purple Cow, about how to succeed in business by standing out from the crowd. Much like Purple Cow, Tribes is about coming up with an exceptional idea, then spreading it to the right people to make your vision a reality.

Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a way of interacting with ourselves and others that’s rooted in empathy and compassion. The ultimate goal of NVC is to foster authentic connections between people regardless of their differences. That focus on human connections makes NVC a powerful conflict resolution tool—once there is a genuine human connection, the original problem tends to solve itself. 

In Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg, you’ll learn how to use NVC in almost any relationship or environment, including in families, schools, governments, businesses, and friendships. NVC can also help you reshape your inner dialogue to promote self-compassion, improving your relationship with yourself. 

Final Words

Your friendships depend on you putting the work in to keep them strong. Reading these best books about friendships will do just that by giving you great advice that will help throughout your life.

Are there any other best books about friendship that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

The 10 Best Books About Friendship: Expand Your Circle

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Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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