The Bottom Line
- Easy-to-read research underscored by interviews and examples.
- Chapters for each of ten friend types including Leader of the Pack, Doormat, Misery Lover, The User, and The Trophy Friend.
- Tips to give women a better understanding of their own role in friendships.
- Complicated friendships will be given new light so women can choose to stay in a friendship or leave.
- Well researched information laid out in an easy-to-read format.
- Ten different friend types are explained thoroughly through interviews and examples.
- Friend types (Trophy Friend, Sacrificer, etc.) can help women shed light on confusing friendships.
- Women may be able to learn more about the things they bring to a friendship.
- Friendship types were defined well but the book didn't offer advice on how to handle them.
- Suggestions for how to improve a friendship were missing.
- The book could be perceived as giving a negative perspective on female friendships.
- Title: Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships
- Author: Susan Shapiro Barash
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press
- Published: October, 2009
- Book Details: 288 pages, hardcover & paperback
Guide Review - Toxic Friends by Susan Shapiro Barash
I read Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships with interest. Like many women, I've ended up in a friendship or two that left me confused as to whether the person was really my friend or just someone that wanted something from me. Female friendships can be complicated, and we might wind up friends with people out of convenience or necessity. We may know that our friendship is unbalanced, for example, but continue on because we don't want to walk away and be alone.
I found myself relating to the various categories of friends, and recognized myself and my pals in pretty much each other them. I found the research oddly comforting, even when it described a negative friendship or frenemy-type situation. I think women will benefit from this book, because even though it doesn't give solutions as to "what to do" when you're hanging out with a certain type of friend, it does provide clarification and possible motives for why some friends act the way they do. Knowing the types of friendships you're involved in and why can help you make better choices going forward.
Have you been involved in a toxic friendship? Check out my article on why you keeping going back to a friend that hurts you. If you've been verbally abused by a friend, feel free to share your thoughts.