I bought this book in November of 2015 because I had doubts about a friendship of mine that I valued and yet had the queasy feeling was toxic for me. The very fact I bought this book was verification for myself that something was amiss. If you are searching for a book like this, there's a reason. Listen to your intuition. The friendship dragged on for a while longer until I finally ended the friendship in an honest, kind, loving, and yet truthful way. Chapter 6 of this book is helpful in that regard.
“But if your friends have betrayed, disappointed, or hurt you, you have a fresh start. Right now. You are deserving of at least one caring, nurturing friend in your life. Whether you have been a devoted friend to others or have been befriended by a caring person, there is hope for you, this moment, that you will find such a friend.”
Unfortunately the world is full of people who lack self-awareness (or at least we develop it at vastly different rates), so you may find yourself having to be very patient with those around you who are not so interested in knowing themselves.
No friend is perfect and ultimately most of us manage relationships that have their disadvantages; in some cases we tolerate toxic friendships for too long when we should in fact be ending them.
I liked the thoughtful and sympathetic tone of this author immediately. Her methodical approach provides a useful framework and objectivity for assessing your friendships, especially useful in our complex and emotional personal lives, or if your inner voice is telling you something is wrong. This is a likable and accessible book that is very easy to get through.
The author gives a series of amusing true-life case-studies and scenarios from her research and experience which provide food for thought. She also summarizes the important points in a variety of common situations that will help to crystallize the way you think about the people in your life. You will also find yourself reflecting on your own behaviour and how to be a better friend. Her advice about how to conduct online friendships pre-dates facebook, yet still manages to be relevant.
She systematizes her points into lists, allowing an organized analysis of your friendships; she also gives helpful advice on your options and recommends useful ways of managing difficult scenarios.
I make very few friends but the friendships I have are always very deep. The day before I found this book I felt betrayed, abandoned and wounded by one of my best friends. I'm a great believer in bibliotherapy so I went looking for a book to help me work through the myriad of emotions I was experiencing.
Mostly I just felt like crying for an entire day. So for the first half of this book I cried. Then the friend and I worked things out and I read the rest of the book only feeling slightly disappointed. If I had not read this book I may have ended the friendship forever. I trust very few people but this friend that upset me, well I trust them with my life. So I have to question why they treated me so badly.
This book deals with every aspect of friendship and especially points out twenty-one types of potentially negative friends. The truth is, before I read this book I had no idea friends could betray each other in so many ways. This book is truly a very revealing look at all aspects of friendship from workplace friends to personal friends to casual friends to best friends. There is also thankfully ways to save a friendship which I could appreciate.
The author of this book is an expert on friendship and has been researching the topic extensively for many years. I felt I could trust her advice and that she really knew what she was talking about. So whether you are in a bad situation with a friend or simply want to pursue friendships that will make you feel loved and valued (instead of friendships that destroy your self-esteem) then this book has a lot to offer.
By reading this book I realized that friendships can change over time and that you have to be flexible because your friend's lives can also change so quickly. After reading this book I realized that I probably had expectations that were too high. Friends are human after all and the fact that we can keep friends at all in our fast-paced society is a true miracle.
So if you are going through a stage of disappointment as I was then this book will be very helpful. Just realize that you may need to develop new boundaries with your friend. After all, you can't just let them keep hurting you over and over again. I am still a little hurt but without this book I would still be in emotional chaos. I can truly say that reading this book was a healing experience.
I called on this book when I needed it the most. I lived through many kinds of friendships that have ended is some catastrophic ways where I always found myself as the victim with the most to lose. This book helped me to see and identify the negative types of friendship patterns that I was getting into, so that in the future I will do my best not to make the same mistakes of involving myself with people like that again. I'm relatively young compared to a lot of people that the author interviewed (25 years old) and I now have one close friendship and a few casual friends that actually make sense according the guidelines of the book to keep around. It was worth just to understand the journey of the author through the many random experiences of those she studied and surveyed. Really, thank you for writing this book.
WHEN FRIENDSHIP HURTS, by sociologist Jan Yager, made me realize what true friendship is and how to cope with disappointing or destructive relationships that thwart the trust, empathy, and honesty real friends offer. It provides positive opinions, inspirational stories, and insightful advice, just as as a best friend should. I was not aware of the 21 different types of potentially negative friends I could have, and these classifications were a necessity in learning out how to deal with the pseudo fair-weather friend I realized I had but never understood why I felt the need to halt my relationship with her. I highly recommend this book for all age groups.