Giveaway and Review: Toxic Friends

Female friendships. Aren’t they the most complicated, wonderful, confusing things around? Most women have a collection of friends that vary from being supportive and fabulous to vindictive and negative. So how do you get true friends who will lift you up and treat you well?


In her book Toxic Friends, Susan Shapiro Barash seeks to answer that question. She starts by identifying ten different types of female friends. In addition, she provides some detail on her website as to how she did research, why she decided to write the book, and even offers a quiz that will help women determine what kind of friend they are.

Barash has also written ten other books and teaches gender studies at Marymount Manhattan College. In other words, she knows the subject area very well.
I read this book with interest. I definitely saw myself in some of the descriptions, as well as the types of friendships she describes. I think women may be able to benefit from reading these descriptions as it will help you identify which of your friends are the strongest and which may actually be negative for you.

If I had one criticism for the book, it’s that I didn’t feel that it gave me the go-ahead to change my friendships. Sure, it helped me identify them easier, but that’s also because I have taken the time to get to know my women friends. I had already identified what type of friends I have by spending the time to get to know them. I wouldn’t simply want to label people without doing this important step. For those women who are clueless as to why her friends act the way they do, this book may well be of help.

I also think this is an issue that happens more in younger women than in those (like myself) who are a bit older and have been through the ups and downs of friendship. I know I have some women in my life in which I give more to our friendship than they do. I know not every friendship is created equal. I am always searching for mature friendships, and spend the most time on those when I find them.

But for other women who feel they need some guidance in this area, Toxic Friends may be your answer. And guess what? I’m giving a copy away to one lucky Blisstree reader. If you’d like to enter to win, just leave a comment on this post about friendship. The comment can be anything. It can be a statement, a quote, a few words… whatever. There are no right or wrong answers.

Leave your comment by Sunday, November 22nd. I’ll choose a winner at random and announce the lucky person the next day. Good luck!

Disclosure: A copy of Toxic Friends was provided to the blogger by Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. The same copy is being given away in this contest.

Image: Susan Shapiro Barash

Share This Post:
    • Courtney

      Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.

    • Deb

      I find that even with all my experience at age 50+, I have to be careful not to get pulled into the negative relationships. I have a “good ear”, and that often leaves me vulnerable to toxic people.

    • BKL

      When thinking over my past, I believe I’ve had a lot of toxic friendships. Probably it is because my whole life I’ve struggled with poor self-esteem. If this book can help avoid toxic friendships, I think the author has done a great service to all women.

    • Julia Smith

      friends are key to a happy life

    • Kayla

      Getting rid of friends is tough. In the past few years, I’ve found myself purging a few friends who were not healthy for me, ‘toxic’ as this book would say. Even though it was a rough transition, I know I still have my true friends in my life!

    • Jaclyn Reynolds

      I’ve have many toxic relationships. I find the hardest thing to do is break them off, since I’m non-confrontational by nature. Would LOVE to read this book.

    • Deborah Wellenstein

      I made up my mind a long time ago to not be “friends” with people who were bad for me. Thanks!

    • John Rasmussen

      I watched my ex-wife turn into someone I no lnger knew after she found a new group of “friends”. Reading this might help me to prevent that from happening again.

    • Linda Peters

      I find as I get older I am chosing my friends more wisely

    • Tawnda

      Friendship makes enemies seem insignificant

    • Karen Gonyea

      Count me in :)

      ktgonyea at

    • Jean F

      Balance is important to the success of a friendship.

    • Karry

      Blood is not always thicker than water
      karryknisley76 at hotmail dot com

    • Eve

      I have been in a few toxic friendships. It is the worst because they will be so nice to your face but talk crap behind your back.

    • Mary M

      A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.

    • bakhtier

      why men can’t read that book. i would love to understand women better with the help of this book. I usually make friendships with people based on their friend circle.

    • Penny

      I need this book – I have a few toxic friends that I need to deal with.

      Which is a shame because friendship is one of the best things in life. And I feel I’m a pretty good judge of character… but clearly not all of the time, only most of the time.

    • Sarah

      good friends are your real family!

    • susan vedel

      I was sad to see a picture of my best friend hanging out of her 21st floor window. That day she called me and she was in trouble, fearing people etc,,,and that my ovarian cancer is nothing compared to her illness. That’s true to the point; I am trying to survive and she lives in a dreamworld craving attention and causing pain to those around her…Talk about toxic…I could use some advice. I would like to win this book and read it….I am sure it would help both of us….Suzie

    • Tim Hughes

      I think friendship is something to be cherished but also something that needs to be respected by some.

    • Christina

      I’ve had friendships that start off really well (even for years) and then turn toxic – anything can happen (a friend I had changed entirely after I won a large monetary award for artwork and poetry!). This book really peaks my curiosity!

    • Susan

      I have some good friends I’vd had for years. We’re our own support group some days! LOL. We’ve been there for each other through the highs and the lows.

      I would like to get this for my daughter who knows she has a couple of “toxic friends” but isn’t sure how to get rid of them.

    • Erma

      Friendship is one of the most important things in the world.

    • Jennifer J

      I have a handful of friends that we have grown together and have healthy relationships, but I have another handful of friends that can be destructive even though I call them on it, and try to work with them on stuff. We all fail at times, yet I am boggled over destructive behavior

    • Jenny Gibbons

      While my friends are terribly important to me, one of the most important things I realized was that some people can’t be (or don’t wish to be) the sort of reliable, sane friends I want. If they can’t/won’t, I’m best off without them in my life. Sometimes ending a “friendship” is the best thing you can do.

    • George Ferris

      Relationships are what you make of it.

    • Benita G.

      Good friends, true friends are hard to come by. They are indeed worth their weight in gold.


    • oneangel

      I miss my best friend :(

    • melinda smith

      I find as I am getting older (44), I need to wean out the friends that are toxic in my life. To me, Honesty, is the most important factor in any relationship.If there isn’t honesty,then there’s no trust.

    • Daniel M

      most of my friends moved away

    • Lori Taube

      When it comes to my personal relationships and friendship, positivity is key. Motivation, support, kindness and love are much needed. I have no time nor patience for pettiness and immaturity.

    • Ellen

      I wonder why I haven’t close females friends as I did when I was younger. Am I the one that is lacking now, or is that maturity has made me harder in what I want and will tolerate. All I know is I would love to have a best friend I could count on again.

    • wanda flanagan

      Always watch your back

    • Ed Nemmers

      “You gotta have friends, the feelings oh so strong!”

    • Lily Kwan

      Friendship is very precious and valuable.

    • Kimberly

      It’s so hard to “break up” with a toxic friend, but so important that you do.

    • Veronica Garrett

      True friends are hard to find but they are priceless.

    • Susan Smith

      I can count on my friends when I need to talk

    • Heather C

      To have a friend, you have to be a friend.

    • Geri Nyland

      There’s a few of my friends that I could use a book like this for…

    • Meredith R

      I really need to read this book! LOL! I have a friend who I have a complicated friendship with. I need to learn how to better communicate.

    • Angela Winesburg

      I love my friends now, but in the past I certainly had some I could have done without! Thanks!

    • Sand

      I’ve had many toxic friendships and would love to read this.

    • Lisa A.

      Wow, this book certainly looks as if it would be an interesting read. I think with friends, old friends especially, we tend to fall into patterns that might not be the most healthy relationships. True friends are usually easy to identify, but some of the others can be a bit difficult to categorize!

    • Gianna

      Please enter me :)

    • Michelle @ [ real neat ]

      Isn’t it interesting how, as women, we tend to hold onto those toxic relationships much longer than we should…?

    • Pamela Scott

      Unfortunately, sometimes you do need to let friends go when you have grown apart. It makes it difficult when you have a long history with them, but sometimes you just cannot have life vampires in your circle.

    • http://yahoo lonne

      life is so fragile,i try to do the best for myself and everyone i know,even strangers,thanks a bunch