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