Good friends and healthy friendships are crucial to women's well-being at every stage of life. But what happens when a friendship turns toxic? When a friend becomes hurtful or mistreats another? When a friend abandons another in a time of need? Here, Suzanne Degges-White and Judy Pochel Van Tieghem explore such toxic friendships and how women navigate the ups and downs, as well as how broken friendships can be mended and bad friendships ended.
Explaining and illustrating the "rules of friendship" at various stages of life, the authors reveal what it takes to be a good friend, how to identify bad friends, and how to move forward when friendships turn sour. Vignettes of toxic friendship behaviors are shared, as well as tips on how best to respond to these rule-breaking friends in order to rebuild damaged relationships and repair a friendship's foundation (when appropriate) and how to decide when it's time to let go of a relationship that is bringing you down versus keeping you afloat. Information for parents is also provided, to aid them as they help their daughters navigate their friendships. We all need friends, but knowing when and how to let go can help us all be better friends-to ourselves, and also to others.
This book is intended as a kind of field guide to `toxic' relationships of various kinds, but especially friendships among women. . . .Degges-White is a therapist as well as a professor of counseling. She has had many years of experience helping women who are trying to understand and/or extricate themselves from damaging relationships. Van Tieghem is a professional freelance writer. The authors first lay out why people need relationships and then propose ten `cross-cultural' rules for maintaining healthy adult relationships and ten rules for parents who must help their children successfully navigate their own worlds of friendship. Basing their suggestions and conclusions on `shared stories of composite clients' and other women contacted via a survey, the authors then take readers on a guided tour of familiar environments that are particularly prone to being toxic (e.g., the soccer field). In the last section of the book, the authors offer advice on how to gracefully bail out of a toxic relationship and how to use the rules of relationships to build healthy friendships while keeping one's integrity and sense of self intact. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers. * CHOICE *
Toxic Friendships: Knowing the Rules and Dealing with the Friends Who Break Them is a comprehensive, detailed and personal guidebook for tackling problematic friendships, helping us learn how to become better friends and just why it's so crucial that we do so. -- Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., www.thefriendshipfix.com
In their enormously helpful and nuanced book, Toxic Friendships, Suzanne Degges-White and Judy Pochel Van Tieghem go way beyond "mean girl" and "frenemy" stereotypes to elucidate the unspoken rules of friendship and lay out how we can effectively manage the inevitable hurt and disappointment that comes with vitally important social connections. The authors' exploration of potentially toxic friendship environments, such as the office and children's athletic teams, further enriches the reader's understanding of friendship's many complications. -- Carlin Flora, author of Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are
As a professional who works with friends and knows the value of friendships to my mental health, I have experienced the pain of mending and ending friendships. I wish I read Toxic Friendships years ago so I could have better navigated these relationships for both my sanity and success. This book is a must read for women regardless of age and stage of life. -- Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, author of Wander Woman and The Discomfort Zone: How Leaders Turn Difficult Conversations into Breakthroughs
Acknowledgments Preface Part I: Understanding the Need for Social Connection 1: The Need for Community 2: Friendship Patterns from Girlhood through Older Adulthood Part II: The Rules of Friendship and their Role in Relationships 3: It's a Matter of Trust 4: Just the Way You Are 5: Any Friend of Hers is a Friend of Mine 6: Being There 7: A Friend in Need 8: Keep the Friendship Favor Balance in Check 9: Defending Your Honor 10: Bring Joy to Your Friends 11: Criticism is Not Okay 12: Jealousy is Not Okay 13: A Rule-by-Rule Guide for Moms Part III: Toxic Environments outside the Home 14: Soccer Moms and Carpool Queens 15: Church Group and Civic Group Friends 16: Down the Street and On the Job Part IV: Taking Stock and Cutting Back 17: Playing by the Rules 18: Writing Your Own Rules 19: Taking Stock and Letting Go Bibliography