Thursday, November 12, 2009

Author Guest Post - Susan Shapiro Barash (& a Giveaway - closed)

Readers, please join me welcoming Susan Shapiro Barash, author of Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships who'll be guest blogging here today!

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In Toxic Friends (St. Martin's Press, 288 p, ISBN: 0312386397), Barash explores the ten types of female friends and shows you why and how women get stuck with the worst kinds, the ways to get “unstuck, and how to recognize a true friend.”

How Female Friendships Run Amok by Susan Shapiro Barash

One of the more curious aspects of female friendship is how strained it can become once two close friends no longer share the same circumstances. I call this, 'the mirroring friend' syndrome. It happens frequently and in all sorts of situations. For instance, one friend is on her third child and her best childhood friend is still single. Or a friend gets a promotion and her best friend loses her job. In these instances the women who once had parallel lives no longer reflect one another. And this creates tension in the relationship.

Another common scenario among women friends is when one of the two is 'the misery lover'. This time the friends not only reflect one another, but they spend their visits with one another commiserating over their a)love lives b) work lives c) finances d) any of the above. Perhaps one friend has just had a string of bad luck, only to learn that her close friend is in a similar way. This is a bond until the tide turns for one friend and the other is still suffering. The misery lover pulls away and isn't as available now that her friend's life is sunnier.

Often the heart of the matter in the above situations is really about time. If friends don't have the same lifestyle or situation, they don't have the same schedule to do things together. One of the biggest complaints among my interviewees for my book, Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships, is that their friends aren't there for them. Part of the problem is that women hold the bar so high and expect so much from their female friends -- someone is bound to be disappointed.

When this occurs, instead of 'icing' your friend or letting your resentment build up, it would be best to have an open discussion. Again, women don't always have the stomach for this, but being able to talk about what ails you is the right idea. Instead of pulling away, why not say, "Look I know I'm too busy with my baby to do our long lunches, but it doesn't mean I don't care." Since women are quite upset when a friendship changes or the closeness lessens, the risk of an honest conversation is worth the reward. For the brave women who seek such conversations, the friendships can be repaired, or renegotiated, or at least both friends know where they stand, and there is no more posturing.
Gives me hope! I think I'll call up some old friends today. What about you?

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GIVEAWAY

The Prize

A copy of this book will go to one lucky reader.

To Enter
  • In the comments, tell me - Have you ever lost, or reconnected with, a friend? How and why did that happen?
  • Please list your email address within your comment so that you can be notified should you be chosen as a winner.
For Extra Entries

Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.

Deadline   Midnight CST of December 12, 2009.

Eligibility  US only.

Please read the Disclaimer. Good luck!

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37 comments :

  1. Hi Everyone, I had a best friend that i met when i moved next door to her. for yrs we did everything together. when her parents were sick and then died I went with her to Uniontown to be with her. However, when my exhusband and I seperated I thought she would be there for me but i was wrong. she sided for him and his new thing,sorry.
    Few yrs later i ran in to her and I just couldn't let it be the way it ended. I forgave everything because being friends was more important to me.
    However, few yrs later and a lot of little things for you again she turned on me. It just never made any sense to me.
    Thanks
    that book might be able to help me a lot I seem to always find these kind of friends.
    heidijohnjeff@verizon.net
    thanks Heidi
    I have linked this to my facebook.com/heidi330,myspace.com/heidi330
    I have a few more I will send to you

    ReplyDelete
  2. also added to http:heidi330.blogspot.com
    heidi

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've lost contact with several good friends over the years, as we both moved (multiple times) and grew apart in our interests.

    kolists a\t gmail d/t com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a subscriber.

    kolists a\t gmail d/t com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I belong to live feed
    subscribe to email
    added to blog http:heidi330.blogspot.com
    joined facebook
    sent tweet
    thanks
    HeidiS
    heidijohnjeff@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had a friend who I grew up with in Jr High. We were friends for about ten years and then we had a fall out. It was like all of a sudden I was sooo beneath her. I do miss her, but don't know if I should reconnect with her. Susan, your book sounds like it's right up my alley.
    Jen
    jnmt3@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I did reconnect with a high school buddy 30 some odd years later, when we wound up working for the same educational program. You never know what may happen in life.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Follower.


    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  9. Email subscriber.


    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  10. once lost a friendship over a man, but 6 years later reconnect with her and all has been forgiven
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary feed
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

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    copperllama at yahoo dot com

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    copperllama at yahoo dot com
    copperllama

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  15. A Book Blogger's Diary text link to your blog roll
    http://copperllamastudio.blogspot.com/
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

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  16. follower
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

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  17. Facebook helped me reconnect with my best friend from junior high, plus many others. It's so exciting to see what everyone's been up to.
    Amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. i subscribe to the feed
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. i sub via email
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. have your button at catss99.blogspot.com
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. on the blog roll at catss99.blogspot.com
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. justpeachy36@yahoo.com

    Everybody knows when you get married you lose all your friends. Whether it is because you don't have as much time or you're priorities have changed, your relationships with your friends tend to suffer. I recently reconnected with my one time best friend. After I got married she came around less... feeling like a third wheel and eventually moved away from our town. This being the age of the internet we reconnected now 20 years later on facebook and it has been a wonderful experience having her in my life again.

    ReplyDelete
  23. justpeachy36@yahoo.com

    I am a subscriber.

    ReplyDelete
  24. tweet
    http://twitter.com/catss99/status/6262915144
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. daily tweet
    http://twitter.com/catss99/status/6364479057
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. twet
    http://twitter.com/catss99/status/6395615580
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I recently reconnected with one of my best friends from high school, we'd lived overseas for a while - in different continents. She found me on Facebook and we discovered that we both live in NYC and recently got married. We met up earlier this year with our husbands and everyone hit it off. We're planning to meet again next week. It's wonderful. I do want to reach out to other friends that I've lost touch with though.

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I subscribe by email

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. you're on my blog roll

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I subscribe by googlereader and blogger

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I follow

    gaby317nyc at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. tweet
    http://twitter.com/catss99/status/6443315916
    amanda
    catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. daily tweet
    http://twitter.com/catss99/status/6486270875
    amanda catss99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. My best friend from High school and I had a huge falling out, she invited me to be one of her bridesmaids, because she didn't feel right getting married without having some representation from her past there. It was great and we've really reconnected.

    misusedinnocence@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you all for stopping by and leaving your comments. The Winner has been notified.

    ReplyDelete