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Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships
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Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships

2.81  ·  Rating details ·  113 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
A woman can always count on are her friends—right? But what if those friendships are hurtful, harmful, even toxic? Susan Shapiro 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.” For example:
• The Leader of the Pack—it’s all on her terms
• The Doormat
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by St. Martin's Press
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Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I confess I didn't read every word of this, but I selectively read most of it--- it wasn't as helpful as other books I've seen on this and related topics. Much more descriptive than prescriptive, which would be helpful if I weren't familiar with descriptive literature on this topic. I felt that there was an implied promise of prescriptive advice in the word "antidote" in the title, and I didn't see it in the book. Which is a shame, because the many women I know caught in toxic friendships could ...more
Sahar Sabati
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
The premise is simple: you can’t change your friends, but you can change the way you deal with them. A toxic friendship can be dealt with once you understand what is going on and your contribution to it. Once you figure out your part in starting and sustaining it, you will be able to take the steps to improve it or, if it’s hopeless, get out of the relationship knowing that you did what was possible.
You would expect women, the mothers and caregivers of our society, to be especially caring and n
Aug 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
I was interested in checking out Tripping the Prom Queen and found this book instead. I'm at a point in my life where I want to have strong female friends in my life, and I thought this book would shed some light on the characteristics of various types of friends.

The pros of this book are that Shapiro Barash outlines the different types of female friends out there: ones that have negative attributes that may be worth keeping, ones with negative attributes that you should ditch, and ones with pos
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
I agree with many of the other lower-rated reviews here. This book is all over the place and doesn't seem to have a cohesive whole. It is very odd, as it is really just a string of personal anecdotes taken from many women, alternating with the author's commentary and observations of female characters in popular culture. Ms Shapiro Barash attempts to categorize different friendship styles, but the examples she provides, while somewhat interesting, don't really provide concrete illustrations.

I ac
Isabelle V
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I always thought toxicity in some of my closest relationships was simply a figment of my imagination. After reading thru some of these chapters, I realized that it wasn't that there was something wrong with me or that I was doing something wrong...not the case. There are lures of these kinds of people that in my opinion just have a missing link. I like that now I can better identify and stay away from getting attached to the toxic ones. It's hard to let go of the ones that I had in my life-there ...more
Hawthorn M
Jan 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book didn't really do much in the way of actually helping people solve or get out of toxic relationships. The whole book was seriously just 10 chapters on the author's different 'friend types'. And at least half of the text, if not more, was quotation from the subjects of a social study. There was little to no actual advice, and the book was pretty much useless to me. Not sure what the author was trying to achieve, but it definitely wasn't helpful for someone who has trouble with toxic or u ...more
May 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
This is probably the worst book I've ever read. I flipped through it in one evening because I couldn't bear to read any more "pop culture testimonials" about how characters from Sex in the City or The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood embodied typical friendship groupings. There was only about 5% relevant content per chapter and the rest was just filler.


Alternate suggestion: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend by Irene S. Levine
May 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Like most of the reviews here, I did not complete the book. I couldn't finish it. It was dry, descriptive, and little snapshots of what happens in our daily lives. While it is useful and explanatory to some certain, most of the time there is not much substance. It's a shame though because the tittle looks so compelling and I was intrigued at the whole toxicity and friendship, how it affects and drains us. Yet this book falls short of expectations.
Danielle Lomanno
May 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Read this book. Now I can label myself and my friends by what type of friends we are... But it says it is an antidote, but this book offers no advice or solutions to solve problems with friends or to fix the type of friend you are. I found this book to be a total waste of time.
Thing Two
Feb 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
It saddens me to think innocent trees gave their lives for this book. Toxic Friends isn't an antidote for women; it's a waste of good words! She uses movies, People magazine, and Wikipedia as sources .... next book, please!
Nov 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
I couldn't even finish it. I couldn't. I didn't find it helpful at all.
Kathryn Mattern
I've never really been very interested in women's dynamics, so I found that this book demystifies some of the common social developments in women's relationships, that have always looked kind of dysfunctional to me. When the dynamics are uncovered, sense can be made out of them, even if they still seem more dysfunctional than not. I guess it all depends on what our goals are in relationships. For example, for the women who view relationships as a way to get ahead in a social hierarchy, it would ...more
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
I found this on the "new" shelf at my library, so I picked it up for my young adult book research. I was surprised by the number of movies that were interwoven in the chapters; but I think it probably helped the target audience relate to each friend category.

I was shocked by the percentage of women who didn't want, or know how to be good friends...despite my own experience. Deep down, I've always blamed myself when friendships ended. I reasoned that it was just a bad match, and that they could
Madeleine Davis
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every teen girls
Have you ever feel like you got a friend that is complicated to hangout with because she has all these rules that you got to follow even though you don't like it because you rather be living your life without following rules from a friend that doesn't like you at all. Hangout with the friend that was always there for you and likes to hangout with you a lot and doesn't have any rules to follow to hangout with her and the person that you hanged out with was a "Toxic Friend." If you are interested ...more
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: selfhelp, women, 25-in-09
This book was OK. I identified what type of "friend" I am, but I'm guessing most people will be a combination of a bunch of types of friends. I felt that there was way too much advertising in this book for the author's other books. I also didn't feel like there were many solutions provided; it was just a bunch of stories of people complaining about their friends or sounding a little pathetic about how people walk all over them.
May 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
Okay, but didn't really help w/ the T situation. She is probably too damaged/ill to fit into any "normal" category. I think she would be an authentic friend if she were able. I seem to be an authentic friend/sharer with doormat/sacrificer tendencies.
This is a book that discusses women's roles with friendships and how they perceive their friendships as. The first section discusses about truly toxic friends, the second section is about so-so friends, and the last section is healthy friendships.
Jul 16, 2013 marked it as didn-t-finish
Interesting, but I got bored and found a different book that was more along the lines of what I wanted on this topic. This book is pretty much only anecdotal, which is fine, just not what I'm looking for on this topic.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I couldn't read this all the way through it lacked consistency in its messages.
It would have the odd nugget of wisdom here and there but overall lacked any oomph and long term interest from me
Rebecca Lau
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it
It was more a field guide to the types of friends out there. It didn't tell me how to cut them out of my life.
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
this is such an awesome book! i highly recommend. it helped me let go of some things i needed to.
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was more about categorizing friends and ultimately in a keep or don't keep.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I didn't think this book was great cause I couldn't relate or find similar situations but it did help me grow up a bit more.
Rita Patel
Apr 16, 2010 rated it liked it
I found this thru Oprah magazine...very interestig read.
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
lots of interesting anecdotes. I enjoyed this book but wanted more tips and actionable advice to accompany the examples.
rated it did not like it
Apr 14, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2010
Christie McCormick
rated it did not like it
Feb 12, 2017
rated it did not like it
Oct 25, 2015
Shanna Steals
rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2013
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Susan Shapiro Barash is an established writer of twelve nonfiction women’s issue books. She teaches gender studies Marymount Manhattan College and is a well recognized gender expert. Barash is frequently sought out by newspapers, television shows and radio programs to comment on women’s issues and blogs for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

Susan's next book, The Nine Phases of Marriage: H

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