Tanya's Reviews > What Did I Do Wrong?: When Women Don't Tell Each Other the Friendship Is Over

What Did I Do Wrong? by Liz Pryor
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May 17, 2010

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bookshelves: 2010-books

This book covered many different stories, including the author's personal experiences, that illustrated how women's friendships may end and the emotional impact it can have on both the individual initiating the break-up and the one being dumped.

Friendships are so important to women, that we need to pay attention to a friendship when it's not going right. "Women's love and commitment to one another is abounding, yet when friendships end, we show little to no respect or honor for that which has enriched, supported, and even prolonged our lives." (p 27) Therefore, even friendships that end are opportunities for growth and a chance to support and honor other women to the final steps of friendship.

Too often, we clearly recognize that a friendship is not working any more and then through a masterful, calculated, methodical kind of avoidance, we quietly and brutally terminate the relationship, with the other person sometimes reeling from the confusion created because it is unresolved, "what did I do wrong?" (p. 4) It's important to examine not only those friendships that others ended, but the ones I did in a not so kind manner.

It pointed out the "norm for ending women's friendships seem to be, if we care deeply, avoid; if we don't care at all, confront!" (p 104) Now I know where I stand with a few challenging relationships, especially those that will continue because we all have school-children and will be encountering each other for at least another decade.

People will "do what they have to do," and then later hope they grow and learn. (p 91) A healthier strategy than avoiding, might be to honor the friendship by honestly communicating that it's time to move on or that the friendship is no longer meeting your own needs. Closure, though painful, can be helpful to both parties. Sometimes a relationship just needs redefining. Either way, be respectful and be truthful, while focusing on the goal of your communication (ending the friendship) and not the other person's faults.

"What makes us who we are in the end is not what hapens to us, but how we choose to live through it." (p 47)

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