When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You

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Simon and Schuster, May 11, 2010 - Self-Help - 240 pages
4 Reviews


We've all had friendships that have gone bad. Whether it takes the form of a simple yet inexplicable estrangement or a devastating betrayal, a failed friendship can make your life miserable, threaten your success at work or school, and even undermine your romantic relationships.

Finally there is help. In When Friendship Hurts, Jan Yager, recognized internationally as a leading expert on friendship, explores what causes friendships to falter and explains how to mend them -- or end them. In this straightforward, illuminating book filled with dozens of quizzes and real-life examples, Yager covers all the bases, including:

The twenty-one types of negative friends -- a rogues' gallery featuring such familiar types as the Blood-sucker, the Fault-finder, the Promise Breaker, and the Copycat

How to recognize destructive friends as well as how to find ideal ones

The e-mail effect -- how electronic communication has changed friendships for both the better and the worse

The misuse of friendship at work -- how to deal with a co-worker's lies, deceit, or attempts at revenge

How to stop obsessing about a failed friendship

And much more

The first highly prescriptive book to focus on the complexities of friendship, When Friendship Hurts demonstrates how, why, and when to let go of bad friends and how to develop the positive friendships that enrich our lives on every level. For everyone who has ever wondered about friends who betray, hurt, or reject them, this authoritative book provides invaluable insights and advice to resolve the problem once and for all.

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User Review  - jdos - Overstock.com

I was disappointed with this book it was much more simplistic than what I was looking for. It seemed to carry a theme throughout if your friend has problems such as depression unresolved childhood ... Read full review

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I was disappointed with this book --it was much more simplistic than what I was looking for. It seemed to carry a theme throughout: if your friend has problems, such as depression, unresolved childhood issues, etc., and they affect the friendship, it is best to end the friendship unless they go for therapy. The author advocates making and keeping friendships that are described as fairly ideal. That sounds great to me, but it just did not seem very realistic, but rather black and white. I found one story in the book particularly unsettling. The author tells of one of her own college friendships. Ms. Yager says that her friend, Cindy, told her that she had tried to kill herself. Ms. Yager speculates on the upbringing of her friend and then says that at the time, she felt betrayed by the suicide attempt of her friend - quote: as if it were a slap in the face of our friendship. Ms. Yager says, quote: Looking back, my thinking, however selfish and confused at the time, may not be all that atypical. My first response was to wonder how much she cared about me as a friend if she was willing to cause me to suffer, as I would have if she had succeeded. The author goes on to say that the friendship fell apart over the next year or two, and that she knew it was not due to the fact that they lived in different cities, as she had other friendships like that that worked. She said the main reason was that the mental illness of her friend scared her. The author says that she has thought from time to time of trying to find Cindy to see if she got help and her life turned out okay -- but that she never has, and that the reason she never has is because she has so many positive, healthy friendships now, and therefore she takes quote: the coward way out - and does nothing. What I thought was helpful about this story was that there are readers who might relate to how scary it is to learn that a friend is suicidal, and how problematic it can be. But mostly I found some things about the story, as told, a little disturbing. The author is a PhD Sociologist now -- not a layman about mental health issues. I am wondering why a professional is still - in her own words, a coward - about this incident. I also noticed that the author calls the many other friendship incidents in the book betrayals, but when she relates her own story, she describes her behavior toward her friend as merely insensitive and says that she did what was probably typical. In a great many of the other stories, the author analyzes what childhood problems may have led to the betraying actions in the friendships, but in her own story, she just leaves it at quote: I wonder what happened to Cindy? I am not suggesting that the author must analyze her own reaction in this example from her life, but it strikes me as odd given the fact that she does so in so many of the other stories. I also wonder why the author does not end her story about her suicidal friend by suggesting to readers how serious it is when a friend talks of suicide, and what basic things to do when that happens, without becoming enmeshed yourself - the author is a PhD Sociologist. I found the book to be encouraging and validating in the message it conveys of not letting destructive friendships go on and on and bring undue unhappiness and problems into your life, but it was too black and white for me, with too little insight into navigating through the problems. To me, the author seems to be justifying her own unintentional betrayal of her friend, and that really gives me pause.  


When Friendship Turns Unfriendly
Detecting Harmful People Before Theyre Friends
Why Do Friends Hurt Friends?
Can This Friendship Be Saved?
When and How to End It
Finding Good Friends
Where to Go from Here
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2010)

Jan Yager, Ph.D., is a sociologist and the author of Friendshifts®: The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our Lives. Recognized as the number one expert on friendship in the country, she has been seen and heard on Oprah, The View, The O'Reilly Factor, and NPR, as well as on numerous other national television and radio programs. She lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

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