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When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You Paperback – July 9, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Does anything hurt worse than betrayal by a close friend? Sociologist and friendship expert Jan Yager (Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our Lives) explores failed, hurtful, and destructive friendships in When Friendship Hurts.

The book describes 21 types of potentially negative friends. The "Rival," for example, is envious to the point of malice. The "Blood-sucker" expects you to be there every moment. The "Controller" must be in charge of everything, from where you meet for lunch to whom you date. Yager lays out strategies for dealing with the problems when you want to keep the friendship, while also warning about extreme behavior and discussing triggers that lead to friendship conflicts, such as jealousy, anger, and change (of marital status or job, for example). Yager also guides you to examine your own destructive or harmful traits and recognize patterns in your family background that affect your friendships.

Overall, this book will help you learn how to deal with destructive friendships--when and how to save them, when and how to end them, and how to cope when a business friendship goes wrong. Yager, who has appeared on Oprah and other TV programs, also encourages you to celebrate the joys of positive friendships. --Joan Price

From Publishers Weekly

Sociologist Yager (Friendshifts) has been studying and writing about friendship since the 1980s. Drawing on the results of 180 questionnaires, as well as earlier studies she conducted, Yager focuses here on what to do when friendships go bad. Successful friendships, according to Yager, are marked by trust, honesty, empathy and commonality characteristics that may be compromised when a once-supportive relationship turns sour. When this happens as it inevitably does in the course of one's life friends may become self-absorbed, overly dependent, highly critical or even betray one another. Underlying childhood issues, such as low self-esteem, intense sibling rivalry and abusive parenting often prevent adults from forming satisfactory friendships. The author outlines a variety of coping techniques that committed friends can follow as they work through negative patterns that are eroding their relationship. She also explains how to recognize a friendship that is so destructive it must be ended (e.g., if a friend isn't there for you when your parent dies, it's a sign the friendship's over), how to actually end the friendship (try saying "I'm busy" when the friend asks to get together), how to detect "harmful" people before you become friends with them (examples are the "taker" and the "one-upper") and how to deal with friendships at work (Yager is convinced these friendships should remain casual). This valuable book will be a rescuer to all readers struggling to deal with an ailing friendship.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (July 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743211456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743211451
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jan Yager, the former J.L. (Janet Lee) Barkas, grew up in Bayside, Queens, New York, is a prolific, award-winning author with advanced degrees in sociology (The City University of New York Graduate Center), criminal justice (Goddard College) as well as graduate training in art therapy at Hahnemann Medical College, publishing courses at NYU, and a B.A. in fine arts from Hofstra University where she as Art Student of the Year.

Since her mid-twenties, Jan's taught at various college and universities including The New School, Temple University, St. John's University, The New York Institute of Technology, Penn State, the University of Connecticut and, most recently, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY.

Jan's first published book was THE VEGETABLE PASSION: A HISTORY OF THE VEGETARIAN STATE OF MIND, published by Scribner's in the U.S. and Routledge & Kegan Paul in the UK, recently released through audible.com as an audiobook with a new introduction, bibliography, and resources. Her 40 books include such nonfiction titles as VICTIMS; WHEN FRIENDSHIP HURTS, published by Simon & Schuster and in 28 languages; FRIENDSHIFTS; WORK LESS, DO MORE (2nd edition); BUSINESS PROTOCOL; GROW GLOBAL; THE FAST TRACK GUIDE TO SPEAKING IN PUBLIC; 125 WAYS TO MEET THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE; PUT MORE TIME ON YOUR SIDE; three novels, THE PRETTY ONE including the thrillers UNTIMELY DEATH; and JUST YOUR EVERYDAY PEOPLE; as well as children's books -- a series that includes THE READING RABBIT, THE QUIET DOG, and THE CANTALOPUE CAT, all illustrated by Mitzi Lyman.

Unique journals created and, in the case of the birthday journal, illustrated by Jan's art work, include BIRTHDAY TRACKER & JOURNAL and FRIENDSHIP THOUGHTS, FAMOUS QUOTES, AND A JOURNAL.

Jan's poetry is included in the collection, with her husband Fred Yager, entitled IN LOVE AND WORK: Poems, available as an e-book and an audiobook, as well as in the anthology THE HEALING POWER OF CREATIVE MOURNING: Poems.

Jan has worked in the publishing industry over the years beginning with her years in her early twenties in the school division at Macmillan Publishing followed by a year doing everything from editing, acquisitions, foreign rights, permissions, sales, and publicity at Grove Press.
She's traveled extensively to exhibit or attend foreign book fairs including the Frankfurt Book Fair, London Book Fair, Abu Dhabi Book Faire, Prague Book World,TIBE (Taiwan) Book Fair, Bologna Children's International Book Fair, Liber Book Fair in Spain, and Book Expo in the USA.

In addition to conducting extensive original research for her own books, Jan reads extensively. Beyond books, Jan writes articles and blogs. For more on Jan, go to:
http://www.drjanyager.com (her main website)

Over the years, Jan's been published by major houses including Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, Prentice-Hall, Facts on File, Scribner's, and other companies. She's been translated into 30 languages. In 1996, she founded the small press, Hannacroix Creek Books, Inc. (http://www.hannacroixcreekbooks.com)

She's been on author tours throughout the U.S. as well as internationally throughout the UK, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand. Talk shows that have asked Jan to appear to share her insights include THE VIEW, OPRAH, the TODAY SHOW, GOOD MORNING AMERICA,CNN,and other programs.

Jan's married to communications executive and fellow author Fred Yager. They have two grown sons, Scott and Jeff, and a grandson, Bradley.

In addition to college teaching, Jan enjoys speaking throughout the U.S. and internationally as well as socializing with her family and friends. She also enjoys going to the movies, plays, and exercising.

Jan's co-authored several screenplays with her husband Fred including a romantic comedy, two thrillers, and a buddy movie. Her dream is to get one of their screenplays produced as well as to see her full-length play, BETWEEN FRIENDS, produced. Hopefully those dreams will happen in the near future!

This author believes the future of books is secure because there are so many talented authors who continue to share their expertise, or write creative stories, that readers want to discover. She is grateful to every single reader --past, present, and future --who have bought and read her books, or borrowed her books at the library, in English or any of the more than 30 languages that her titles have been published in including Spanish, French, Dutch,German, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Czech, Romanian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Polish, Hebrew, Portuguese, Arabic, Latvian, Estonian, Thai, Indonesian, with Marathi and Akan (Ghana) languages in preparation.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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's 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 didn't 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 her friends' upbringing and then says that at the time, she felt betrayed by Cindy's suicide attempt, "as if it were a slap in the face of our friendship." Ms. Yager says, "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 wasn't 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 Cindy's mental illness 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 "the coward's way out" and does nothing.
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Format: Paperback
Yager writes a wonderful book on friendships that have gone bad. While not all friendships are meant to last a lifetime, many do, and when friendships start to go sour what do you do? Jan Yager has a clear understanding of what healthy relationships should be, and how they should make you feel, and that you have a responsibility in them. She also has clear guidelines of when friendships start to go badly what can be done.

My favorite part of the book is her short quiz on is the relationship harmful she asks:
1. Is your friend trustworthy
2. Does your friend return your phone calls?
3. Does your friend always keep appointments or meetings and promises?
4. Do other friends praise this friend?
5. Do you enjoy listening to your friend?
6. If you have an opposite-sex friend, and you're both romantically involved with others or married, does your friend's romantic partner know about your friendship?
7. Is your friend someone you're proud of?
8. Is your friendship based on who you both are now, rather than on what you were when you first became friends?
9. After you see your friend, do you fiend yourself thinking, "Wow, I'm glad we're friends?"
10. Does your friend respect your boundaries and your privacy?

She also describes different types of bad friendships and gives suggestions on what you can do to stay in them, or leave the relationship. She does have you ask yourself is the friendship healthy? Was it healthy? Are you up to investing enough into the friendship to make it work again? Most importantly, is the friendship worth saving?

I found her book helpful, and a good guideline on having healthy friendships with others. While this is not a complete book on friendships, it is a good starting point.
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1 Comment 54 of 60 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
We've all been there. Our faithful and beloved friend has in some way betrayed us. It's hurtful and painful and we react in different ways in different situations. "When Friendship Hurts" is the second and latest book in Dr. Jan Yagers friendship series and a follow up book on Friendshifts®.
We make many friends in a lifetime, but only a few are friends for life. "When Friendship Hurts" gives you insight in selecting friends that are good for you - to select the wolves from sheeps. I especially like chapter 2: `Detecting harmful people before they are friends'. In this chapter you'll find 21 different types of potentially negative friends. By reading through each type I can easily recognize which types my bad friends from the past are. It can also help you to predict whether a friendship will turn out good or not before bonding.
More insights are such as: why are friends hurting friends? Are there different rules at work? Can we break the pattern and find good friends.
In these days, Jan Yager is finalizing her third book on friendships. The area she studies here is friendship at work. I'm looking very much forward to her coming books.
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"When Friendship Hurts" is an excellent and comprehensive analysis of friendship. Sometimes, we are so wrapped in our everyday affairs that we do not really pay attention to the quality of our relationships/friendships. The book begins on a good foot, with a chapter on who, one can define as a friend. For a person who could often experience negative friendships, a reinforcement of this definition from another source, is helpful. Additionally, it aids in the continual re-evaluation of the quality of one's friendships. The best part of the book is that it is very non-judgemental. While Dr.Yager stresses the importance of salvaging a friendship that is on the wane, she leaves it to the concerned, to judge for themselves, whether one should work on a friendship or allow it to fade away. Breaking a friendship, she says, must be done gently to avoid repercussions. She also gives the reader a psychological insight into what could motivate a person to react in a manner, destructive to the friendship and to the self-esteem of the friend. Broken friendships cause shame and guilt. An understanding that someone's behavior towards you, may have nothing to do with you (your achievements, your behavior) is necessary to diminish the guilt and the shame. She also gives suggestions about how one could improve oneself to improve friendships. The book has a therapeutic effect on the reader and is a must-read for anyone who values friendship. This book has helped me put my former and current friendships into their proper perspective.
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