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

1. The author describes ten different kinds of friends and how we interact with each type. What types do you identify with the most and why?

2. The author starts out by telling us that one of the greatest truths is that losing a female friend can have as many repercussions as breaking up with a boyfriend or husband. Would you agree with this, and have you had an experience like this?

3. Would you consider yourself someone who “romanticizes” her female friends? Or are you a pragmatist, who sees her friends for who they truly are?

4. What is the author’s definition of female friendship, and how does it fit into one’s everyday life in terms of work, children, and romance? Do you think there’s a way to improve how your friend is positioned?

5. Discuss being open and truthful with a friend and why this is oftentimes a struggle. How much disclosure and how much intimacy do you feel you need with your female friends?

6. The author suggests that women lower their expectations in order for their female friendships to improve. How would this work as a guiding principle for your?

7. When it comes to envy and jealousy among friends, do you feel that this occurs often in your relationships? Have you ever been surprised about how this has evolved in a close friendship?

8. The author describes various scenarios, including a friendship with a leader, a doormat, a sacrificer, a user, a frenemy and a sharer. Among these kinds of friends, what causes the most friction between you and the friend? Do you think age and stage of life has anything to do with it?

9. The author explores betrayal and manipulation among female friends and suggests when it’s time to end the relationship as well as the possibilities for salvaging the relationship. What has occurred within your own friendships where you’ve decided to call it quits, and when have you toughed it out and why?

10. Define the author’s take on the mirroring friend. What do you find to be the trickiest aspect of such a friendship, and how do you deal with eventually not being in the same circumstances as this friend?

11. The author believes that being comfortable with yourself in the relationship is key to a successful friendship, but also finds that for many women, this is complicated. Honesty is a big part of this, and women struggle to be honest. How does this apply to you?

12. What are your thoughts about the author’s advice on facing our disappointments in our friends, and compromising and/ r healing in order to preserve the friendship, rather than let it go? What are your boundaries and where do you draw the line?

13. Are there parts of the book that you would recommend that provide a way to work through issues with your female friends?

14. What have you learned by reading this book? Is there any chapter that has given you insights and offers an “aha” moment? What did you find most useful about her study?

15. The author believes that mothers have influence over their daughters in terms of female rivalry, based on their own experience. Essentially, mothers teach their daughters what to do or not do with their female friends. Do you find this useful and insightful?