Author Debra Barton defuses toxic friendships

Barton Friends BookAuthor Debra Barton is back. She’s doing non-fiction right, choosing a subject many writers (and readers) would consider an emotional minefield.

Letting Go Of Friends: How To Recognize and Deal With Toxic Female Relationships is an exercise in creative courage. Barton surveyed more than 300 women to gain windows into friendships gone wrong.

I enjoyed the uplifting Dream Launch, her book debut. Barton’s newest has the same clear-eyed optimism, even though the subject matter gets much darker.

Barton identifies seven kinds of toxic friendships. Readers will nod as they find their own experiences reflected in “The Competitive Friend” and other chapters. Surveyed women even share their ages, allowing readers to see that a friendship can go sour at many stages of life.

Prepare for a jolt in “The Betrayer.” So-called friends have broken up marriages, sabotaged careers and tried other schemes that will raise anyone’s eyebrows.

The best part about Toxic Friendships is what Barton has left out of the book. She peppers each chapter with lots of helpful ideas for coping with friends who become anything but. However, the text is not stuffed with statistics or other impersonal lectures. Men would call Barton’s book a handy DIY Guide to Friendship Repair.

In fact, after reading this book, you may not think of Barton as an author. You may consider her your newest friend.



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