Fighting for our friendships The science and art of conflict and connection in women's relationships

Danielle Bayard Jackson

Book - 2024

"Using a combination of psychology, science, and narrative, ... [the author presents an] accessible guide to help you better understand your friendships, including the things that bring us together--and the things that tear us apart. You will learn what the latest research has to say about the mechanics of women's friendship, discover the most common conflicts that arise--and you'll walk away with real-life solutions and strategies"--Flap page 1 of dust jacket.

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Self-help publications
New York, NY : Hachette Go, an imprint of Hachette Books 2024.
Main Author
Danielle Bayard Jackson (author)
First edition
Physical Description
xi, 256 pages ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-246) and index.
  • Author's Note
  • Introduction
  • Part 1. The Art of Fighting
  • Chapter 1. Health, Wealth, and Sanity: The Power of Female Friendship
  • Chapter 2. How We Come Together (and Why We Fall Apart): The Three Affinities of Female Friendship
  • Chapter 3. Healthy Conflict and Platonic Intimacy: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Closer
  • Chapter 4. Stress, Loneliness, and Resentment: The Consequences of Conflict Avoidance
  • Chapter 5. Mean Girls: The Art of Relational Aggression (a.k.a. Sophisticated Stealth)
  • Part 2. What's Really Going On: The Art of Understanding
  • The Flaky Friend
  • The Friend Who Doesn't Reciprocate
  • The "Gossip"
  • The Love-Obsessed Friend
  • The Controlling Friend
  • The Jealous Friend
  • The Newly Changed Friend
  • The Clingy Friend
  • The Negative Friend
  • Part 3. Letting Go and Starting Again
  • Chapter 6. How to Write Your "Comeback" Story
  • Chapter 7. Moving On Without Her
  • Chapter 8. How to Make Friends Worth Fighting For
  • Chapter 9. Loving You, Loving Me
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Index
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A "friendship coach" explains how women can foster healthier, meaningful platonic relationships. When Jackson was a high school teacher, she witnessed teenage girls continually making and losing friends, and she remarks on the "hurt and confusion" it engendered. "Navigating relationships with other women can feel like a land mine," writes the author, noting that her abiding interest in these dynamics came as something of a surprise to her: "Becoming a friendship coach wasn't exactly on my vision board." Still, after another career as a publicist, a conversation with a client sparked something in Jackson, and she set off to "study what the latest research has to say about women's conflict, communication, and cooperation." In her debut book, the author unpacks what makes female friendship so "complicated" and offers a handbook of practical tips on how to approach various roadblocks. In the first part, Jackson discusses the mechanics of female friendship, noting that research shows that women's friendships are "more fragile" but "deeper" than men's. Women "extend less leniency, have less resilience, and perceive more violations in their friendships." Because of this, the author cautions, it's important to know how to address conflict--avoiding it is unrealistic. In Part 2, Jackson walks readers through different potentially problematic friend types ("The Flaky Friend," "The Love-Obsessed Friend," "The Clingy Friend," and "The Friend Who Doesn't Reciprocate"), illustrating each type with a real scenario and scripts and strategies readers can use to approach these women with "compassion and perspective," but also respect for their own boundaries. Jackson is a warm and chatty writer, narrating anecdotes from her own friendships (and friendship foibles) that readers will enjoy. The book is a welcome addition to the self-improvement genre, covering a topic that feels relatively unexplored thus far. A personable and practical guide to negotiating female friendships. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.