• Keeping Friends

NYU Medical School Newsletter – When Fractured Friendships Don’t Mend

Published: April 5, 2010 | Last Updated: May 14, 2020 By | 1 Reply Continue Reading

The latest issue of NYU News and Views includes an article about my survey research on female friendship.


Women are told from the time they’re little girls that best friends are for life, and that one friend-just one-will become their closest confidante, their bosom buddy. But it’s not necessarily so, and when a friendship fails, the wound can be deep and slow to heal. "A broken friendship is a taboo subject that women don’t usually talk about," explains Irene Levine, PhD, clinical professor of psychiatry. "It’s embarrassing and associated with stigma. We don’t even have a vocabulary for why friendships fall apart or a roadmap for what happens when they do."


With few coping strategies available, Dr. Levine did her own research in the hope of finding valuable insights. She conducted an online qualitative survey, posing open-ended questions to more than 1,500 females, ages 7 to 70. The results astounded her. "Once I guaranteed anonymity," she says, "women really poured out their hearts. Older women described friendships that fell apart 20 years ago, and the pain they still felt was intensely strong."


The book spawned by her research, Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Overlook Press, 2009), offers advice on a host of topics, including how to recognize signs of trouble, how to detach from a "toxic friend," when to sever ties, and how to face facts and move on. These lessons hit home. "I wish that I had let go of toxic friendships and focused on those that are mutually rewarding earlier in my own life," confides Dr. Levine.


Click here to read the rest of the article…




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  1. Thomas says:

    Thanks for sharing this info on your blog. I am a regular reader of your blog.

    MedSpa Clinic

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