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Friendship by the Book: 'Dump 'Em' by Jodyne L. Speyer

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It's never easy to end a relationship---whether it's with a hairstylist, babysitter, boss, lover or a friend. That's because we get attached to the people who play starring roles in our lives and breaking up invokes a range of emotions---including guilt, disappointment, sadness, anger and fear of the potential consequences.

This is a pretty heavy subject but in Dump 'Em: How to Break Up with Anyone from You Best Friend to Your Hair Dresser (HarperCollins, 2009), author Jodyne L. Speyer brings her wonderfully quirky sense of humor to the gravitas of getting rid of the thorns in your life. (I wasn't surprised to learn that Jodyne's sister is comedienne Sarah Silverman).

Dump 'Em is a quick read---with lots of subtitles, lists, anecdotes, and insights from experts---that offers light-hearted and very practical advice on how to deal with the awkward situations that invariably arise when we have to let go. Jodyne recognizes the difficulty most of us have in saying no, saying goodbye, or setting limits and boundaries in a range of relationships and includes a chapter on each one (22 in all).

Chapter 9, Best Friends for Never, covers the serious groundwork that has to take place before you decide to dump a BFF and what you need to do to fortify yourself for the task. This includes some great advice from making sure you're 100 percent certain it's something you want to do, to thinking about other less grave options, to suggesting what to say when you set up the meeting or phone call.

What I loved most was that while the book and it's title are witty, it recognizes that dumping anyone is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly and clearly emphasizes the importance of respecting the relationship that you once treasured.


Friendship by the Book is an occasional series of posts on The Friendship Blog about books that offer friendship lessons.

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