TC 307: Frientimacy – The Toxic Friend Trend

TC 307: Frientimacy – The Toxic Friend Trend

In this week’s episode of the Transformation Cafe, host Robin Masiewicz discusses chapter 11 of Frientimacy. This chapter is about Obstacle #3 to Frientimacy: “The Toxic Friend Trend”.

As Shasta says in her article in the Huffington Post, not all friendships last forever.

“Chances are, only a select few people you are close to now will end up becoming life-long friends. And even those friendships have to change and become something new many times over, as we all go through various life stages and moves. But all friendships should enhance our lives and teach us new ways of loving people, even if they don’t last forever, so it’s important to learn how to leave people better off for having spent time with you.”



Is Your Friend Really Toxic?

“Very few people are actually “toxic” (a word thrown around way too easily these days!), but that is not to say that the friendship you co-created with someone might not be meeting your needs anymore.”

“Seeing that it often has less to do with their actions and more to do with our expectations and current needs reminds us that there is room for mature conversations to help grow the friendship into something that brings joy to both individuals.”

How to Deal with a Toxic Friend

Here is a three-step process for dealing with a toxic friend as suggested by




Five Practices for Owning Up

“It so happens that in practicing being kind–especially with those we’d previously want to shun–we will grow in the process. We will build stronger muscles as we engage in our compassion, provoke our empathy, and develop our ability to set boundaries.”

“When we show up differently, it changes the pattern and dynamic of the relationship–and in turn invites the other to respond differently. Chances are high that our friend won’t respond perfectly the first time we practice, nor will we initiate perfectly. That’s why it’s called practice. And know that the point is not to reach immediate success. If we feel it’s important to stay in relationship with this person, the point is we’re choosing to become more likely to hold our peace through whatever comes–and to in turn be an agent of peace.”

  1. Own Our Imperfections
  2. Assume the Best in Others
  3. Work to Understand Others’ Needs
  4. Rethink the Word “Needy”
  5. Trust That You Are Safe

For Evaluation

On a scale of 1-10, how strong is the habit to immediately judge, dismiss, or devalue others who disappoint me?

For Reflection

When I judge others, the pay-off for me is. . . (in other words, how do I feel better? What motivates me? What is my benefit or gain?)

If someone else were to describe me as toxic, the behaviors they’d probably point to would be:

Is there someone in my life I need to set better boundaries with in order to have a healthier relationship? If so, what might that look like?

Of the Five Practices for Owning Up that are highlighted in this chapter, which one(s) resonate with me as the one that will make the biggest difference to my life? What could that look like?


Shasta references The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson.

Learn more at


The ancient symbol of the Enneagram has become one of today’s most popular systems for self-understanding, based on nine distinct personality types. Now, two of the world’s foremost Enneagram authorities introduce a powerful new way to use the Enneagram as a tool for personal transformation and development. Whatever your spiritual background, the Enneagram shows how you can overcome your inner barriers, realize your unique gifts and strengths, and discover your deepest direction in life.

Shasta also references Power Versus Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior by David R. Hawkins, M.D., PhD.


Frientimacy Schedule:

Chapters 1-2The Intimacy Gap
Chapters 3-5  – The Frientimacy Triangle, Identifying the 5 Intimacy Gaps and Positivity – Giving and Receiving
Chapters 6 -7 –  Consistency – Building Trust and Vulnerability – Deeper Meaning
Chapters 8-10Leaning into Intimacy – Obstacles Doubting our Self Worth and Fear of Rejection
Chapter 11 – Obstacles – The Toxic Friend Trend
Chapters 12-13 -Obstacles – Jealousy and Envy and Holding Ourselves Back
Conclusion – retake the quiz… come prepared to talk about what you learned and what are our next steps in friendship.

We invite you to join us each week as we work through the book and explore how we can implement the ideas in our own lives. You can support the Transformation-Cafe by purchasing  Frientimacy using this link, or use the link in the Cafe Book Club Selection in the sidebar. It won’t cost you any more, but it helps us to continue providing new content. Thanks!

About Shasta:

Shasta Nelson, M.Div., is the Founder of, a women’s friendship matching site in 65 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Her spirited and soulful voice for strong female relationships can be found in her books Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness and Friendships Don’t Just Happen! The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriendsShe also writes at and in the Huffington Post, speaks across the country, and is a friendship expert in the media appearing on such shows as Katie Couric and the Today Show.

Shasta’s Links:

Shasta Nelson
Shasta’s Friendship Blog

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