Breaking up with someone is never easy. You’ve invested your time and love into a relationship and seeing it fail is discouraging to say the least.
Breaking up with a friend can be just as hard
“Not all friendships last forever. Chances are, only a select few people you are close to now will end up becoming life-long friends,” says Shasta Nelson, author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen!
“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.”
Toxic friendships are those that make you feel bad (or make you a bad person) – those narcissistic, abusive, competitive friends who talk behind your back or ignore you.
“Setting aside the extreme of physically abusive relationships, there are still plenty of people that we let into our lives that we should probably let go,” Margaret Manning Author, Founder of Sixtyandme.com wrote in the Huffington Post.
“In doing so, we will create space in our lives for people who would actually care about us and treat us with the love and respect we deserve.”
With this in mind, here are 5 types of toxic friends:
1. People who are abusive or just plain mean
It’s a baffling human condition, but we’re often attracted to people who treat us the worst.
Passive-aggressive friends that say things to the point of being hurtful? Those that talk behind our backs? Ignore us? It’s not okay.
This behaviour by a toxic person can have far-reaching unhealthy side-effects. Not only does your self-esteem dwindle, you’ll often search for these toxic relationships in someone else!
Psychoanalayst Isabelle Korolitski told Psychologies UK, it’s not an accident that we form ties with these type of people. We often repeat an unhealthy pattern we’ve experienced somewhere else in our lives.
“Our subconscious is searching what it knows, so it doesn’t wander into uncharted territory,” she says. “A first attachment that was toxic, and was never dealt with, may well lead to another.”
“There are two types of people in the world”, my mother says often. “Givers and takers.” You know those friends who always talk about themselves? They’re takers. The friend who always calls you when she needs something done (that you’re incidentally quite good at doing?) A taker.
Takers are also those that make you do all the work in the friendship. Most friendships aren’t 100% equal when it comes to who does what, but your efforts should at least be relatively the same. If you’re the one always keeping in touch and arranging get-togethers (by a long shot) ask yourself why.
3. People who don’t appreciate you
You need to spend time with someone who affirms you, celebrates who you are and heightens your self-confidence.
“All you have to do is spend time with the people who truly respect and love you for who you are; if you don’t have enough of these people in your life, it’s time to explore your passions, build your life and find new friends,” Manning believes.
4. Someone on a different path
There’s an old saying – people are in our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. We often become friends when we’re on a similar path (or at least have similar ideals), but these things can change as we get older. A friendship might just be at its natural end.
Kris Carr, author, speaker and wellness advocate, advises asking yourself a few questions when you decide whether to carry on: Is the pain too great to stay the same? Do I need a translator to be heard? Is it impossible to make boundaries? Am I the only one that is willing to meet in the middle? Is getting an apology (when it’s truly deserved) like pulling teeth? Does this relationship take more energy than it gives?
5. Someone who makes you unhappy – all the time
Your toxic friend might be making you a toxic person. Are you constantly complaining about them? Is it a drag having to meet them? Why waste your time on something painful?
According to the Huffington Post, by constantly talking about these toxic friendship issues, you’re giving them more power in your life.
It could be that you don’t trust them. Something might have happened in the past and now you’re constantly apprehensive about it. Decide if you feel it’s worth working on.