As we tend to be social creatures and accumulate many friends over the years and build strong ‘unbreakable’ bonds or connections, sometimes those friends can either be a blessing or a curse. We all have that one friend who is focused on themselves more so than on you. Otherwise known as ‘toxic friends‘ and if you believe you don’t have one, you must have at least experienced a friend who possess the symptoms of toxicity. Your social circle is supposed to be based on happiness, support and healthy validation, your go to pals. While on the other hand, toxic friends are about the exact opposite. They encourage wrong doing and always try to ruin your self esteem, after all who else is going to provide them with validation and inflict drama on. They can’t abuse people who have healthy and happy self esteem as happy people never allow toxic people to dampen their spirits. To make it easier for you here’s a list of characteristics or ‘symptoms‘ if you’d like to call it, of what a toxic friend primarily consists of, so you can spot them out like a sore thumb and find a solution to essentially get rid of them from your life.
1. They are selfish. If doing something doesn’t benefit them in anyway, they won’t partake. This also goes in hand with being inconsiderate. Their demands are extremely inconvenient and whenever you do something for them, they are rarely grateful.
2. Unavailable – they expect you to drop everything just for them ( and seeing as you are such a good friend, you always do) yet when you need them, they never seem to be around. Aka the flaky friend as they come and go as they please.
3. Negative attitude – they are unsupportive of you and your choices and undermine anything that you do. They like to make you feel bad about yourself, insult other people like it’s their daily ritual and complain about absolutely everything. Not to mention they are extremely envious and possessive, so much so that they will never be truly happy, and try to make other people miserable with them.
4. Manipulative – they use emotional blackmail against you, or even worse will only come to you when they want something. The hidden agenda friend typically will use manipulation to get what they want from you when it best suits them.
5. Social climber – they latch onto you similarly like a
leech for a short period of time, generally when you tend to be doing well or just have something you have that they don’t and in turn want. They tend to compliment you regularly, are overly nice and hardly ever disagree with your opinions. They may even go to the extreme of taking on your likes and dislikes so that you both have things in common to try and strengthen your connection.
6. Narcissistic – they obsessively talk about themselves and their opinions constantly as they are so in love with themselves, and as soon as you disagree with their views they attempt to turn the focus on you by making you seem like the ‘weird one‘ or the one in the wrong for having a different opinion. This can become quite annoying after a short period of time, best to avoid them.
7. The fake friend – the one who spends a considerable amount of time getting to know you so that they’ve gained your trust, and essentially will turn on you by using the information you confidentially tell them, in order to spread gossip/ rumours about you to boost their social status and simultaneously decrease yours. These shady characters are particularly nice around you and may have very little opinions, however if you catch them being overly opinionated with someone else, alarm bells should be going off.
Now that we’ve identified some of their typical behaviours or flaws, the last thing to do is to pull the plug on them and remove them from your life, the sooner the better.
According to doctornerdlove.com “We may choose to overlook the fact that our friends are toxic because of the sunk cost fallacy – we’ve known them for so long that we can’t really let them go”. Don’t let this be the case for you, it’s time to de clutter your friends and surround yourself with positive people, who are going to encourage you to move forward with your life.
What you can do is maintain and establish boundaries. If they do something that bothers you, let them know. Be unreasonable and never feel the need to justify yourself. Call them out on something and tell them to stop or never do it again. If they don’t accept what’s being received, and don’t apologise, then they are definitely toxic and not worth the argument. The time has come to end the platonic friendship and let them go from your life. It may be hard at first, but in the long run you will wonder why you even stuck it out with them in the first place. So make room for the better, positive and real friends that are just waiting to walk into your life!