Toxic: poisonous, very bad, unpleasant, or harmful.
We've all been in these types of friendships. As a woman, I look back on the friendships that I have had in high school and I've realized how toxic they were to me and how they changed me during that time of my life.
The danger in this concept is that we think "toxic friendships" are only one brand of people. The scary realization that I have come to, is that toxic friendships cover so many types of friends.
Here are some of the main roles that individuals play in toxic friendships:
1. The Competitor
This person will try to consistently out do you, in every category of life—but not on purpose. For example, these are the people who when you are telling a story, they immediately decide to follow you with a story of their own. They will regularly brag about their achievements and sometimes they will subconsciously compare them to yours without making it obvious.
It's little scenarios like this that could be potential red flags. We should want friends who can tell us about their achievements in a way that isn't demeaning to us. In the same way, a friendship shouldn't ever be a competition.
2. The Diva
This is the type of friend who's emotional needs always take priority—no matter what the circumstance might be. No matter what you are doing throughout the day, you feel that you must be available to the diva if they need you. And if you're not available, well how dare you!
Being there for someone 24/7 isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's actually being a great friend. However, the attention that is required for them will not be reciprocated towards you, and that is the problem.
3. The Critic
Critic's tend to nit pick your every move. They might even put down your other friends or anyone you could be interested in romantically to your face. They will hide this by making it seem like they were joking, but really they aren't. They will jump at the opportunity to correct you in front of a group as well.
It's okay if someone is correcting you, or even better, if they are challenging you to be a better person. However, if you are in a friendship and this is happening, you best evaluate their heart behind the intentions.
4. The Freeloader
Freeloaders are the people who always conveniently forget their wallet every time—and never pay you back. They also are a very surface level friend. Freeloaders only want to hang out when something fun is happening.
Having people that are the life of the party around is great, and always needed. But these types of friendships usually stay at one level, and aren't worth investing too much time in.
5. The Fair Weather Fan
Similar to the freeloader, fair weather fans like to just be around when things are easy. However, in times of difficulty, or if things aren't convenient for them, they are out. Proximity might have a lot to do with this in some friendships. If these people are around more often it's easier, however, if you live far it's harder to maintain a solid friendship—and they just don't feel like trying.
This might be the most toxic type of them all. You feel like you could have a close friendship with someone and then something changes. It always takes something drastic to happen in order to figure fair weather fans out, and that is the hardest part of these friendships.
The bottom line is: friendship should never keep you guessing, have you stressed out, or having you doubting yourself as a person.
It's always said that we are who we surround ourselves with. If we are settling for friends who treat us like this, how does that reflect to our friendships with others? Surround yourself with the types of friends you would want to be. Don't settle. Ever.