Building relationships with people is a normal and healthy part of life. There are some we build that are genuine and last forever. Those are the relationships that make our lives happier and healthier; they build our self-confidence and make each day worth living. Yet just like a coin, there is another side to the friendships we make. Every now and then you come across a friend who makes you question everything about yourself: your looks, your sanity, your confidence, your happiness. While the little things seem to pass by unnoticed or unconfronted, there comes a time when this person is doing more harm then good. There is a stigma to ending friendships, almost as if the phrase “Best Friends Forever” applies to every person we have ever befriended – but why do we continue to support and defend friends that would not do the same for us? Here are three toxic friend types that surface time and time again. If you recognize any of these telltale behaviors in a friend, beware.
One way to tell if you have a toxic friend is if they live in constant conflict or drama. Like the "Real Housewives," this friend is always telling you something negative about someone you two mutually know. They are feuding with a different friend every week, lending or owing someone unreturned money or clothes, gossiping about the personal aspects of your other friends’ lives and worst of all, they want you in the middle of it. This toxic friend will create unnecessary and falsely contrived problems between you and your friend group. Like the toxin that person is, after the damage is done, they will sit back and watch you scramble to put your life and other relationships back together.
Every single conversation you have is about one person. Want a clue? That person isn’t you. They will call you whenever they have a problem, which in a regular relationship, would be expected. The point when things become toxic is when you need their shoulder to cry on, and you’re sent straight to voicemail. In their eyes your problems are nonexistent. A toxic friend will expect you to always make the drive to their house, always text back, always open their snaps and they will never want to hear you complain about it. Only in rare occasions are they willing to hear the issues you are having, after which they are quick to point out everything you did wrong instead of offering support. Toxic friendships usually leave you feeling emotionally whiplashed; either from trying to fix their problems or being chastised for yours. You’ll be left feeling lonelier than you realize.
Last but not least, a toxic friend will betray your trust time and time again. In moments of insecurity you will tell them something in confidence, only to have it thrown back in your face later. Placing trust in someone is a huge leap of faith and honoring that trust is expected. These toxic friends will make fun of and spread your insecurity while making it seem as if it is your fault for having them. Confront your friend for abusing your trust? Be prepared to be discredited with a figurative slap to the face, no apology in sight.
You invest so much time and emotional energy trying to make friendships last. If that energy is not being reciprocated, at some point you have to step back and see things at face value; that friendship is toxic. Life is too stressful to have the people closest to you tearing you down. Do yourself a favor and get that toxin out of your system.