Do you have a Toxic Friend?
It’s probably never crossed your mind to analyse if you have a Toxic Friend because you wouldn’t be friends with them would you?
Its true friendships are organic and they ebb and flow BUT it’s also true that some friends can be toxic without you knowing it.
To help you, I’ve identified the most common traits of a Toxic Friend.
Identifying the Toxic Friend:
- They make you feel bad – put you down, bully you, shout at you, point out your flaws.
- Cancel frequently.
- Talk about you behind your back.
- Generally untrustworthy.
- They don’t make an effort with you.
- Opportunist – you only hear from them when they need something.
- When the chips were down and you asked for help they weren’t there.
- Self centred – spend entire time talking about themselves.
- They are jealous of your other friendships and are clingy of you.
- Ignore you at a party when someone better comes along.
- They are not happy about your successes.
- They are a serious bad influence.
- You’ve got a bad gut feeling about them.
What to do when a Toxic Friend has been identified?
I have absolutely no hesitation in telling you to remove anyone who is toxic from your life.
But there are ways and there are ways.
Removing friends can be tricky and a potential disaster area if done incorrectly.
So be very careful.
So my first piece of advice (as always) is to discuss with one of your nearest and dearest. Do they think this person is toxic?
If they are definitely toxic, my second piece of advice is to take action.
How to act when a Toxic Friend has been identified?
- Monitor for 6 months – OK not action but a step in the right direction. Don’t trick them, but closely monitor the situation to be absolutely sure ending the friendship is the right thing to do. Collect the evidence, so if the time comes to end the friendship, you are 100% satisfied you have done the right thing.
- Phase them out – you know they are toxic, but you don’t want or feel the need to confront them. Slowly slowly start to distance yourself.
- Cold Turkey – don’t respond to them. I don’t think this is the best way to handle the ending of a friendship, but it may be your only option in some cases.
- Tell them – meet with them, look them in the eye and explain that the friendship is not working for you anymore. Takes courage but is the most honourable way to end a friendship.
- Put it in writing – e-mail, letter or message. This gives you the opportunity to clearly put across what needs to be put across in a way you want to put it across.
- Defriend them on social media – a bit cowardly, but can get the job done effectively and clearly.
To conclude, let us remember what a friend is.
A friend is an ally, someone who you want to spend time with, who cares for you and wants the very best for you. A friend is a person you want to share moments of your life with, who will support you in the bad as well as the good.
So don’t fill your life with those friends who don’t have your best interests in their heart.
You don’t need them.
For more information, read this article on the types of Toxic Friend.