When creating friendships with people sometimes you get “stuck” with toxic friends. You don't have to take anything sitting down though. Instead, consider the following steps for dealing with toxic friendships. You don't deserve to have any negativity in your life and you shouldn't feel forced to be friends with certain people. Your 20s shouldn't be riddled with friends who don't truly care about you. Let's get into these tips so you can identify toxic friends and get out of these harmful friendships.
1. Be Knowledgeable About Toxic Friends
So many people put up with toxic friendships because they don't know what it means to have a toxic friendship. You may think that all friendships are a certain way or that your friendship is normal. This post from The Huffington Post “23 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Friendship,” really hits the nail on he head. Here are a few highlights that they talk about in this article. Please read the entire article to get a full grasp on toxic friendships.
- They are way too critical. When you ask your friends for advice, if their advice sounds more critical than it is helpful they may be a toxic friend. Especially if they go out of their way to embarrass you or make you feel less than, they could be a toxic friend.
- They lack any empathy for you. If you tell them about your day or say something about your feelings and they act like they don't care or are mean to you, they could be a toxic friend.
- They are judgmental. If they are way too quick to judge your decisions and make you feel bad for all your decisions from relationships to deciding whether you should take a promotion they may be a toxic friend.
- They hold a grudge. Toxic friends are resentful. If you make a mistake or they think you wronged them in one way, they will never forget it.
These are just some of the signs of a toxic friend. Obviously, the article listed above gives MANY more ideas.
2. Assess The Damage Of Your Toxic Friends
Now that you know if you could have a toxic friend it is time to assess the damage. Everyone has a bad day every blue moon, but if this is a consistent issue you should definitely considering stepping back from the relationship. Think about your potential toxic friend and how they treat you. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this type of behavior happen often?
- What is their demeanor like when it happens?
- Has this type of behavior affected you emotionally?
Really dig deep and understand the friendship. Is it even a friendship? Or is this person just a toxic friend? You may have to search for this answer as this person could have been a friend of yours for a very long time. That doesn't excuse their rotten behavior as a friend though so don't be afraid to call their behavior what it is.
3. Confront Toxic Problems When They Happen
The worst thing you can do is let time pass between when you see a toxic behavior and when you confront that toxic behavior. Obviously, taking time to cool down is important so that you are not unleashing an entire relationship full of issues on your friend, but that doesn't mean you have to wait forever. Take a toddler for example, if you don't show them what they did wrong in close proximity to when they did it they may forget they even did it at all. Toxic friends may tell you that you are bringing up old issues that aren't important to the relationship anymore.
The important thing that you need to realize is that what you find offensive hardly ever affects the other person in the same way. Often times, we get so upset by what other people are doing, and we just expect they know what they did wrong. Sometimes they are aware of this, but also there is a good section of time when they have no earthy clue.
This is why it is so important to tackle issues head on so that you can resolve issues instead of letting them fester in your own head.
Me recreating an argument I had 4 hours ago with new and better points pic.twitter.com/8uuYZ1dFon
— FREDDY (@FreddyAmazin) April 24, 2017
4. Surround Yourself With Positivity
When you are around toxic friends too long their mess can become your mess. You need to find friendship and positivity outside of their chaos. So, spend time with the friends who build you up, build yourself up through the use of positive quotes and affirmations, and just become more self-assured. You are an amazing person and whatever negative words your toxic friend has to say reflects more on them than it does on you. Remember that as you try to become better friends with yourself. Remember, you can be a pretty darn good friend to yourself.
Be positive all the time. Listen to positive podcasts. Follow positive people on Instagram. Decorate your room with positive art.
Shield yourself with positivity.
5. Be Okay With Letting Go Of Toxic Friends
Letting go of a friendship (no matter how toxic) can be sad. We all want to make friendships work, especially if we have had a friend for a really long time or we have been through a lot with that friend. Toxic friends have no place in our lives though so we must understand when we need to let them go. So I encourage you to let go of those toxic friendships so that you can focus on strengthening relationships that matter.
You can do this in one of two ways:
- The Slow Back-Up: Claim to be busy a lot, miss their phone calls, and avoid hanging out with them for long periods of time. This is a bit passive aggressive, but when you are around a toxic friend, in my opinion, you don't always have to be straightforward with them (look after your own sanity first and foremost.) They will eventually get the hint and y'all will talk less often.
- Be Straightforward: Let them know why you can't be friends and that they really did a lot of damage to you personally. Then block them, delete conversations with them, whatever you need to do to feel at ease. This way can be a bit harsh. I would only do this if you feel up to it as it can be a draining way to end a toxic friendship.
I am not here to judge you in whatever way you decide to end your toxic friendship. You don't owe me or anyone else for that matter an explanation. Above all else, you must look out for yourself and your sanity in these situations. Don't worry about people who might disagree with how you choose to end a friendship with someone.
Final Thoughts About Dealing With Toxic Friends
At the end of the day, you don't have to put up with this. You are worth more than that. You are capable of so many amazing things, girl. So, please, surround yourself with people who deserve your friendship. Toxic relationships can be hard to get rid of. Especially if you keep looking back at the days when the relationship was just starting and everything was great. Defending yourself against this person and defending this person will become akin full-time job for you. Do not let this situation take over your life. Instead, remove yourself from the situation. This will be better for you in the end.