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The basic need for human existence is relationships. Healthy, thriving relationship will leave you feeling satisfied and uplifted. Toxic friends can leave you drained or mentally exhausted.
Everyone at some point in their lives has experienced a toxic friendship. I have experienced my fair share of toxic friends. Sometimes a relationship can turn sour even if you have known a person for years. Like romantic relationships, things can be great in the beginning.
Types of Toxic Friends
Jealousy is the fear of comparison. Comparing is the thief of joy and that is exactly what happens in this type of toxic friendship. It steals the joy right out of the relationship. You know you have this type of friendship when:
- They hardly muster up the courage to give you a compliment.
- Criticize everything you want to do with your life.
- They try to outdo you all the time. If you talk about a promotion they will state how their promotion is twice what you make now.
- Downplay your experiences whether it is good or bad.
Who needs enemies when you have this sort of friendship. This type of friend can leave you feeling victimized after spending time with them.
This type of toxic friend has various types wrapped into one. I found that when I was experiencing this type of friendship, I would feel inclined to watch what I say as my words could be used against me for malicious intent.
At first, it can be hard to tell. There are times when they are nice and looking out for you. Then the next day you will get a completely different person.
Unless there are children around I shouldn’t have to watch what I say in fear of what I told getting repeated. Many times it is repeated inaccurately. Having anxiety around certain people is not a good sign.
The only good sign to come from it is to run.
This type is not the worst out of the bunch, but it can be worrisome. Competitiveness is about balance. Sometimes a little competition pushes you to do and be better. When it is out of control it can get ugly. A competitive friend involves:
- They do tons of bragging about their accomplishments. They may ask you how you are doing in life only to bring the conversation back to themselves.
- Take credit for your accomplishments that have very little to do with them
- They sabotage by trying to embarrass you around a bunch of other people. This is to make themselves look better.
The dramatic friend is the one that is always into drama. Their life is a real-life telenovela.
Everywhere they go drama is the second tag along. This requires them to be at the center of attention at all times. Regardless they are always talking about how bad or good their life is.
It can be as small as leaving their hair products when visiting family. When dealing with this type of friend it is best not to feed into too much of their antics.
If you show that you are not interested in their dramatic endeavors they will have no choice, but to calm down the theatrics. You know you are dealing with this type of friend when:
- Their opinion is the only and best opinion. If you try to go against it will raise a cause for concern and combativeness.
- You feel a need to walk on eggshells about what you say in fear of setting them off.
A dramatic friendship is an Irish twin to high maintenance. To resolve a friendship like this, there needs to be a clear establishment of boundaries. To make sure your time is not monopolized.
I have experienced many forms of toxic friendships. Out of all the toxic friendships, this is the most devastating. It feels like a personal blow leaving the friendship wounded. It makes you go through the seven stages of grief. Grief the loss of a friendship is difficult especially if the friendship meant a lot to you.
Betrayals can happen in many forms such as spreading lies, gossiping, or sabotage. It does not have to be extreme such as sleeping with a partner, but the effects of it feel the same.
This type of friendship can be the most frustrating. This can be because you care about the relationship. When dealing with one-sided friendships, you get very little in return compared to the amount of work you put in. There are several signs that you are in a one-sided friendship:
- You are always reaching out, but get returned excuses on how they are so busy.
- Consistent flakiness on established plans.
- Not being there in your time of need, but you are always there for them.
Sometimes this relationship can become most apparent when a new beau is in the picture. It can hurt to feel like your only being contacted when it is beneficial for them.
The Needy Friend
This type of toxic friendship requires serious boundaries.
Friends are supposed to add value. I am not going to lie it feels good to be assured that you bring added value to a relationship. Yet, never should there be a time where you are expected to be a counselor, advisor, or ATM. After a while, it gets draining always being involved in someone else’s issues. While you still have yours to figure out.
Friendships are beneficial, but unhealthy relationships can create havoc at your expense. Healthy relationships nourish personal growth. If there is a pattern in the type of friends you attract it may be time to take a look within. It could be a sign to work on establishing boundaries. Boundaries require an act of continual self-love.
You love yourself so much that you will not allow someone to mistreat you. Toxic friends will give you less than what you deserve out of a friendship. Boundaries weed out the people who are not meant for you enabling others that are can come into your life.
I view the challenges that these type of relationships bring as a mirror for yourself in order for you to grow.
In the comments section, express a time when you dealt with toxic friendships. What tips can you provide for someone who may be experiencing this type of relationship?