Toxic is defined by Merriam-Webster as extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful; containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation. While a toxic friendship isn’t actually deadly, it is something that should not be played with! Toxic friendships can really take a toll on your happiness and well-being. Friendships should be built on trust, honesty, and communication- but every once and a while you may befriend someone who doesn’t have the best intentions for you. This is perfectly okay because these are important life lessons to learn! I recently had an experience where I discovered that I was in a toxic friendship, and I am so grateful for the lessons this encounter taught me. Today I’ll be sharing the warning signs of a toxic friendship and how to deal with them!
The Warning Signs
1. You don’t know much about them
Friendship is a two-way street and part of that is getting to know your friend! If you find that you’re offering a large amount of information about yourself, but you barely know anything about them- be careful! Unless you know their true intentions, try not to share too many personal details about your life.
2. They don’t understand you
To go along with the previous point, you should know each other! How they talk/write, their humor, even their personal style; These are things you may know about your friend- but if you’re getting into disagreements, take caution. While it is good to communicate with each other, it is not okay to fight and argue about being misunderstood.
3. They are critical of you or hypocritical
Friends are supposed to be good to each other, so if you are being personally attacked by your friend, they probably don’t have your best interest at heart. If they are attacking you or judging you for doing things they do- beware!!! Bullies do NOT make good friends.
4. They throw you under the bus
Friends don’t get friends into trouble or throw them under the bus. Definitely be cautious if your friend does this to you.
How to Handle a Toxic Friendship
There are 2 ways you can handle a toxic friend:
- Continue to be friends and deal with it
- Dump them
According to Cosmopolitan, there are many reasons why it’s hard to dump a toxic friend, but it is truly what is best for you. Toxic relationships are a drain on your life and can be a huge contributor to stress- it is simply not worth your effort and time! Your well-being should be your #1 priority in life, so don’t waste time by being in toxic relationships- Get that negativity out of your life!!
Write it down
I am a firm believer in writing down your thoughts. Sometimes it sounds good in your head but once you get it on paper it sounds totally bonkers! Writing things down is a great way to organize your thoughts and also keeps you on track as you speak to your friend.
Don’t Ghost- Talk to them
Don’t go ghost!! The best way to end any relationship- including friendships- is to talk it out. It offers closure and a medium for both sides to be heard. Be the bigger person and initiate the conversation. Sometimes, it can turn out that it was a misunderstanding and you guys can work it out! After all- no one wakes up wanting to lose a close friend.
Keep it Positive!
Do NOT attack them by any means. Always try to find a nice way of saying things as to not hurt anyone’s feelings. The last thing you want is a huge argument, so keep things positive! If you feel like things are making a turn for the worst, end the conversation and return once things calm down.
Don’t give up on Friendship
Once you’ve “broken up” you may think that you’re incapable of having friends but this is not true! There are so many people in this world and you are bound to make so many more friends! Just make sure they are legit, loving, and real friends.
All throughout life, we will continue to learn lessons that shape us into better people. It is so important to recognize these encounters for what they really are- learning experiences. I truly hope this guide helps you out and if you have any questions or need advice, feel free to reach out to me! I would love to help!!
That’s all for this time, folks. See you next time!!