Are you in a toxic friendship? Here are the 5 signs.
“Toxic; used to describe a person who is tainted by a subconscious malevolence or psychosis that affects the lives of those who come into contact with them.”
When we hear of ‘toxic’ friendships, we think about catty fights, gossip and the inevitable fight that leads to a fall out. What we don’t consider, is the toxicity of long-time friends that we hold on to for old times sake.
It happens when you’re not even aware of it, a slight change in a beloved friendship occurs, and thus begins what can only be referred to as the demise of a relationship.
Think of your oldest friends – did you make them during school, or university, or perhaps not until later in life at your work or Mother’s group? Whoever they are, visualise your last meeting with them, try to remember what you discussed. Did they ask how you were doing? Did they say ‘we definitely need to do this more often’ and then never message you?
A toxic friendship is a bond between two people, who may not even like each other at the best of times, but hold on to one another because they are afraid to let go.
Whilst the notion of ‘breaking up’ is often associated with a partner, can you break up with a toxic friend? Here are the five signs you’re in a toxic relationship:
They take more than they give. Your friend only talks about their problems, and takes no interest in your life. They wait for you to initiate a catch-up, then use the entire time to whinge about their lives. A toxic friend is always willing for someone to invest time in their dreams and hopes, but when it comes to yours they don’t have the time.
You leave feeling inadequate. When you meet up with good friends, you should leave feeling elated and positive, excited about your life. A toxic friend will drag your mood down, may subconsciously bully you and put down any ideas or stories that you have. If you ever leave feeling depressed, belittled, uninspired, upset or bored – leave the friendship forever.
They pressure you. There are things we all don’t want to do in life, and people need to understand this. Hate heights but your friend won’t stop pestering you to go skydiving just so they can see the cute guy that works there? Make sure your priorities are just as important in a friendship, particularly when it comes to things you don’t want to do.
An endless amount of gossip. Whilst your friend is bitching about X and X, what do you think they say about you when you’re not there? Those who gossip to you will eventually gossip about you. A healthy friendship means protecting your secrets, not spreading them.
You’re always second best. Have you ever planned an incredible night with your friend, only to have them pull out at the last moment? If you feel like you’re just an option, it’s definitely a toxic friendship. The best kind of friends ensure that they come first – never second.
Don’t ever let yourself become complacent in a toxic friendship, and if any have come to mind whilst reading this article – they are probably the relationships that need to go!
On a personal note...I had a ridiculous amount of 'friends' that used to put me down for blogging. They'd scoff at my attempts at eating healthy, laugh when I posted a progress shot and constantly talked about me behind my back. When I let go of those friendships, I felt more free than I ever have. If you need any advice on how to say goodbye once and for all, please email me and I'm more than happy to help x