Friendships are weird, you meet someone, you start talking, notice you enjoy the same things and you build from there. As time goes on you become friends.
Over the last few years I’ve realized the significance of friendships and why it’s essential to limit who gets to know the real you. Friends have an affect on our happiness, self esteem and not to mention stress levels. So it’s wise to not accept or entertain everyone as a friend because not everyone deserves you. Not everyone has the same heart as you and quite frankly not everyone is entitled to your time.
From my experience there are so many “friends” you need to be cautious of.
All are toxic.
A toxic friend as defined by Jenn Berman WebMD “Someone who, after spending time with them, makes you feel bad about yourself instead of good; someone who tends to be critical of you — sometimes in a subtle way and sometimes not so subtle; a friend who drains you emotionally, financially, or mentally, and they’re not very good for you.”
I’m going to speak about 5 types of toxic friends, sometimes more than one of these traits are in the same person:
- The emotional freeloader
- Extremely negative friends
- Friends who always talk about themselves
- The friend who can’t take constructive criticism
- The friend who gives really bad advice
I came up with the phrase “emotional freeloader“ because freeloaders are people who take advantage of your generosity without giving anything in return. In this case they’re your friends and they are always emotional, hence the name.
The emotional freeloader uses you as their therapist but is never available for the important things like meet up or attend your birthday. Always calls you when things are going wrong in their life but never asks you if you’re okay. You’re last place in their life and even the people they say they hate are prioritized over you. They’re untrustworthy and overtime you’ve realized what they say doesn’t add up. As their “therapist” they usually don’t listen to you and get into the same situation again and again and again. Which regularly takes up your time and energy. No one should waste your time nor energy. Let’s face it, your friendship is one sided and you’re making all the effort. They don’t value you and their problems are not worth headache they’re causing.
Either communicate or cut them out.
Extremely negative friends. AVOID. AVOID. AVOID.
I feel like there’s two types of negative friends in the world:
- The one who thinks the world is constantly against them
- The one who wants the world to be constantly against you
For most of this section I’ll be focusing on the latter. Negative people are bad for our health. Google it. Misery loves company and all negative people do is bring you down with them. They want you in the same place as them, if not, below. You tell them your ideas, they say “it can’t happen/it won’t work” or something unsupportive along those lines. Remind you of someone? Yeah? Steer clear.
If you have to pause before telling a friend positive news because you fear the backlash you will receive, or they’ll say something negative to put you down?
Chances are you shouldn’t be friends in the first place.
Don’t let people project their negative thoughts and feelings onto you.
I’ve learnt to always listen to people’s response and tone when talking about good and bad things. Why? Mainly because too many people are more excited to hear about your failures than achievements, which is why it’s good to keep things to yourself sometimes.
Part of me thinks “friends” are negative to compensate for their own shortfalls as it makes them feel better about themselves. Another part thinks they believe they’re in some sort of competition with you. The rest of me believes it’s because they’re evil.
The friend who always talks about themselves. You’re trying to say how you feel and they’ve interjected with something completely unrelated but totally about them. Or your friend will interject with something related but they will make the conversation about themselves and this happens constantly. You feel as though you’re fighting to speak and in the end you give up. You’ll end up talking about them for what seems like an eternity and as a consequence your problem is still unsolved so your emotions are neglected. Sometimes people are unaware and they don’t notice their selfishness. Talk to them about their behaviour, otherwise cut them off or limit the time you time spent with them.
The friend who can’t take constructive criticism: Your friend is in the wrong, you’ve told them and they’re angry at you?! Anyone who can’t take constructive criticism and is angry/insulting when you give it to them needs to be avoided. I say constructive criticism because the aim is to get a positive outcome and it comes from a good place.
I had a friend a few years back who could never accept when she was wrong and her attitude was vile. She was a funny person when she wasn’t being horrible but she was too proud to accept her faults. One day in the summer of 2012, she walked off because I was apparently “taking too long in a shop and why should she be heading home late because of me?”
Bearing in mind I had spent roughly six hours with her that day trying to buy the things she needed. We went from East London to South London then back to East. That’s one hell of a TFL journey with several tube changes and a bus. I told her, her attitude was still horrible and I was upset since I did all those things for her but she didn’t have the courtesy to spend 15 minutes in River Island with me. (I say “still” because we had spoken about it before and she had lost friends because of it.)
Anyway she didn’t take that text well at all and I found out how she truly felt about me. Let’s just say it was horrible and I laughed at the texts with my mum. Anyone with that kind of hatred in their heart shouldn’t be in my life. We thank God.
What you call a wolf in sheep clothing.
A year or so later she messaged me to apologize which I think I replied to and she added me back on Facebook years after that which she ended up deleting because I just left it there. People like that should never be in or allowed back into your life, ever.
Burn that bridge before it burns you.
The friend who gives you really bad advice: I can’t even repeat the worst advice I’ve ever received but let’s just say my excuse for ending the call was “I need to get back to reading the Da Vinci Code.” Anyone of a sound mind who gives you bad advice or you make several bad decisions around should be avoided. If your friend tries to push you to do negative things, act dangerously, unhealthily, do something that’s borderline illegal or downright stupid they need to go, they’re not good for you.
Good friends will always want the best for each other. Period.
When people show you who they are, believe them. Don’t use the length of your friendship as an excuse to keep them . When I was younger I used to hold on to friendships, not anymore, I value my time, energy and sanity too much. I don’t regret any friends I’ve lost because people are never worth the inconvenience they cause. Overtime we mature and become conscious of who our friends really are, it’s acceptable to cut people out, especially those you’re not growing with and starting to resent because they are one of the friends I spoke about.
If you really want to hold on to the friends I’ve mentioned, then talk to them because sometimes people are unaware of their actions. Unless they can’t take criticism like #4 then run for the hills.
If you’ve read this post and can relate to it, then leave a comment/share your thoughts.
If you’ve read this post and can’t relate to it, you either have a great friendship group which you should cherish or you’re the toxic friend. Hopefully it’s the former.
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