Toxic Friendships 101
Updated: Jul 1
We have all had a toxic friend in our lives at one point or another. They are the type of “friends” who make jokes at our expense, put us on the spot in front of groups of people, or generally don’t make us feel too good. In fact, often times they just make us feel insecure,uncomfortable and drained of energy. You probably often find yourself feeling oddly tired, or heavy, after spending time with them.
These are the types of friends who probably expect you to always be ready to listen and help when they come to you with problems and drama. However, when it comes to your problems, they mysteriously never seem to have time, and when they do, they never seem engaged. They are they kind of friends which make you wonder why you are friends with them in the first place, only for you to realise it’s really just out of habit. These people are of no use to you, and you need to be ruthless. You have a limited amount of free time, and you don’t want to spend it on people who deplete your energy and never provide you with happiness.
To paraphrase motivational speaker Jim Rohn, you are who you hang out with. If you spend a lot of time with negative people, your life will be affected negatively, and you run the risk of becoming a negative person yourself. Think about it, how many times have you spent time with one of these friends, and felt tired? I don’t mean the “I haven’t had enough sleep or coffee today” kind of tired. I mean the “I need to hide in my room under the blankets with a cup of tea and Netflix and not socialise for 2 weeks” kind of tired. The emotional kind of tired. Think of all the other positive things you could be doing instead, and all the things that would make you a million times happier.
Of course, a friendship break-up can be just as painful as a relationship break-up. These are people we trust and we have lived through so many different experiences with. However, we can´t hold on just for the old times’ sake. Realistically, if that person really did care about you, and you had told them before how they made you feel, they would have changed their behaviour by now. Remember, you don’t owe anyone your time, and are under no obligation to provide emotional support to anyone you don’t want to spend time on. It sounds harsh, but putting your mental health at risk for the sake of someone who wouldn’t do the same for you, is not beneficial to anyone involved. The goal in life is to be as happy as you can be, and you can’t aspire to reach for the stars when you have negative people weighing you down!
At the start, breaking this friendship off might be uncomfortable, you will probably try to find any excuse to put off the conversation for as long as you can, and it’s understandable. Confrontation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to remember that you are doing this for your own sake, to try and live the most positive life you can. Once you break through this barrier, and start shedding yourself of the weight of toxic friendships, you will feel lighter, happier, stronger, and more empowered. If your friends aren’t making you happy, and if they don’t care about the way they make you feel, then they are probably not very good friends, and you are probably better off without them. My advice is, put an end toxic friendships, and focus on the people and things that bring light and happiness to your life.