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FRIEND OR FOE?: How To Identify TOXIC FRIENDS

Okay. I (@THAT_Twigga) am not a true blogger. . . .just yet, but I have been dealing with a lot of sh*t when it comes to finding out who my “true” friends are.  In my years, I’ve developed a habit in giving just about anybody and everybody a shot at being a friend of mine  *Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a loser who mopes around looking for these so-called friends*  I just always give others the benefit of the doubt and never judge people on their past actions or friendships.  I’m mature enough to realize that not everyone is perfect and that people deserve second chances.  And it may be sad, but I often have to tell myself that “you can’t always expect others to do for you what you’ve done or would do for them”.  People come from all different types of backgrounds, cultures, families, etc. and some genuinely don’t know what it is to be a friend.

But lately, I’ve just been getting fed up! (more after the break)

  

I pride myself on being a good friend and willing to do just about anything for a friend in need; but what do you do when you feel like you don’t get that in return?  It’s not the obvious “the bish slept with my man” type of drama, but I think it’s just as serious.  So serious, that reflecting on all my relationships, I took the time out to research what makes a “good friend” good and a “bad friend” bad.  It’s amazing how every friend that I questioned was described in DETAIL!  I absolutely hate drama and the whole “I’m not speaking to you” act, but there are some people who I have chosen to separate myself from because they always seemed to bring me down in some way.  I may still love and care about them, but I felt like if I continued our friendship I would probably grow to hate them. . . literally.  That, or fall into some sort of depression.  I had to take responsibility in knowing how my friend(s) made me feel and realizing it was up to me to change it.  Though I took this route, some friendships are in fact salvageable and worth the extra effort.

In my research, I discovered the term TOXIC FRIENDS.  These are the friends who use you, stress you out, are unreliable, overly demanding, unsatisfying, tends to be critical of you, always bring negative energy, drains you emotionally, and/or financially.  Now your friend does not have to fit into each in every characteristic in order to be toxic, but usually bring on a nasty behavior or attitude on a consistent basis.

 

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These types of friendships include the following behavior patterns:

* Gossping and snide remarks about you and others in your circle
* Fault-finding and criticism -- everything from the way you clean your house to your dental hygiene, to your size, your friends, and how much time you spend doing things
* Your thoughts and opinions don't matter
* Over-demanding -- Nothing you do is good enough
* Subtle jabs and put-downs -- You often don't even know you've been put down until you start feeling bad.
* Unreliability
* Jealousy
* Neediness -- It's all about them -- they don't take any time to talk about you
* Making fun of your ideas, especially in front of others
* Blaming you for all their problems rather than taking responsibility for their own choices
* Complaining about their life and dumping their frustrations on you

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Now I’m not just blogging just to blog, so I hope that this post opens a lot of eyes.  I don’t just want you to read the information and identify your friends who suck; but I also want you to reflect on the information and see if you fit in any of the categories as well.  Is there anything you can do to become a better friend?  Do you have a friend who just drains all your energy in which it may just be healthier for you to end your friendship?  I hope you find your answers here . . .

Happy Reading!  

 

*HOW TO IDENTIFY TOXIC FRIENDS:

Constant criticism.  Is your friend incessantly judging or criticizing others? While there is a distinct difference between observation and judgment in any situation, the delivery of certain opinions, especially in the form of gossip, can be quite hurtful. A friend who openly judges and criticizes others can create an enormous energetic drain for you, even if you are not the recipient at the moment. You may even be continually distracted by your concerns around what your friend may be saying about you and it is difficult to be yourself if you are always on guard.  

Assets. They will also use you because you have assets like a car, your own apt./home, make lots of money, have vacation property, to get close to your bf or brother. They will eat up your house and home and even use your beauty products. But when you confront them, they become angry. They disrespect you and your belongings. You may also notice borrowing become an issue. They borrow money and never pay you back. Borrow your clothes, property, and never give it. Return it damaged. Let other people use/wear your belongings. They may also ask for a favor but can never return a favor.

Controlling/Possessive. Toxic people are often described as being very controlling and possessive. If you have a friend who becomes upset every time that you hang out with someone else or pay attention to another person rather than focusing all of your attention on them, the likelihood is that you have a toxic friend on your hands. Controlling or possessive behavior can often spring up from an individual's lack of self-esteem. Real friends, however, do not attempt to control your decisions or actions. They may disagree with you, or express their disapproval of certain actions or behaviors that you engage in, but they won't attempt to control you by making threats or engaging in other manipulative behaviors (like making you feel guilty) in an attempt to get you to do what they want to do. Real friends try to be supportive of their friends' respective interests, hobbies, and other pursuits even if these are things they are not personally interested in. As a normal, healthy person, you should be able to maintain a plethora of friendships, not just be engaged in one friendship, particularly not a toxic one. If you have a friend who is trying to get you to see them as your whole world, drop them immediately!

Selfish. Certain people have the tendency to be more self-centered and self-servant than others. While you may have a great deal of friends who may demonstrate some narcissistic qualities and often put themselves before others, it is important to consider how these people would react in extreme situations. If you have a friend who is vain and often thinking of herself, but will come to your rescue if you are stranded on a highway at 3 in the morning, or if you've just lost a loved one, then that is not a "toxic" person. A truly toxic friend demonstrates a kind of extreme self-centeredness. In other words, a truly toxic person will not come pick you up at 3 in the morning if you've been stranded on a highway because they don't want to get up out of bed. Or, if you have lost a loved one, a truly toxic person may call you to ask you to come over to listen to how their boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with them, having complete disregard for your need or your feelings.

Fills Your Life with Drama. Furthermore, a toxic "friend" is a friend who consistently fills your life with negativity and their drama. In other words, while friends will undeniably turn to other friends in an attempt to vent, seek advice, or alleviate their pain, a toxic friend will have no regard for your needs or feelings. He or she will ultimately disregard any issues that you may be dealing with and completely unload on you whenever, wherever, and however they see fit. If you have a friend who is constantly harassing you with the melodrama of their lives, it is time to move on and find new people to spend your time with. Ultimately, this non-stop drama and negativity will take its toll on you and if your friend is so narrow minded that they can't see that they are not the only person in the world, then you need to move on and find a friend who is willing to invest as much time and effort into hearing out and helping you resolve your problems as they are over their own.

Abusive. Although for the most part toxic people put on the appearance of sincerely caring for their friends, many times these individuals can become extremely abusive. Whether it is physical, emotional, verbal, or psychological abuse, if one of your friends is engaging any of these forms of abuse, chances are they can be classified as "toxic." Take a step back and consider why you would want to let someone into your life who is harshly critical of every move you make, particularly those decisions that he or she does not agree with 100%? Toxic friends will call you names, judge your decisions, be generally unsupportive, and vocally express their disapproval of you. Keep in mind that "real" friends and individuals who know how to maintain healthy friendships may sometimes be rather crude and brutally honest, for example, "That shirt doesn't flatter you"; but they won't say, "you are stupid for thinking that he would ever love someone like you." A real friend does not put you down or call you names, no matter how much they disagree with your decisions

 

Low to no Energy. Do you always feel physically, psychically, or emotionally drained after spending time around a particular person? While the person may be "nice" enough, or may have similar interests, their energy level may be polluting yours. The theory of entrainment suggests that we tend to move at the same rate, pace, and energy level as those around us, whether we're in a crowd or with one other person. So, if your friend is always dragging, feeling down, is unhappy, or acting in a negative way, it is quite likely you are unconsciously mirroring these behaviors.