8 Toxic Friends That You Should Cut Out by Lauren Bailey Roach
The word toxic has become a bit of a buzz this past year. Toxic masculinity, toxic parenting, and toxic relationships seem to be regularly trending on Twitter. But today, we need to discuss toxic friendships. You might be unaware of the toxicity in your friendships. A lot of times it’s hard to see the unhealthy nature of a friendship because...well, you’re friends with them! The signs are usually subtle and tend to sneak up on you. If any of your companions resemble the qualities of these eight “friends,” you might want to reevaluate your social circle.
The Traits of a Toxic/Negative Person:
This friend will initiate a conversation with you that drags on for hours. And it’s never about a topic that pertains to your interests, or a back-and-forth chit-chat about your lives. It’s solely about them. They don’t ask you questions or wait for your response. The absolute self-centered narcissism that this person exudes is exhausting.
When you are feeling sweet as honey, the last thing you want is your gloomy friend ruining your cheery mood. This trait doesn’t apply to those with valid reasons to be down in the dumps—this applies to the perpetual pessimist and the downright cynical. Ask yourself: Are they always complaining? Never satisfied? This friend refuses to see the beauty in life and brings down those around them. They walk around with an invisible rain cloud pouring down on top of their head. “If it’s a good morning, which I doubt…”
Do you have a friend that is constantly the victim in every situation and relationship in their life? They accept no responsibility for their own mistakes and blame everyone else for their downfalls. Most conversations with this person have the underlying hint of, “You should feel bad for me!”
You might not know that this friend is toxic, as jealousy can be an emotion that is very easily confused. Your friend probably plasters on a fake smile when you tell them about your new job, but simultaneously dismisses your celebration on a whim. Sometimes this friend may follow your news with, “That’s so great! I could never do that though; I’d get so bored.” Belittling statements like this can put a damper on your excitement and refocus the attention back on them.
The Score Keeper
This friend never forgets anything. Remember that dumb thing you said three years ago in front of the guy you liked? The Score Keeper does! And they will bring it up time and time again to embarrass you. This person will dig up awkward moments from your past that likely still haunt you before you fall asleep at night. Ditch them, before they bring up the time you fell on your face... again!
Does your friend conveniently forget their debit card at home? Do they refuse to download the Venmo or Uber app? Do they not contribute when attending a kick-back? If someone specific is coming to mind, they are likely the Freeloader of your friend group. Sometimes, money is tight—we can all understand that. But the friend who routinely drinks your wine, rides in your car, and asks to share meals without offering anything? They are taking advantage of your generosity.
The Social Climber
Do they only hang out with you when there’s nothing else to do? Do they text you “What’s up?” and then stop responding after you tell them you don’t have plans? Do they ditch you to hang out with people they think will somehow increase their social standing? If the answer to any of these is yes, you are dealing with The Social Climber. This friend will ask you to invite them to your hangouts, but will never return the offer. They are always looking for the “best” things to do and are likely to leave you hanging. It’s common for this person to hop around friend groups, and they don’t stick around anywhere for long.
There isn’t one best way to end a toxic friendship. But by reading this article, you’ve already made the first step: identifying the toxicity. Your next step should be to take some time away and set boundaries. Time apart will help you acknowledge the more positive relationships in your life. Unfortunately, it’s very feasible that you will miss them—it’s never easy to cut ties with someone you have cared about. But when you have decided to move on, don’t look back. Toxicity has a way of playing mind games—amplifying the good and minimizing the bad—until it’s too late, and once again you’ve been poisoned.