Do you remember the one time you felt extreme pressure to do things completely out of your standards? Literally stepping out of your comfort zone and harmlessly trying to be the "mother Teresa" friend to a person who constantly puts you off with awful attitudes?
Or maybe you felt like your seemingly great friendship constantly leaves you drained and mentally exhausted with worries and an inexplicable fear of being around such friends?
Well, you might just be in a toxic friendship which is alright, (I have been in worse situations myself) so do not beat yourself up! Unhealthy relationships are quite tricky. While you are busy working hard to check the "great friend" box, the other constantly does nothing but be on the receiving end, dishing a plate full of toxic behaviors which can be really taunting when thought about. Chances are the red flags are "Hollywood visible" but you either chose to ignore and possibly excuse these behaviors as an adverse effect of stress, bad day, or anger!
Toxic friendships can take different forms. They drain you mentally and constantly keep you down, increases sadness, stress and anxiety instead of building you up. Healthy friendships help make life more meaningful, lengthen your life span and lower risks of mental and physical health concerns including depression.
“You are the average of the five people you spend your most time with”
Wondering how to recognize a toxic friendship? These five signs would help you identify toxic friends and friendships:
Feasting On your Insecurities: True friends do not prey on your insecurities or make jokes about them publicly. They understand that you are trying to contain your demons and they help you do just that, not set them lose or make fun of you at the slightest opportunity and wave it off with an insincere apology. While it is okay to make jokes as friends, the frequency should be set on limits.
Friendship should not be one-sided: Friendships should be symbiotic and not Parasitic -mutually beneficial not a relationship between host and parasite. Both friends should be at the receiving end of the relationship but if one constantly leeches off the other or you're giving more than you are receiving then you just found the toxic one.
Judgmental and Destructive Criticism: Friendships are meant to do a lot of building up instead of breaking down. If you constantly get awful remarks in the guise of criticism, you should re-evaluate that friendship. Toxic friends put you down just to place themselves at the top which is a cringe worthy trait. You should look out for this.
No respect for your boundaries: It is beautiful to check the "great friend" box and go entirely out of your way or lower standards to please loved ones. It is often uncomfortable to go out of your boundaries and you might not always want to do that. If your friend constantly pushes you off, gets angry when you do not , then you should re-evaluate that friendship. Understanding yourselves in friendships is key, the lack of it speaks volumes about an unhealthy friendship.
They victimize themselves: We all have conflicts and arguments, but true friends settle scores and move on. Toxic friends incorporate passive aggressiveness into friendships with no plans of settling conflicts and are quick to play the victim when they are wrong. Conflict resolution becomes a hassle as toxic friends become gossipy about what could have been unanimously resolved.
Toxic friends are a string of insincere apologies, self-centeredness, envy and so many things stringed into a person who is probably in that friendship because of what they constantly stand to gain from you.
Your friend is toxic, now what?
Set limits to your friendships! It is best to slowly withdraw yourself until you completely fade out. You deserve the best of everything including great friendships and you have every right to walk out of whatever toxic friendships or relationships you are entangled in.
Thank you for reading. Please do not forget to comment, Like and share each week!