Friendships are one of the strongest supports and resources we can rely on in our lives. As we talked about last week, relying on a friend even just to listen can be a huge relief for us in a dark time. However, sometimes we have friends in our lives that are actually not good for us. In all fairness it can be really hard to see it when it is happening and we tend to be very forgiving of those close to us, even when they hurt us consistently. So, this post is going to discuss how to spot toxic friendships in your own life and then what are some ways to deal with them.
When looking out for toxic friendships, you want to first look at the friendships that look like they are taking more than they are giving. Is this person taking your time, money, energy and resources without giving anything back to you? If the answer is yes, then it is time to consider that they are taking from you without considering you which is a recipe for a toxic friendship. Another big question to ask yourself is: does this person make happy at all anymore? If the answer is no it may be time to consider why you have this friendship in your life. A few key things to note is that sometimes friendships are not perfect, and we may go through harder periods with our friends, that doesn’t make them toxic friendships. In order for the friendship to be toxic there needs to be consistency in these negative patterns over a longer period of time. The final thing to look out for is; are they there for you? A lot of toxic friends will need you there for them but when you need their help, they are unable to give back. I want to make clear this are just some basic signs of a toxic friendship. There are many other types of toxic friendships with a variety of different aspects.
So how do we solve this problem? The first thing to ask yourself is if you want to solve it. A lot of people keep friendships that are toxic purely because they have been friends so long, and to a certain point that shows loyalty and strength. This can also be a point of struggle though too because a long friendship does not necessarily imply a good and healthy one. Talking to this friend about the friendship and how you are feeling is often a good way to start. The hardest part about all this is that you may need to let go of a friendship in the end, which is not an easy of fun thing to do. Rely on other friends that are uninvolved in the situation, or on family for support. You are stronger than one friendship in your life!