We’ve all had toxic friends. After you spend time with them, you feel down and deflated. You start doubting yourself and your choices. You’re wondering what happened to the wonderful evening you were looking forward to and why you feel like you’ve just unloaded a truckload of bricks.
Here’s the good news: we get to choose our friends. We can decide how much time we want to spend with them or if we should let go of the friendship completely. But before we make that choice, how do we spot the toxic friends in our lives?
You feel tired after you’ve spent time with them
All of us have bad days now and then, but if you’re consistently feeling exhausted after spending time with someone, it’s a sign of a one-sided exchange. You’re spending a whole lot more energy than what you’re getting back and it feels like your time together is sucking the life out of you.
They see the negative in everything
If your friends are always complaining about their own situation and seeing the negative in everything you do, it’s a really good idea to limit your interactions. There’s only so long you can pretend to be entertained and not let their negative comments affect you.
It’s always about them
There’re many ways selfishness can show up. Maybe you know someone who always talks about themselves and when you finally manage to get a word in, they don’t seem interested. Perhaps they’re always late, or they change the arrangements you’ve made at the last moment because “they don’t feel like it,” but then get upset if you do the same. Whatever it is, if you don’t feel like there’s balance in your relationship, you don’t have to keep on falling for it.
Are they telling you revealing stories and unkind things about their other friends? There’s a good chance that they’re doing the same behind your back.
You don’t feel safe around them
Do you watch every word you say for fear of being put down? Do you withhold your positive news because your friend might be jealous or negate your achievements? If you can’t relax in your friends’ company and you have to work hard to keep everyone happy, that would drain a lot of energy out of you.
You don’t have to break up with all of your toxic friends. In fact, no one is 100 per cent bearable all of the time. But being aware of what is really happening in your friendship will help you to decide just how much toxicity you’re willing to put up with, and when it’s time to let go.
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