Do you have toxic friends?

Studies have suggested that those with really solid friends live longer. Like all deep relationships, however, even your platonic ones are bound to have their shaky moments. But if those titts, or lingering feelings that you are not putting in, happen more often than not, your friendship could be unhealthy, or even toxic. Friendship can be protective and rewarding, nurturing and uplifting if a friend has the opposite impact, we may want to reconsider our relationship and reconfider that persons role in our lives. It doesn’t mean you need to end the friendship altogether – maybe you still see them for social gatherings – but they shouldn’t be who you turn for emotional support. Recognising that you are in the midst of a toxic friendship by evaluating the signs is the first step toward extricating yourself – apainful but necessary process. As you get older, it is important to evaluate your friendships. If they’re not healthy or serving apositive purpose, its time to phase those people out. We feel guilty about cutting people off – maybe you have been friends since high school – but when you realize someone isn’t supportive or an uplifting influence, you should re-evaluate.

Here are tell-tale signs it might be time to say goodbye.

They’re jealous

Healthy competition between friends is normal, and can even be positivr, spurring you to be your best self while examining where you can improve. But when it crosses a line into jealousy – including aggressive competition, one-upping, and exvessive attempts at leveling the playing field by diminishing your accompliments – things becomes less kosher. Good friends are like cheerleader: they root you on and take pride in your success. However, when jealousy interferes with a friends ability to be supportive, it can have detrimental effects on the friendship. That’s not to say that goodfriends won’t have fleeting moments of jealousy – thats just life, but they work to contain those emotions and express them appropriately, rather then through veiled insults or overt competitiveness.

They make you feel insecure

If you are always walking away from them feeling down on yourself, or having to talk yourself into why that person might not be right for you at this time. Listen to your gut and start taking small steps back, away from any scenarios that might connect you two. While of course, some friends are simply honest to a fault – which means you’ll occassionally face negative reactions that are taugh to stomach – those same straightfoward pals wall also prove equally supportive and consistenty build you up. Try to pay attention to internal cues . Tune into your body. Do you feel weighed down, drained, unsure to yourself? Listening to your inner voices is the best place to start.

…And a sense of dread

If your friends are popping up on your phone via text messages or calendar appointment gives you a bad feeling, trust your intuition. That little pit in your stomach knows what’s up. You shouldn’t feel dread about seeing friends, if you do, ask yourself why.

You have to be careful around them

Does it always feel like you are walking on eggshells, afraid of saying or doing something that will make them fly off the handle? Classic sign. Close friendships involve valuing the thoughts and emotions of another peeson. If your friend becomes easily engraged and doesn’t male an effort to see things from your perspective, you may want to consider whether the friendship feels healthy.

They won’t stop criticizing you

When a friend is always judging you, it can do a number on your self esteem. Somebody who constantly belittles yoi and points out your flaws – we all have them! – might not have your best interest at heart. It is important to draw bounderies and, as difficult as it can be, either stand up for yourself or back away. Toxic friends generally do not change. What does change is how you treat them and whether or not you decide to keep those individuals in your life.

All you do is talk about them

An important part of friendship is give and take: sometimes you’re going to need some extra TLC, and sometomes they will. But if your friendship is consistently lopsided and solely focused on their needs and we’re not talking about when they’re going through aparticular tough chapter, like divorce, there might be a problem. If you notice that you are always the one counselling, loaning or saving in the relationship, then that friendship has the potential to be toxic. Sometimes gently pointing it out can help, as the friend might not recognize the issue. A simple thing that you can do is to say, “Right now I just need someone to listen to me,” If a friend is capable of that, then keep them around. If not, well you have a decisipn to make.

They’re energy vampires

Healthy relationship leave you feeling emotionally fulfilled. Not so with toxic ones. You’ll leave an interaction with a toxic friend feeling drained. This could be because of the drama they bring, or because of the heavy lidfting you have to do with them with any reciprocal support. Friendships should provide daily bouts of joy in your life. What a friendship should not bring in to your life is stress. It should not leave you feeling anxious, obsessed or drained.

You can’t trust them

In any close friendship, trust is essential. This goes double for an established friendship. But if you have a confidant who you can’t share important information with, trust could be an issue. If you find yourself not being able to trust a friend – their intentions, their word, their confidentiality – check the status of your friendship.

Everything is always super dramatic

Of course, life is not without its ups and downs. Its only normal that drama will pop-up…but if a friend seems to thrive on that drama and is constantly sucking you into it, it may because of concern.

They keep trying to change you

Its a common scenario: that friend who just…won’t…stop offering feedback about everything from your dating profile to your eyes shadow, leaving you feeling as if you are not good enough. Its often hidden under the guse of caring and concern, which can make the barrage of “helpful” advice that much more toxic. Keep an eye out for friends like this because sometimes they are putting you down so they can be the ones to lift you back up – and it turns into a never ending cycle of feeling inadequate. Tell them how bad their comments make you feel and one of two things will happen. Either they’ll apologize to you and change, or they’ll act like they have no idea what you are talking about – and you have to let friendship go. No one needs anyone in their life who isn’t supportive for them. Period!

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