How wonderful it is to have friends. It is wonderful to enjoy life with people who have the same interests as you and rejoices over your achievements. Life would be meaningless and uneventful without them to share it with. Good friendships will bring you ease of mind, comfort, and happiness.
A friend is someone you turn to when you have problems. They know all your secrets, victories, struggles, and pet peeves. Because of technological advances, you may meet new friends on social media as well. You may only know them on a superficial level. Building trust with these individuals may take some time. A good comrade is hard to come by these days.
But how can you identify a ‘friend’ who is toxic? When do you know that you should cut off a toxic friendship? And how do you cut off a toxic friend in your life? Read further to know.
Signs of a Good Relationship
You meet people every single day. Some of these may become your friends, while some may remain as mere acquaintances. The years spent together may not necessarily mean quality friendship. Some friendships have lasted for years but ended up broken apart. In contrast, some meet for a couple of months and have been lasting friends.
Everyone wants a lasting and true friendship. You want comrades who will bring positive energy into your life. Listed below are some signs that can help you determine if you have a good friend. The following are what we call green flags in a friendship:
- Your friend will always make time for you, no matter how busy their schedule is if they know what you’re dealing with is important.
- Your friend accepts you for who you are and is not judgmental.
- Your friend doesn’t hurt your feelings and makes you feel bad.
- A good friend is respectful, loyal, and kind.
- You always enjoy each other’s company.
- You lift up and encourage each other.
- A good friend is honest and will tell you the truth, may it be good or bad.
- When problems come into your life, they don’t leave you. They are there to comfort and help you get through it.
- A good friendship is not obsessively dependent on each other. They allow space for each other’s growth.
But what happens when your valued friendship turns sour? Your friend is no longer a positive influence in your life. They hinder your progress and growth. You then start to ask yourself, “Is it time to end the friendship and move on?”
Who Are Considered Toxic People?
You have to make a clear line between a toxic friend versus a friend who likes to argue and annoy you. Not all your annoying friends are toxic. So don’t go running around and destroying your friendships just because you had a petty fight.
Toxic friends drain the positive energy of the people they are with. They don’t even know that they are toxic. Listed below are signs if you have befriended a toxic person:
- They are constantly stressed out, anxious, impatient, angry, and depressed. They are emotionally unstable and sometimes, they lash out on you.
- They are very manipulative. They want to control you by choosing your clothes or food for you.
- A toxic person will violate and disrespect you. They will ridicule and disrespect the boundaries you have set for yourself.
- They do not take responsibility for their actions and blame others for it, including you.
- They do not hold themselves accountable when they caused you pain and is prideful so they don’t really apologize. Sometimes, you hear them say, “I’m sorry you felt hurt”, but that isn’t an apology because they didn’t acknowledge their mistake.
For you to move on, you have to accept that you have to end a friendship. Indeed, you will expect an explosion of negative emotions from your toxic friend. If the toxicity of your relationship is high, let go and don’t make excuses.
Why Are There Toxic People?
Toxic people are deeply wounded and resentful individuals. They unconsciously vent out their wounds to others resulting in hurtful behavior. They are people who have low self-esteem. They put down others so they can feel good about themselves. They may be jealous of what you have and wish they have it too.
Toxic Family Relationships
Family quarrels and misunderstandings are normal. Family is family no matter what. It is easier to cut ties with friends than with family. But sometimes, if the family member is too toxic, you should think about cutting ties with them as well. You need to know whether it is just a simple feud or a toxic loved one. Listed below are some signs that a family member is toxic:
- You don’t want to spend time with them.
- You constantly engage in fights or arguments.
- They are disrespectful of your personal beliefs, boundaries, and relationships. You feel like they are inconsiderate of your feelings.
- They are abusive.
How Do You End a Toxic Friendship?
Ending a relationship is not easy. It will be mentally troubling and exhausting for you. Those precious moments spent together are now long gone. You have to let go and completely get rid of the negativity for your own self and mental well-being. Here are the steps you can take if you want to end it politely:
You Have to Define the Relationship
The best way to settle anything is through communication. It may be very uncomfortable to have a decent conversation with your toxic friend. You have to be honest with yourself and be sincere enough to get rid of your toxic friend.
Do not let the drama drag on for long. You won’t benefit anything from a toxic friendship. Don’t even dream that you can change your friend. The change will only happen if they do it themselves.
Prepare for the Conversation
Mentally prepare for the conversation with your friend. It will be rough and could be confrontational too. They may deny their toxicity and even blame you instead. You can write down what you would like to say.
You should practice and memorize it so you can get straight to the point. This way, your friend won’t have the opportunity to even think of an excuse. If you think about it, the toxic person was your friend. You know better how to handle the talk than anyone else.
Go Straight to the Point
Be clear yet respectful. This person used to be your friend. Don’t be too harsh, or else the conversation will explode in terrible ways. Be firm in your decision to end your toxic friendship.
Aside from making a list of the things you want to say, you should also list down the boundaries. Boundaries are healthy and are important in any healthy relationship. One boundary you have to consider is the “no calling or texting” boundary.
You prefer not to have any future contact with this toxic person, either in real life or social media. If you have common friends, let them know that you have cut ties with your toxic friend. They will be aware that all future communication should not include them.
What Happens When You Cut Off a Toxic Friend?
They will not admit their shortcomings. They will find ways to spread false and malicious rumors about you. That is why you must set goals for yourself. Having goals for yourself will keep your focus and will help you move on faster.
Rumors are unavoidable. You know the truth, so don’t be affected by what other people will say. Block all the negativity as much as you can. Avoid contact with your former comrade, who is only seeking your attention. Rumors will end sooner than you think.
The toxicity of your relationship has caused much stress on yourself as well. It triggered your self-doubt, self-misery, and resentfulness towards yourself.
You have to go out and be merry with your other friends. Do not be sad about your toxic friendship. Your toxic relationship has come to an end. You should be spending time with your other group of friends who will support and uplift you.
Can You Fix a Toxic Person?
If you think of it, a toxic person has underlying issues that they haven’t addressed. It only shows through their behavior towards others. They are not totally bad people, neither are they criminals. They could be diagnosed with some mental condition. They could either have bipolar disorder or narcissistic personality disorder.
No one can fix a toxic person, only themselves. But, ending the relationship becomes a rude awakening for this person. Hopefully, they will realize the problem with themselves and seek professional help. You don’t have to point this out to them because it is rude enough. You just hope and pray that they get help sooner.
There is nothing much you can do for toxic people. So do not blame yourself because you don’t owe them anything. You should focus more on yourself. After ending a toxic relationship, start your journey towards healing. You are in pain, but it will soon fade away.
Letting go of a friend is not easy. Give yourself some space to breathe too. You should also think about your personal shortcomings in the relationship. You should also learn something from what has happened to you. Hopefully, this is a learning opportunity that will not happen again. You should set yourself free.
You Deserve to Have Better Friends
Throughout your life, you have met different people from different walks of life. Some of them have become your good friends. Life changes season after season. So do people. Your friends from childhood may not be a part of your adult circle of friends.
Your colleague who you’ve met a few months back is a promising friend who will stick with you for a long time. Friends may not stay friends forever. Some become toxic friends, and it is best to let them go.
Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) is here to engage with you. Its team of counselors can help you in moving on from your toxic relationships. With their support, you will be able to form healthy relationships in the future. KCC is here to be your friend that you can talk to any time.