Updated June 2020
Just because you’ve known a person all your life, it doesn’t mean you owe them anything.
I’ve had some bad experiences with people I thought were my friends, I had the wrong idea of the word friend. Toxic friends can and will take you down with them.
What you say WILL be used against you
At least with an enemy, you know exactly where you stand. With a fake friend, you will never know. The information you willingly give them will be used against you later on. Your information is their ammunition.
As we grow older, we also become wiser and learn how to choose our friends better. Choosing better people is still something I am learning.
Ideally, the people we surround ourselves with should offer some sort of value and we should do the same for those people. We must let go of the mindset that some friends belong in our lives because of the history shared or any other reasons that are just not worth it.
If you know better, DO better
I decided to write this post after speaking to a friend of mine recently, who has a history of being self-centered. Even though I know better, I didn’t do better.
I keep making excuses for her poor actions and base all my excuses on the fact that I know her for at least 20 years.
I entertained her call when she called me. Instead of taking the call, a better response was to not react at all.
We need to stop giving them the power to control our emotions. The most important lesson I am learning is how to control my emotions and be grounded in myself so that nobody’s actions will impact me.
I have a few real friends who I value and they have been helping me along this journey we call life. They have accepted me for who I am and I’ve accepted them.
Having real friends who genuinely care about you can make a positive impact on your life. So, let go of the friends that drain you, those that keep taking without giving back and those that make you question yourself after a conversation with them.
After gaining some experience from a few toxic friends, I’ve decided to create a list of signs that mean you might be dealing with a toxic friend.
DON’T ignore these 5 signs of a toxic friend
1. They are self-absorbed:
Do you ever feel like your friend only talks about all the things happening in their lives and hardly asks about you? Everything is about them.
Your dog died? Better suck it up buttercup, because they need you to listen to their drama. Usually, these types of conversations focus on the toxic friend complaining about all the things going wrong in their lives.
It will be very rare if they give you some good news or talk about positive things for a change.
Negativity attracts negativity. If your friend is negative all the time, they will continue to attract negativity. You don’t need all the drama and negativity in your life.
2. They call you the best friend:
They have their ways of manipulating you and you may not be able to see it right away. By calling you their best friend, they are making sure you feel guilty enough to hang around.
If you don’t think of that person as being your best friend, then something is wrong with this friendship. This may be a good time to reflect on the friendship and ask yourself what value you’re getting. If the cons outweigh the pros…it’s time to cut them off and DO NOT GO BACK.
I’ve made this mistake before, I cut people off and I somehow manage to let them back into my life again. It feels good at first but I always start to remember why I cut them off in the first place. Trust your instinct and don’t second guess that voice in your head.
3. They have NO boundaries:
When you allow people to take advantage of you, whether knowingly or unknowingly, they learn your weaknesses to push you beyond your boundaries.
They can call you and speak for hours about themselves, or they show up at your house and never leave. Their shitty behavior does not mean that their actions are your fault, but you WILL suffer the consequences for their actions.
If you keep allowing something to happen, it will continue to happen.
There are so many red flags that we choose to ignore. Sometimes we need to bring our brain to the party and leave our feelings at the door.
Feelings and emotions can put us in the worst situations that logic should have taken us out of a long time ago.
4. They are secretly jealous of who you date:
They don’t care about what’s happening in your life, but it’s strange how they want to know so much about the person you’re seeing – who, what, when, why, where, how? Tell me everything about him or her!
They don’t care about you but they do want to see if your person is better than their person. They are secretly competing with you but you will never know this.
Questions that a real friend will ask are things like if you’re happy and being treated right. This is all that matters. Instead, toxic friends want to know unnecessary and private details that you don’t feel comfortable sharing.
Your romantic relationship is between you and your partner. Leave your friends out of it. If you keep giving these frenemies information, you are also giving them leverage to use that information against you.
5. They want to be you:
Does this sound familiar? We’re so much alike, You and I are the same, I’m just like you. This is a major red flag – RUN.
You are nothing like them, they are saying this because they want what you have and they are trying to secretly compete with you.
Stop letting them know about anything that’s going on in your life. Stick to neutral topics, and if you can’t cut them off immediately, keep the conversation short and call them out on their drama.
You need to stop suffering from the consequences of other people’s self-inflicted drama.
I firmly believe it’s better to have no friends than fake friends who believe they are entitled to your friendship.
Fake friends are the most dangerous people out there and if you’re not careful about who you give your time to, they could ruin the beautiful things in your life that you are trying to build.
You do not owe anything to anyone, but you do owe it to yourself to never accept less than you deserve. When you let go of toxic friends, your life will start to change for the better. We don’t need negativity in our lives.