I’m 27 now and have had my fair share of different friendships over the years – some incredible ones that have gone the distance, some fleeting and some truly horrible ones that have made me feel awful. Toxic friendships that hurt more than elicited fun and happiness.
Why do we hold on to people that are no good for us? Sounds crazy to me now to think that I’d ever be in a friendship that made me feel so bad, but sometimes, once you’re so immersed in a situation, you can’t see the truth – it can take a while. Often, it’s only after you cut ties with a toxic person that you realise how much stress and anxiety you are under. Trust me, I didn’t realise how sick I was getting until I managed to haul myself out of that hole.
Unsure if your friend is toxic? Watch out for these signs to see if you need to check out of your “friendship”. It’s truly not worth it.
Where do you stand?
You can no longer predict what to expect. You always worry that they going to react negatively, or get upset with you. When it’s good, it’s great. But then, for often unknown reasons you’re suddenly on the blacklist and you’re constantly wondering…what’s going to happen next? And repeat.
They take advantage of you
It’s been weeks of not responding to your messages, but suddenly they are all over you like a rash because there’s a show in town they want to see (and conveniently stay over at your house). Are you always buying rounds of drinks or the Ubers with promises of “I’ll pick you up next time”?
You’re the last to know
Just like in our JOMO is the FOMO article, have you ever been sat in on a Saturday night and then seen your friend on Insta having a blast, having not invited you? It can sting, especially if they are aware you had no plans. Being the last to know in terms of their news or secrets will also make you feel like an afterthought.
Can you get a word in?
You start to tell them about your week. Before you know it, the conversation has turned back to them – they only want to talk about themselves and hijack all conversations. But when it’s your turn to speak, she barely listens to what you’re saying. An occasional ranting session where you’re the sounding board is normal, but a real friend should listen to you and pay attention to what you have to say.
It feels like a competition
Have you achieved something and feel really proud? Booked a holiday somewhere you’ve dreamt of for years? Chances are, your ‘friend’ will let you know that they did it first, and better. Watch out, because sometimes this can be really subtle – but the one-upmanship will gradually wear you down.
How do I get out?
This is a tough one. Sometimes, you’re linked to someone due to your circumstances, whether that’s school, a job or just a long-time friend you’ve known since you were kids. The first step is to truly recognise that someone isn’t good for you. Over time, you can extricate yourself from the situation. It might be messy, but I promise you’ll feel much better in the long run.
Most of all, remember that you only need to love yourself – you don’t need approval from ANYONE. Find your tribe – they’ll build you up and over time, you’ll spot a spiteful person a mile off.
Ella in the Big City – She can be found with her head in a book or attempting to learn a new skill (some with more success than others!). Travelling is her second passion and she is constantly dreaming about her next far-flung destination.