Our friend are people who we meet in our life, they show us how to live, laugh and love. Friendship is the basic which is foundational in all of other relationships such as lovers, co-workers or even family. Our friends, even those who are opposite or different to us teach us how to interact with people.
Friends make and keep us mentally strong, they are the family we choose, but sometimes they might be ruining your mental health and leaving you feeling unsupported as well as hopeless to escape because you are so attached to them. These kinds of friendship are known as ‘Toxic Friendships’.
We have all had a time in our life when someone has made us feel worse when we are already down. It is not comfortable when your friends have not so positive impact on you and your life, we have all been there at some point in our life when you are friends with someone because of all the good memories in the past but now they have become too much for you and you don’t feel any Joy around them.
“A toxic friendship emotionally harms you, rather than helping you,”–psychologist Andrea Bonior
“Rather than bringing company and comfort to your life, a toxic friendship will bring exhaustion and frustration”– Perpetua Neo.
Signs of a toxic friendship
Every person has their own insecurities but sometimes these turn into jealousy disguised as concern or passive-aggressive and toxic behaviour! For example, if their friends are focusing on themselves and personal issues instead of being supportive Toxic friends would rather be passive-aggressive towards them and would not be appreciative.
If they are miserable they prefer their friends to be miserable as well!
Sometimes these friends portray themselves as your sole support system but all they do is use all your troubles to feel better about themselves, they often intentionally bring up the things which they know have hurt you to keep you as unhappy as they are, they may even tell the things you have shared with them in confidence to other people to make fun of you.
Here’s what to look out for to determine if your friendship is toxic:-
- You do not feel comfortable or relaxed when you are with them.
- They make you feel guilty or bad about being happy.
- They try to dominate your life.
- More often than not there’s some kind of drama and conflict with them.
- They are jealous and competitive.
- They are self-centred.
- They act victimized and are very manipulative.
- They are rude and misbehave when they do not get what they want from you.
- They hold you accountable for any conflict between you and them.
- They are always giving you advice which seems to impact you negatively.
Why some people are toxic-
If a person is toxic with a normal mind (excluding any mental conditions) then there are different causes. Every human’s behaviour develops under these conditions.
- Parent’s behaviour and their values
- The upbringing of that person
- Surroundings of that person
- Circumstances and his approaches towards life and people
These criteria make your real behaviour. There are so many external factors also that affect one’s behaviour and approach.
Most people become toxic who have low self-esteem and insecurities and often they are not able to achieve anything due to low self-esteem, unethical approach, low education, home problems, insecurities towards life and frustrations. They may have some anger, grudge, frustration or other negative traits, which create problems for him and for others. Toxic people don’t believe they are wrong; they are often selfish by nature. Their thinking is narrow because they usually don’t believe in ethics when it concerns them. They are hypocritical in the way about what they think of relationships in general.
What you should do-
The best way to deal with toxicity is to decide what the reason maybe. It could be that they always yell at you for things or they keep telling your private matters to others. You have to identify what is bothering you in this case.
You have to set your boundaries and then enforce them. Such as politely leaving when they begin yelling at you or not telling anything confidential about you to them. In any case, you have to be strict about your space, your well-being is the priority, and if they are your real friend they will understand your view and will try to find a solution with you.
If none of these solutions works, you can also consider cutting them out of your life for a while or for good:-
It is hard to let go of the people you have been around, told so much to, and spend so much time and effort on them.
You should not feel the need to be obligated to keep a friendship going just because it has been going on for a long time even if you feel drained and that it is toxic to your mental health.
Forgive them even if they did not apologize to you and try to get rid yourself of all the negativity contributed in your life. Acknowledge the fact that it wasn’t meant to last always.
Make new friends hang out with new people who are supportive of you. Think of all the positive things which have happened to you by letting them go and reflect on the lessons you have learnt from that friendship.
This article was written by Shreya Tiwari.