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Toxic Friends-Smart ways to deal with them

A Science Teacher, Content creator, constant Learner and a Mother.

“Fate Chooses our Relatives, We Choose our FRIENDS”-Jacques Delille.


What Defines True Friends and Friendship

Do you remember the moment, when you made your, first friend in kindergarten school and couldn't wait to rush home to tell your parents?

Wasn't it was the happiest moment of your life? Indeed, it was.

What an achievement!

You were so elated and wanted to get back to school the next day.

From those unforgettable days to the present times, you made lots of friends. You might have come across so many people but you have a handful of genuine friends to count on.

This is the charm of friendship --there is an instant spark that connects you with your friends. Isn’t it?

Truly speaking, friends can be regarded as

  • Source of happiness when you are sad
  • They prevent loneliness and isolation. and surround you with laughter and companionship.
  • They still trust you when you go wrong.
  • Positive impact on physical and mental health.
  • They stick to you in thick or thin.
  • Never judge you.

How to tell if your friends are toxic?

There are friends who can instantly be red-flagged as they show certain signs and traits of being toxic. But some friends are hard nuts to crack. So, here are some smart tricks and traits to identify them on the basis of their behavior and mannerisms.

1. Self-Centered

These people are self-centered, selfish, and found always talking about themselves. They always tend to be the center of attraction in a group and divert everybody's attention They pay no heed to others. They show no concern for other’s thoughts or feelings.

For example: if you would want to discuss something important in your group, they will not pay attention to your saying rather and make sure your problems are not discussed. Instead, will start a topic of their concern and invite others to participate.

2. Unapologetic

Toxic friends will never apologize for their mistakes. It is a common trait seen in them. Admitting to mistakes makes one feel less desired and at fault, so they would never do it. You will always feel like you deserve an apology that never comes. It is so frustrating. You are deeply hurt and need an apology, but nobody cares to say `sorry` and if they do that is a lifeless one.

For example, Your friend behaved badly with you--maybe shouted at you, interrupted you while discussing something, did backbiting, spread rumors about you, etc and instead of an apology, your friend behaves very normally as if nothing ever happened. When insisted, will say a blatant sorry.

3. Jealous of your other friends

It is a natural human tendency to be jealous. It happens in friendship, you're friend is not willing to share you with others. It is completely okay, but when this very friend starts to create problems in your life or you gradually find your friend list getting smaller, people leaving you without any good explanation or reason.

You are isolated from the group and targeted constantly. Your other friends don’t talk to you or message you, and you don’t realize until no friends are left on your social list. It's time to contemplate.

Toxic friends don't gossip about you

Toxic friends don't gossip about you

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4. Gossip

There are many instances when you confide in your friend and tell them something in confidence, and the next day your entire social circle knows. Toxic friends enjoy spreading secrets, and break your trust and don’t care for your feelings.

For example, You borrow money from your friend as it's urgent with a promise to return the money on time. But your toxic friend will make sure every person in your group knows that you have borrowed money from them. This is really alarming as it breaks trust. Toxic friends also gossip about you in your absence.

You feel lonely among friends

You feel lonely among friends

5. Leave you Anxious and Unsettled

You meet and spend time with your friends to relax, feel good, share your problems, secrets, and often discuss and ask for suggestions on various matters. However, it is just the opposite when you have a toxic friend and you have no clue about it.

It goes unexplained, but you feel good or relieved after your friend leaves you than being disappointed. You may get strange negative vibes that make you stressed after you had a talk with them. It makes you sick from the inside. It is a clear sign something is wrong with your friendship.

6. Try to change you

A genuine friend will accept you as you are and never try to change you. A true friend will celebrate your personality, respect you, support you, and encourage you more often.

A toxic friend will always try to change you, will be secretly jealous of your success, and happy when you fail. They would keep telling you indirectly that you are not good and need to change yourself, your behavior, attitude, etc.

7. Always ask for favours

Toxic friends are never attached to you for your friendship. They always need favors and there is always a disconnect with you. They seem to be selfish and self-centered.

They would come to you only when they need some work to be done by you or need monetary help. You being a genuine friend would surely overlook these symptoms as it's okay to ask for help from friends. They take advantage of the helping attitude of friends. Be cautious and try to identify these friends among you.


What are the risk of being friends with toxic people?

Spending time with toxic friends will affect your emotional and physical health. Being friends with them will drain you eventually--mentally, emotionally, physically, psychologically.

For example, They will constantly try to change you, body shame you in public, lie to you, gossip about you. If you find yourself in these situations, which you do not want to be in while spending time with toxic friends, believe me it is time to re think of your friendship.

Toxic friends drain you mentally

Toxic friends drain you mentally

Increased level of stress

It’s normal when you look forward to meet your friends to de-stress and unwind. You look forward to spending time with your peer group. Time flies when you are with your good friends and you come home recharged and relaxed.

However, with toxic friends, It's totally stressful. They add to your problems. They might do or say something to upset you and leave you pondering over things hours after they have left.


A big blow to your self confidence

You meet friends almost everyday in school,college,university,office,workplace, etc. But when someone puts you down continuously- day by day, month by month, year by year, a time comes when you actually start believing it to be true.

You start believing their put-downs and poor behaviour towards you, and doubt your strengths and capabilities which results in lowering of self-confidence.

You become A Victim of Manipulation

Toxic friends often manipulate to get what they want. This way you become dependent on them, as they have by now lowered your self-confidence, increased your stress level and made sure all the decisions of your life can be taken by them. You somehow have become puppet in their hands.


You feel lonely and depressed

As you self-doubt yourself due to continuous manipulation, you feel sad and depressed all the time .You stop socializing with your friends and blame yourself for everything that happens with you and around you.This act gradually makes you lonely .

Better ways to deal with toxic friends

Toxic friends are tough to identify and even tougher to part with. It is prudent to get rid of this toxic relation forever so that you are not subjected to humiliation, manipulation, sadness and low self-esteem.

If you are feeling it is difficult to break the toxic chain, you can try out some easy tricks

  • Stop calling or messaging them, even avoid outing with them and gradually you will see them fading away from your life.

  • Speak up: make sure you confront them and make them realize what they did to you is not acceptable. In return, break with them officially- block them from the social media platforms.

  • Move on: breaking all ties with them and gradually move on. This will take time as you were emotionally attached to them. Well, time is a big healer.

Final words

Life throws a lot of opportunities and situations for us to learn from. Dealing with toxic friends can be intimidating. You can confront toxic friends in schools, colleges, workplace, etc. But the wisdom that is acquired from the life lessons and experiences gathered by the mistakes you make in life can pave way for you and help you handle and make wise decisions and not fall prey to them.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Poonam Francis

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