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Navigating adult friendships can be one of the most complicated and scary endeavors a person can take in their lifetime.
As a 24-year-old in today's world, friendship itself seems to be one of the most difficult things I've ever experienced. 🤦
Nowadays it can be exceedingly difficult to tease who is genuine and who isn't, who actually wants to spend time with you, and who really just wants to have someone to be around to keep themselves from loneliness.
I can't help but argue that relationships today are built on more negativity and superficial qualifiers than anything else.
You might propose that I'm cynical, perhaps I've just had a bad experience. And truly, perhaps I have.
Either way, my observations of my own generation and that of my younger brother's are quite scary at times.
As I look inward at my own experiences and outward at the relationships manifesting and falling apart around me, I find myself trying always to answer the question,
🤷 "How do you know if someone is toxic?" 🤷
I am not someone who believes people are naturally toxic. I don't contest that people are born negative and draining. I believe wholly that the world happens to us and shapes our perspectives on life. So, I can't outwardly blame negative and toxic people.
BUT! I also believe that, while things happen to us that suck and we're allowed to follow apart, we are in complete control of what happens after the pain.
Trust me, I don't pretend to have never been a complete asshole. I have a time or two in a very macro sense. Not just in my actions and words, but in my general negative demeanor. Every one of those selfish moments in my life has been fueled by some trauma or heartbreaking situation. So, I get it.
In the event you begin to feel the pings of needing to detach from someone, however, you've gotta be able to read the signs. 👇👇👇
A true friend is someone whose intentions are always seeded in love, even when they're giving it to you to straight. When someone begins to lace their feedback with unhelpful criticism and you can feel their ill intentions, this is a big sign your "friendship" might be falling off.
2. Covetous Behavior
Now I don't know about anyone else, but I feel pretty damn excited when my friends pull something off or accomplish something in their life when they're happy. I have a pretty solid understanding with myself that what happens to me, happens to me and what happens to them, happens to them. If good things happen to you and your friends cannot be genuinely happy for you or immediately feel inadequate at the hands of your success, that's a big 👏 ass 👏 red 👏 flag 👏.
3. A Lack of Empathy
This point should actually be rigorously maintained throughout your life for anyone that tries to enter it. But if your friend can't even feel pain when you feel pain? Girl, BYEEE! 👋
4. Their Own Life Is Riddled With Drama
There's a clear difference between someone who's had some messed up stuff happen in their life and someone who literally makes everything in their life out to be a scene in All My Children.
If every other conversation is another page out of their own romantic novel, we have three words - Retreat. Retreat. Retreat.
5. They're Unreliable
Consistency is a huge part of any functional relationship. If you can't even trust that your best friend is going to be there for the most trivial shit, how are you supposed to know who to call when you're truly on your own?
Generally, it shouldn't be hard to feel the signs. When someone's a real jerk, we can typically make the connection in our hearts and minds. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean we have the courage to let go. The most difficult decisions we make, though, are usually the ones that are the most necessary.
Know your worth, babe. And get rid of any energy that no longer serves you in the way you need it to.
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