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Nothing stinks worse than a toxic friend. But how do you know that you have one?
You know, the backstabber, "always broke" friend, the Debbie Downer, or the narcissist. You get the picture. If you're not careful, these friends will suck the living daylights out of you. That's why I created this post to help you identify those leaches in your life—and how to get rid of them.
The following personas qualify as "toxic" friends and, therefore, it would be wise and in your best interest to ditch or distance yourself from them:
1. The Backstabber
This might be one of the most hateful and secretly evil types of friends to have. They are fake as f*ck and will do anything in their power to get dirt on you so that they can turn around and blast the worst gossip or secrets about you to the rest of the planet. Why do they do this? Possibly jealousy, anger, or just pure evilness. These individuals thrive off of gossip and the ability to hurt you without you even knowing, all under the guise of being your "BFF." You can be sure that karma will visit these "friends" soon enough. You just have to be smart enough to cut them off. Best practices for getting rid of this type of friend include blocking, deleting, or completely erasing them from your life. Do it and don't look back. If anyone is willing to treat you this way, slandering you behind your back, you're better off without them.
2. The "Always Broke" Friend
These friends can be a drag to interact with. Usually, they don't have the money to hangout and it will require you picking them up or paying for their lunch or drinks in order to be in their presence. Never mind that, but you can forget them ever paying you back. Over time, this friend takes advantage of your "friendship" together and uses their lack of funds as an excuse to get as much as they can out of you. I recommend setting boundaries with this type of friend by saying clearly, "I'm sorry I can't pick you up anymore," or, "If you can't afford to have lunch today, we can go for a walk." These boundaries will work 80 percent of the time (because, usually, they aren't bad people, they are just takers). Sometimes, however, to avoid wasting time and money, you may need to distance yourself from this type of friend.
3. The Debbie Downer
These friends are a draaaaaaaaag. They always have something negative or depressing to talk or complain about. Now friends usually go through periods of up and downs, but there is generally a trend of encouragement, growth, and improvement (in the best types of friendships). However, if you notice that your friend is always complaining with the "glass half empty" worldview, you would be wise to get rid of them. Over time, if you keep this friend around, you'll begin to feel depressed and down, and then wonder why. Energy is very contagious, so if you want to feel uplifted, encouraged, and positive, it is crucial that you avoid these people.
4. The Narcissist
RUN FAR AWAY. FAR! This might be one of the most toxic friendships of all. Friends in this category portray characteristics of self-absorption, lying, lack of empathy, backstabbing, passive aggression, and selfishness. Overall, these friends are people who you should not get involved with on ANY level. The problem with the narcissist is that they suck you in from the get-go. They exhibit qualities that are alluring and charming. They want to get to know you so that they can ultimately control you. They will use mental tactics to make you feel bad about yourself and make themselves look better. It is a mental complex that is almost impossible to reason with or change. These friends will ultimately be your downfall if you let them have a seat in your life. You must remove them. Block and erase them at all costs. Trust me, you'll be so much better for it.
Now that you can see the different types of toxic friends, make a list of your own friends and do an audit. Are any of them in the following four categories? Make a note and then decide your plan of action. At the end of the day, the five people who are closest to you are who you will ultimately become. The opposing characteristics of these four negative friend groups will make you better instead of sucking the life out of you. When you are looking for friends, make sure they are not one of these four, and instead, pick friends who have a positive mindset, growth-focused, and are giving, caring, and overall, a wonderful person. Use your friends to make you better.
That being said, are you a negative friend? If you resonate with any of the above groups, do whatever you can to change those negative qualities, for the people around you and for yourself.
I hope this was helpful! Thanks for reading and the support as always!