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Wondering if you are dealing with a toxic friendship? Truth be told, so have I, unfortunately. But here I am to offer you help for this kind of thing so that you can nip it in the bud where it is and get your bootie free of that kind of negativity. So, here are fifteen things to look out for in those who are potentially toxic within your circle and how to escape from it in the end.
They only ever speak in the language of criticism.
They are critical of practically anything you say or do and they are never short of a snippy comment or two either. And any advice they may give you is like a kick to the stomach also. They appear to blurt out criticism in almost a self-righteous way and the same goes for their judgmental attitude. Overall, their words almost always tend to make you feel small, unheard, and useless.
They are very smart.
They know exactly how you work and have known for a while; they are tactical in that way. Anything you say can and will be turned against you if they need and they will have everyone else on their side also.
They are covetous.
They can never feel happy for you and always appear bitter when you have anything that they don't. You cannot receive a compliment without them turning it upside down on you or getting petty about it.
They are belittling and gossipy.
They aren't shy to spread lies and rumours about you or even stick up for you even when it threatens your reputation. They lack faith in you and always belittle anything you achieve. Lying to them is habitual and you always seem to be the one that they lie about in order to deceive you.
They don't share sympathy for you.
Has something gone wrong? You're in a fit of tears or maybe so angry you could blow? But where is your friend for support when you need it most? They always seem to bolt when things get difficult, acting like you are the Titanic and they are that Caledon Hockley.
They are untrustworthy.
Your secrets always find a way to see the light even when you only told that one friend... hmm weird that. They ruin not only the trust you have in them but it also starts to work its ticket on the trust you have with others.
They are takers, not givers.
They find fun in freeloading off of you and never give anything back. Months can go by with you buying their daily coffee and feeding their plant when they are out on holiday but the second you need a lift home from work and they have sudden plans and this is a repeat offence also. In short, they are about as giving as Mr. Krabbs.
They have discontent as their middle name.
Is anything ever good enough for them? You find that they repeatedly seem to be discontented with everything and anything and nothing you do ever seems to help and this probably is not aided by the fact that everything is so negative to them.
They are self-centred.
They would probably refuse to give you their ladder if you were stuck down a hole they are that self-involved. Help will only ever be offered to you if it also benefits them. No matter what, it is a case of them over you, every time and all the time.
Their life is so overly dramatic they should have their own soap opera.
Their exaggerated lifestyle is tiring, to say the least. Every small inconvenience is like world stopping trauma that you have to drop everything for and heaven forbid that you don't.
They are a bully.
They turn everything against you and use you as a scapegoat whenever they desire. You find your emotions being held against you more often than not. This can make you feel like you are walking on eggshells more often than not; afraid with every step as to what their next action may be.
Their mouth never ceases to stop.
What even is getting a word in edgewise? You wouldn't know because you cannot get one in. Even if you are the one that called them to discuss your issue, it will end up all about them as do most conversations because they see themselves as more important. If they had to walk through a narrow doorway their ego would get stuck they talk about themselves that much.
They are stubborn.
It is always their way or the hard way. They are the kind of people who would rearrange your own birthday party just because it doesn't fit around their calendar specifically. They are picky and needy and overall, hard to please.
They are resentful and harsh.
If you wronged them three years ago by accidentally taking their seat at a staff party, they will remember and they will make sure everyone else does also but it will be exaggerated to the extreme. They are the kind of people who like to sow division just to agitate. If they could, they would cut off their own nose just to spite their face.
Their relationship with you is more inconsistent than your WiFi.
One day they know you and one day they don't. Their commitment to your relationship is hard to keep track of and usually the only time they seem to recall their friendship with you is when they want something from you.
What can you do about a toxic friend?
There is a way to escape from these kinds of friendships and it is doable if you have the courage to do so. But you have to understand, ending a toxic relationship is never an easy decision to make nor is it easy to take the steps to end it:
- Make sure you are 100% certain that you want to end it and that you stand by that decision to faze them out.
- Try to distance yourself from the person and faze them out completely by eventually blocking them or changing numbers and hanging out with new people.
- Take time from certain connections that may also be mutual friends with that person. It is important to let everything cool off but also more important to not drag them into it also.
- If you really have to, explain things, but don't go into detail. A good way to do it is like that of how you break up with someone, just inform them that the friendship has run its course or that you don't like the person you become when you are around them. Lying can save you some agro as it gets things over and done with, without them having a chance to get angry with the actual truth. Make sure that you don't do this over text or messenger as this is something that they can screenshot and manipulate the situation with. Try to do this all face to face in private or over the phone but in case they cut you off or you go on a tangent, make a little script beforehand.
- Be prepared for your friend to get angry or upset, and make sure that you don't take any flack from her in other forms such as through the internet—you can always block people if you need to or prevent them from seeing certain things on your newsfeeds. Things may get worse before they get better, but they do get better as they will move on.
- Time to move on, but beware of the future bad company you may come across along the way! Trust me, if I can get through this, then so can you.