Question: I have a friend who is a lot of fun to be with, but he can also rub me wrong and say things I don’t disagree with. I tell him, but he insists. He went over the top the other day and now I don’t want to hang out with him. What can I do?
Answer: Here’s the thing about friendships. Sometimes we don’t know for certain if they’re healthy or not. When someone has been a friend for a long time, we tend to acclimate to them and may not realize toxic behaviors. A lot of people are in unhealthy friendships and don’t know it.
Friendships should be easy. There are a lot of aspects of life that require working harder. Keeping your family healthy and safe, managing your career, and finding room for me-time. Friendships shouldn’t be hard. They should be an enhancement to life, not problematic. If you are working hard to keep and maintain a friendship, that’s a sign your friend could be toxic. Here are some warning signs to pay attention to-
Warning Signs Your Friend Could be Toxic
- They gossip to you about other people
- They poke fun at you alone and in front of others
- You find yourself apologizing a lot
Sadly, dysfunction presents itself in friendships. In the same way people can get caught up in unhealthy love affairs, they can find themselves in unhealthy friendships. Healthy friends do not gossip about other people, find it funny to criticize or put people down, or become overly sensitive. If your friendships have some of these tendencies, it may be a warning sign to pay attention to.
Our friendships can affect us emotionally and physically. Our bodies know when someone is toxic. They react with their own signals that could indicate someone is unhealthy. Here are some internal experiences your body may have around toxic friends-
Internal Signs You’re Experiencing Toxicity
- You feel emotionally drained after being together
- You feel nervous or edgy when they text or call
- You experience anxiety or fear about their mood
How your friends leave you feeling can tell you a lot about their impact in your psyche. It may be so common to you for them to behave this way that you’ve forgotten it should be different.
Could You be the Toxic One?
While it’s important to know the impact your friends have on you, it’s more important to know the impact you’re having on them as well. How do you vibe with your friends? Are you friends with a toxic person? Are you guilty of any of the toxic traits above? Some friendships feed off the unhealthy habits both people contribute. Getting healthy may be a two-way street. Be willing to put your own habits in check to ensure you’re being the healthiest friend possible.