Friendships are like any other relationships; they can be amazing, awe inspiring and sometimes just magical.. However, just like other relationships, they can be challenging, tiresome and downright toxic. If you find you’re stuck in a toxic friendship, how can you escape it?
Ask Yourself The Following:
Before you get yourself out of this friendship, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you feel good about yourself when you’re with them?
Do they make you want to be your best self?
Do they support your dreams?
Do they treat you with respect?
Can you trust them?
If you said no to these questions, they may just be someone toxic. From here, you should consider removing them from your life, as they’re holding you back.
List It Out
Clinical psychologist and hypnotherapist, Dr Janet Hall, offers her tips for identifying a toxic friend. “First use your head to make a list of all the ways that toxic friend has hurt you or made you doubt yourself. You should make a timeline of dates and events over your relationship’s duration. Then give each event a score out of minus 10 to prove to yourself how toxic they have really been! Now ask yourself this question: “What would you expect if you deserved a healthy friendship?” Next, you send a short letter to the toxic person to say that you have decided to end the relationship and that you want no further contact of any sort. If they try to call or text or email- press delete! Now all you have to do is keep your word to yourself to have nothing to do with them! It’s time for you to seek positive relationships with people who build you and don’t try to hurt you.” Find out more about Dr Janet Hall by following her on Facebook.
A Gradual Fade
Natajsa Wagner shares her advice for softening the blow. “The gradual fade is often the most preferred way to end a friendship for those wanting minimal confrontational. Ideally, this method works best when the friendship is coming to a close mutually but can also be used as a more one-sided approach. Fading a friendship out simply means at this point in time you're choosing not to connect with this person for your own reasons. By putting your energy into other friendships and interests you might start with cutting down on the current text messages, missing a phone call or excusing yourself from an invitation. Over time the gradual fade becomes more obvious and the amount of distance and time between contact increases. When one person pulls their energy away significantly, the other usually follows suit.” Find out more about Natajsa by following her on Facebook and Instagram.
Be Up Front
Sometimes you have to be straightforward when it comes to removing someone toxic from your life. Honesty is the best policy, and even if you hate confrontation, it’s a way to get all of your feelings on the table, and make sure you’re both on the same page. From here, you can explain the feelings you’ve been having, how they’ve affected you and how they have hurt you. This can be a much better option than just walking away, as they’ll probably end up hurt, confused and even angry that you just left them in the dust.
Don’t Romanticise The Past
Sure, you had some good moments, as every friendship does. However, if you focus on all of the good rather than what is driving you two apart, you’ll never move on. If someone doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t help you when you’re down or treat you as an equal, they don’t deserve to even be in your brain. Delete them from your brain. Delete them from your social media while you’re at it.
They May (And Probably Will) Get Upset
As any sort of relationship ends, there will always be hurt. There’s simply no avoiding it. You have to understand that they may be shocked, hurt or upset that you’re ending this friendship, and that’s okay. It’s normal to be in a somewhat mourning stage for saying goodbye to a previous relationship. In this period, surround yourself with friends that you can trust, who love and support you. Go for walks with your friends, play pet games with your furry pal and surround yourself with positivity.
Make Some New Friends
It’s easier said than done, but a great way to remove toxic friends from your life is to surround yourself with new ones. Go out with your old friends, and make new ones along the way. From here, you can also create stronger bonds with your other friends. Invite them over for a night in, watch movies and enjoy yourselves.
Take Care Of Yourself
Just like a breakup, you need a mourning period to get over the friendship. From here, you should make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. Sure, you can eat some junk food and watch some soppy movies, but you should ensure that you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy and keeping yourself in check. Sleep is an essential tool for keeping your mental health in order, so make sure you’re getting eight hours of sleep a night, and make sure you’re sleeping on the right surface. Add a bamboo mattress topper to your bed, and you’ll be sleeping like a baby.
It’s important to recognise when a friend isn’t there for you when you need them most when they’re bringing you down or they don’t have your best interests at heart. In return, you have to make sure that you’re doing the same with your friends, because you don’t want to be a toxic friend yourself.