When You Have a Toxic Friend

While sometimes it seems that this person may have some redeeming qualities or that you’re just a bitter person for feeling so negatively about them, the hard truth is this…

We all have them. The so-called, “friend,” that always has a problem. The the one that claims that they just have the worst luck, but they cause almost all of their own problems. The one always bothered by the most ridiculous things. The one that needs you to give them your constant attention, and comes at you at 80mph but you’re only running at a solid 60, and even on the days you’re 100%, they don’t even notice.

They’re the friend that drains the life out of you, the one that grabs at whatever energy you have, eats it straight from your body, and leaves you feeling empty. You do your best to avoid conversations with them because as soon as you see them, you feel as if they have stuck a straw in you, and each word they speak is as if they continue to suck.

Conversations with them alway feel as if you’re being eaten alive, and while maybe you don’t even want to be friends with them, it would still be nice if–even only for a moment–they noticed when you needed something.

But they don’t.

They think that everything is about them, and for anyone near them, it is. They turn, spin, and weave whatever they can get their hands on until it is a scarf made of yarn that they have spun into how they want things to be, feel things are, or want everyone else to believe.

Anything that does happen to be about you, they make about them. On the rare occasion that you’re allowed to be upset, express your feelings, or talk to them about something upsetting you, they don’t listen. Their responses are always short, blunt, and almost cold. They hold nothing of sustenance or evidence of effort, and certainly don’t offer you any comfort or reprieve at all. Their half-done words of encouragement and unempathetic responses are all you get by way of support, and that’s only if they have time for you.

While they constantly expect you to stop whatever you are doing to listen to them, they just cannot be bothered with the difficulties of your life. Nothing you say you’re feeling is valid, your opinions don’t make sense, and they “just don’t understand” why you feel the way you do. Any solution to a problem that you’re attempting for yourself they simply “don’t get” and think that “maybe something else would be better.” Even when you politely disagree with an opinion they hold, they’re insistent that you are wrong and they are right.

Every conversation with them leaves you feeling worse than you did before, and even when you go to them not looking for a solution, they try to force one down your throat. You ask them to stop, give them every indication that you are not looking for an answer but simply to be heard and yet they still attack you–pushing and shoving their own Right and Only Answer down your trachea until you are gagging so hard that tears are streaming down your face and you are ready to throw up.

While sometimes it seems that this person may have some redeeming qualities or that you’re just a bitter person for feeling so negatively about them, the hard truth is this:

They don’t care about you.

They don’t care about you. They don’t. That might be a hard pill to swallow, but you really shouldn’t take it personally, because they don’t only have zero care or regard for you specifically. They don’t care about anyone.

They only care about themselves.

Their world revolves around them, only them, and even if they have a spouse or children or parents or pets, please know that what I tell you is the absolute truth.

They only care about themselves.

So if you have someone that is your “friend,” or even in your life at a surface-level, and they only care about themselves, then what are you to do?

The sad part about this is that most people that end up with friends that are toxic are empathetic. They’re sensitive, caring, selfless people that just want to help. They put as much effort as possible into their friendships, and they’re almost always going out of their way to be a non-judgmental and caring individual. They spew kindness–even to those that don’t deserve it–and work their hardest to be understanding, supportive, and helpful.

It is these people that are targets for toxicity, and because of that, there is truly only one solution if the above has described a situation that you find yourself in.

Cut them out.

Stop listening to their problems. Stop allowing them into your life. Stop making any effort when it comes to your interactions with them, because the unfortunate truth is that you will continue to try and give and they will continue to take until you have nothing left to be stolen.

They will eat away at you from the inside out until they’ve effectively ruined you and the energy you have for those people that do matter, are good friends, and deserve your time and attention.

When it comes down to it, it is between your sanity and theirs, so make the decision.

Pull out the scissors.

Cut the string.

After a week, see how you feel. I guarantee you’ll feel lighter from losing a weight you didn’t even realize you were carrying.

For more on self-worth and only accepting what you deserve, check out Maybe Chbosky Was Right About Love and I Am Not Your Buffet.

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