At some point in your life, you may find yourself in what would be called a “toxic friendship”. Or perhaps you’ve already been in one. What I’ve found is that a lot of people know when they’re in a toxic or abuse relationship, and realise that they need to end it, but a toxic friendship may not be as hard to identify or end. This may be because this person, this “friend” has been here for you through a lot of things, or you have been friends for a long time, or just because friend breakups can hurt a lot more than romantic breakups sometimes.
It can be hard to notice that someone in your life is toxic, but here are a few things that could be a sign:
- They constantly put you down, about your appearance, weight, personality etc
- They talk about you behind your back
- They’re resentful or openly jealous of your successes
- They lack empathy
- Their criticism isn’t constructive, it’s just to put you down
- They’re self centered
- They don’t put effort into the friendship – you’re the only one trying
- They judge you for anything
- They’re stubborn and won’t compromise
- They don’t commit to plans or let you down last minute
It can be hard when you realise that one of your friends, or people that you hang around with has one or more of the traits on this list. But if/when you do, you need to sit down with yourself and remember that it is completely okay for you to let go of this person, that it isn’t selfish – it’s healthy. You don’t need toxic people in your life, you need people that support you, and lift you up.
So, how do you let go of this person? It can be hard, but these are some steps that you can follow, to make sure that you are getting rid of anyone that you don’t need in your life.
- Remove them from your social medias.
I know that this one can be a really hard thing to do, especially as everyone is so interested in their social media nowadays. But if you keep following that person, when you see their posts, you will miss them, or want to message them, and if they’re bad enough for you to need to cut them out of your life, then still keeping up with their social media is not a good idea.
- Stop talking to them in person.
This can be especially hard if you’re at school or work with this person, but you need to stop talking to them in person, otherwise you will never stop them being in your life. Stop hanging around with them, whether that’s at school/work/whatever, or outside of those activities.
- Surround yourself with positive people who care about you.
You need to make sure that all the other people who are still in your life support you and want the best for you. When you are hurting, you need people who lift you up, not shoot you down.
- Talk to other people – your healthy friendships and relationships.
You’re going to want to talk to this person and tell them that you’re hurting, because you’re most likely fairly dependent on them. But you need to talk to the other people in your life who are not toxic for you, or hurting you in any way, to make sure that you’re not running back to this toxic person. Let another friend or family member know how you are feeling, and have them remind you how good this is going to be for you in the long run.
- Know that it is in no way selfish.
It is not selfish or wrong to take care of yourself and make sure that you are being treated how you deserve to be treated. You have most likely been made to feel pretty bad about yourself by this toxic person, so you need to remind yourself that you are wonderful and deserve to be happy.
- Know that it’ll hurt, but you will be okay.
It’s going to be pretty awful, letting go of someone who you really care about, but if you’re doing it, it must be for the best. I had to do it a few years ago with someone who meant a lot to me, and it really really hurt at the time. Now, I thank my past self for doing it, because otherwise I would have been stuck with this person in my life, when they weren’t good for me.
If you are needing to cut someone out of your life, have strength, and remember that you deserve happiness, and to be treated like you are an amazing person, because you are.