Over the years, I’ve accrued a vast number of friends. I’ve blogged about some of the many types of friends I have in a previous post, Circle of Friends.
Some of these friends have been very supportive of whatever it is I’m going through from dealing with a hellish manager who was determined to sabotage my career to when things ended with my first love. While I have other friends will call and all they want to talk about is how everything is going wrong in their lives. I guess they want you to feel sorry for them but after a while you don’t even want to talk to them anymore nonetheless be their friend.
Here’s an example of one of my toxic friends. I have a friend who has always been very smart but somewhat lacking in the common-sense department. She went to an Ivy League School then on to graduate school, but she’s never had a real job, like one where you get a W-2 and have insurance, real basic right.
There have been times my friends and I have held interventions with her to try to talk some sense into her but she refuses to accept our help and continues to make comments about how our lives are so much better than hers. Over the years, I’ve sent her numerous job listings and tried to put her into contact with people who were in a position to help her professionally. I knew I was finally done with her was when I told her about a position I thought she’d be perfect for within my company. When I asked her if she had submitted her resume, she told me she hadn’t applied because she wasn’t qualified. She told our other friend that she was working on her resume, she used that excuse for no less than a month.
On the relationship front, she’s never had a boyfriend. She would call me out of the blue and ask personal questions about my relationships as her way of vicariously living through me. Instead of continuing to feed into this, our conversations have become limited these days because I feel like she needs to experience her own life. It’s gotten to the point when my parents or other friends ask about her, I just say no comment, because I’m tired of talking about her drama and how she’s wasting her life away. Another sign of a toxic friendship is they won’t accept your help no matter how good of intentions you have. Although I have not cut her off completely, I keep my distance.
We all know people who seem to be having a pity party every time you talk to them. I have enough going on in my own life to have to take on another person’s negative attitude, depressed behavior or self esteem issues. I’m a great friend, if I do say so myself, but after a while you just become emotionally drained from dealing with other people and their problems.
I’ve also had another type of toxic friend. Everyone’s heard the “Like crabs in a barrel” analogy. It’s like the further you climb and the more successful you become, these friends are jealous of your success and try to pull you back down to their level. These people will never celebrate you getting a new job or a promotion. As soon as I notice someone fits into this category the friendship is over. Who wants someone around that’s a killjoy?
These toxic relationships are not healthy because the negativity of others can poison our own minds. I know first hand that it can be hard to separate ourselves from people who we’ve been friends with for a long time, but we have to realize that every good friend is not good for us.