You may not get to pick your family but at least you can pick your friends. So take advantage of this. Many people feel they are stuck with toxic friends but it is simply not true. It isn’t easy, but you have the power to choose who your friends are. There are many different types of people you gravitate towards you as your friends for all sorts of different reasons. These friends could be good for certain times of your lives but not necessarily good for other times. People change, friends change, and this includes you as well. You have the right to have healthy friends and are not obligated to keep around toxic friends just because you have a history with them. The following steps will attempt to guide you to identify and drift away from friends who toxify your life.
One question to ask yourself after you spend time with a friend who may be toxic is, “How do I feel after I am done hanging out with my friend?” If your answer is exhausted, relieved, frustrated, and depressed then you may have a toxic friend. Life is too short to surround yourself with people that don’t add to your life in a positive way.
Life is already stressful enough, so why keep toxic friends who add even more stress to your life. Toxic friends are those people in your life who always have drama in their lives and either get you involved or constantly need to talk about their lives and not yours. This is a very one-sided relationship.
Don’t be afraid to say no. If someone doesn’t accept your first answer, they don’t respect you. So if your toxic friend is requiring more than you are willing to offer, it’s time to politely say no or decline whatever request they have. If they ask why and want an explanation, just remember this-you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. No means no. I just can’t means; I just can’t. They will eventually get the point.
Stop worrying what your toxic friend might think about you. If they don’t respect you, they are not worth worrying about.
Slowing drifting away from toxic friends is often the least painful way to end these types of friendships. Whether you need to become more engaged in your work, hobbies, or family, it’s up to you, but remember; your time is valuable so spend it with those who recognize that.
Sometimes you just have to make a clean break depending on the toxic friend you are dealing with. If your toxic friend is wreaking havoc on your mental well-being, it’s time to just be blunt and put an end to the friendship. Nobody wants to have to end a friendship and there really isn’t a pleasant way to do it. You might start with not returning the phone calls and claiming you are busy. If they don’t get the hint and confront you about it or pressure you, tell them you don’t want to continue the friendship due to the stress it has added to your life. Unless they want to change some things that are affecting your life negatively, then you can’t continue with the friendship.
Focus on the people in your life who do respect your boundaries and who aren’t toxic for your life.
Once you can create healthy boundaries in your life, toxic friends won’t be able to find their way in.
Written by skygal, ehow member