Relationships are a key part of our lives: we have friends, family, and loved ones from the moment we are born. There will be people you meet that will go out of their way to lift you up and encourage you to chase every dream you have ever had; however, there will also be people that will do everything in their power to tear you down until they are the only good thing in your life. Unfortunately, on the surface, these people often look similar. They will both want to know everything that is going on in your life, what your situation is at work, what your fears are, what your dreams are, and how they can get involved. The good people will introduce you to any connection that can help you, constantly stand by your side, and refuse to let you talk bad about yourself when you feel low. The toxic people will do the exact opposite.
Toxic friends are a plague in your life. They will take and take and take until you are left exhausted. If you are anything like me, even then, you will try and give. Cutting someone out of your life will hurt. In the end, getting rid of the toxins in your life is the best thing that you can do for yourself. Here are 10 signs that it’s time to cut out that toxic person in your life.
1 | It’s always your fault.
It doesn’t matter if you have invited them to dinner or drinks or a movie every night for a month straight, if you can’t make Friday night karaoke because you’re sick, then you’re a bad person who doesn’t care about the friendship. If they are so late to dinner that you lose the reservation you tried for weeks to get, then you are overreacting. Toxic friends tend to be the narcissistic, “it’s not me, it’s you,” types. They can do no wrong. When someone isn’t able to accept responsibility or they only ever twist things to be someone else’s fault, then they might be a toxic friend. Don’t let them make you feel bad. Just know, no matter what you do, you will always be at fault in this person’s eyes. It’s time to say goodbye.
2 | Celebrations become a hassle unless it’s about them.
You spent months planning their birthday. You organized everything, you contacted everyone, and you paid for everything. It was a pain, but they’re a friend, so of course it’s worth it. When it comes to returning the favor, though, you don’t see the same effort. Maybe you hear a story from someone about how they wanted to plan you an amazing night with a limo and dinner and dancing, but then that toxic friend stepped up saying no, that was too much and too expensive. They will plan it. It will be half-assed but it’s okay, because they’ll remind you all night all of the hard work they did and how happy you should be because of it. Nothing can be celebrated without a toxic friend being in charge because if something were to happen without them at the center of it, it would be the end of the world.
3 | They try to start drama between you and the people your closest to.
Maybe they text you to tell you something your mutual friend said about you, or maybe they’ll say that something your boyfriend did made them uncomfortable. Whatever it is, they are trying to start drama where they look like the loyal friend. Don’t be fooled. Anyone who tries to make themselves look better by making someone else look bad is toxic.
4 | They’re ungrateful.
We’re all adults here; we don’t need a pat on the back or a gold star every time we do something worthwhile, but never hearing a genuine ‘thank you’ can take its toll on our mental health. If you feel like you’re constantly going out of your way to make someone happy and they never seem to appreciate it, you might be dealing with a toxic person.
5 | You can’t plan anything because you know they will change everything.
“What do you want to do tonight?”
“Anything! You decide!”
This is probably the most frustrating part of a toxic friend: the need to tear down or mock anything you want or enjoy. You know that you have to push them to plan because no matter what you say they’ll just respond with “No,” “That’s stupid,” or “I hate that place. I can’t believe you like that place!” It’s stressful and hurtful. Don’t waste your time on someone who can’t even support the restaurants or bars you like.
6 | People around you see it’s unhealthy.
Maybe your other friends are on the fence about this person or maybe you couldn’t stop yourself from complaining to a third party and they pointed out how toxic your friend sounded. Whatever it is, there’s a good chance that you’re not alone in seeing how damaging this relationship is. When you spend more time upset with someone than happy to be associated with them, there is a clear problem and everyone can see it.
7 | You apologize more than they do.
Sure, there are a lot of people out there – myself included – who over-apologize, but when you have to think long and hard about the last time someone apologized to you, especially when you can easily recall how many times they hurt you, there might be a problem. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s just part of being human, but good friends – good people – apologize and try to right their wrongdoings. When someone doesn’t own up to their mistakes, or worse, makes you feel responsible when you’ve done nothing wrong, they don’t deserve to have you in their life.
8 | They stalk you on social media.
Maybe you took a trip to Washington D.C. and didn’t mention it to your friend but an hour after posting your first picture, you get a text from them, or maybe you start a new job and within a second of it popping up on your Facebook, they’re looking at your LinkedIn. Some might think of this as a sweet friend keeping up with you, but for a toxic friend, this is their way of keeping tabs on everything you do and making sure you don’t get too far from their control. When you don’t get a ‘congratulations on the new job!’ or a ‘have a good time on your trip!’ they are not being supportive, they’re stalking.
9 | They’re never there.
You call, text, email, gchat, anything to try and get ahold of them. Whether it’s for something important or just to catch up, they’re never there. You get nothing but silence or a “Busy. Can’t talk now.”
10 | Your heart hurts when you think about them.
Because they are constantly breaking it. Through their actions, their words, and their lack of empathy, toxic people can do nothing but hurt you in the end. It may be hard and it may sting a little, but when it’s all said and done, you’ll be happy that you cut that toxic friend out of your life. You just saved yourself from long-term heartbreak.
Do you have a toxic friend in your life right now?