You see them everywhere: Friends like these don`t need enemies! If you too, have a friend who seems to be more trouble than she is worth, maybe it`s time to yank her from your address book. Find your poison pals and decide what you are going to do about them!
Signs of a toxic friendship
Your friendship feels lopsided. You`re the one who is always offering support and extending yourself. She is unavailable and doesn`t come through for you.
Your friend supports your worst vices and gives you bad advice.
Your friend regards your growth and change with fear and suspicion, instead of interest and pleasure. She`s uncomfortable with your successes.
This friend is annoyed rather than intrigued by the ways your tastes and interests differ from hers.
You constantly censor yourself because you don`t trust your friend to keep something confidential, to understand your viewpoint and to support rather than attack.
You feel worse, not better, about yourself when you`re with her.
Can this friendship be saved?
Being able to spot toxic types is the first sign that you`re growing beyond them. The next step is deciding whether to try fixing things, declare the friendship over, or let it die of attrition. Ask yourself, `How important is this person to me? Is she ultimately there for me? Do I trust she really cares about me?`
If you decide that the friendship is worth fighting for, try this:
Work around your friend`s limitations and preserve the best part of your relationship.
Changing your own behaviour can help, too.
Altering the way you share information can protect you from the Bean Spiller`s broadcasts and allow you to stay in the loop.
Open the lines of communication. Are you giving your friend feedback? Maybe she doesn`t know that you consider her behaviour bad. Anytime you expect her to read your mind, you`re definitely contributing to the problem. Opening up your relationship for discussion may seem daunting and you may find that your friend is too rigid or disturbed to negotiate.
Be aware that your friendship might replicate an unwelcome pattern from your past. If you grew up in a family where there was bitterness or unresolved tension between you and a family member, especially a mother or sister, it`s likely that you would repeat that experience in an adult friendship.