No man is an island. It’s true. You need people too. You need other hands to help you when yours do not suffice. It’s a relief to know that you are not alone. However, you should be careful who you choose to let in your life. Be wise about who you allow to make an impact on you. Not everyone deserves your energy. Toxic friends are never healthy for you.
Many think that having many friends is all good and fun, but you should not just aim for the quantity. Go after quality. You need chums that are actually good for you, not damaging and draining everything nice and well from you.
You have to be cautious because whether you like it or not, people around you can influence you. No problem if it’s a positive influence, but if it’s negative, then you should be ready to take a few steps back.
Here are 7 characteristics of toxic friends you don’t need in life.
1 – They fill your heart with hatred.
There are sides of you that only your closest friends know about. These are versions of you not everyone has seen but people you consider your constants. There are things you talk about that only you and your friends understand. Often, many of the stories you talk about include rants about life and about other people, to be honest. It’s quite normal in friendships.
However, it’s not really healthy when your heart changes in a negative way because of spending time with your friends. That could mean they are toxic friends. Your perspective, your mindset, and your emotions get affected and become poor and distasteful because of them. They and the things they tell you or impart to your life fill your heart with hatred.
Instead of seeing the good in everything, they make you see the bad. You become less understanding and more judgemental of other people.
2 – They drag your self-esteem down
Friends are supposed to cheer each other up, but toxic friends drag your self-esteem down. They are one of the major reasons why you look lowly at yourself and underestimate your abilities. You do not feel beautiful and deserving of beautiful things because of how they treat you. They do not make you realize your true worth.
Comparing yourself to yourself, toxic friends also want all the compliments for themselves. While they aim for that, they make you feel inferior. They may not be doing it directly but subtly, they do. That’s how they make you feel.
3 – They invade your privacy.
No matter how close you are to somebody, boundaries are very important. You must be smart and responsible enough to know how important that is. Even when you are someone who likes being with people, not everything is to be shared and disclosed.
Toxic friends do not understand all of these. Or they do, but they just care not. They do not respect your individuality. They invade your privacy and step beyond the limits of your friendship. You feel coerced or obligated to disclose things you are uncomfortable sharing with other people. They tell you that you’re a killjoy or boring when you keep something from them. That’s disturbing, literally and figuratively.
4 – They exhaust you
Good friends make you feel good. You feel happy, relieved, and stress-free when you are together. You feel at home with them who are like your siblings from another set of parents.
On the other hand, toxic friends exhaust you, maybe not always but many times or most of the time. You cannot wait to go home when you are with them. You wish your plans of meeting up get canceled. There’s no excitement in you when you are about to see them. They tire you out in one or more ways. You feel you are better alone than going with them.
5 – They don’t want you to make new friends
One of the clearest signs that you have toxic friends is that they are gatekeeping you from others. They do not want you to make new friends at all. They just want you for themselves.
Well, maybe some people do have that ‘clingy’ and jealous personality even with friends just because they are emotional and cherish their friendships. However, it should not reach a point where you will be hindered from meeting new people because of them. That’s kind of scary, too, if that happens.
Toxic friends feel like they have a right to control your life. They think they must have the final say on how you choose people to allow into your life. For them, it’s alright that they make new friends, but they do not let that happen to them.
6 – They are not happy about your wins
Friends root for each other. Toxic friends are not happy about your wins. They tell you others can do the same, or that you still lack something even when you got the best results. This shows signs of envy as well. It’s not good to be with such people because soon, they will stab you in the back.
7 – They force you into doing what you don’t want to do
This is a very manipulative act by toxic friends. It also is dangerous if you don’t do anything about it. What is it? They force you into doing what you don’t want to do. It could be something you are just not comfortable doing, or it could be something unlawful. Either way, it’s inappropriate, but the latter is indeed treacherous.
You have to be very careful if you notice that you have such friends. They can lead you to big harm, and worse, they might leave you hanging alone. Do not be afraid. Stand up for yourself, and use your voice. Learn to say ‘no’.
In case some major things get out of hand, do not hesitate to seek help from authorities, legal help, lawyers, and human rights protection programs. If your friends are involved in any illegal deeds and also trying to drag you into it, know that many can help and protect you.
KEEP YOUR TRUE FRIENDS CLOSE
Toxic friends are not called toxic for anything. They call themselves your friends but show otherwise. It’s not worthwhile to stay with such people because you will either be like them or will be a martyr for the sake of what you still call “friendship”.
Although it’s difficult, do not be afraid to cut off ties with people who bring toxicity to your mind and heart. They are not your only friends, and you can always make new friends who are actually genuine and healthy for your life.
Spend your precious time with precious people. Be the good friend you want yourself to have too.