“Neither friend, and not enemy”: how toxic friendship poisons our lives

Everyone has disagreements with friends. And this is completely normal because we can discuss everything, draw the necessary conclusions and calmly communicate further. This is what a healthy relationship looks like.

A toxic relationship is a permanent conflict that is never resolved. Like a poison of delayed action, it corrodes us from the inside, and this inevitably affects our mental and physical state. Such friendship is exhausting. Only to stop it is not so easy, especially in adulthood, when friends are at odds.

“Cherishing a few friends, whatever they may be, is one of the mechanisms of self-preservation. It makes us turn a blind eye to their negative qualities so as not to cut off long-standing connections, “explains psychotherapist Javier Moreira.

His colleague Gina Handley-Schmitt believes that formalities also prevent the end of a toxic friendship. Such people are literally woven into our lives: common acquaintances, we live next door, children study in the same class. “We are afraid that the breakup will certainly complicate everything, and therefore we agree to tolerate destructive relations. But for the constant violation of boundaries will have to pay with emotional balance. “

沮喪的非洲人獨自在咖啡館遭受種族歧視 - toxic friendship 個照片及圖片檔

So how do we hurt toxic friends?

1. Shift from a sick head to a healthy one

For example, they are offended for no reason. You get lost in conjecture, the first to start looking for ways to reconcile because you do not want to quarrel forever. However, the friend does not answer calls and messages, and when you finally break through the wall of ignorance, simply says: “Get behind!” If this is repeated repeatedly, most likely, he has difficulties with trust, and the friend suspects that everyone around him wishes him harm.

2. Somehow always stay right

Admit your mistake? Not for anything, even if it’s obvious. Such people invariably find justification for any of their actions, do not repent, and do not blush. It is useless for them to prove anything, they stubbornly insist that it was you who mixed everything up and misunderstood.

不滿多種族女士看亞洲女性站立,黃色背景 - toxic friendship 個照片及圖片檔

3. Everyone criticizes

Toxic personalities are masterful at belittling others. What for? From the outside, it looks like an inflated conceit, but behind it lies desperate self-doubt. Low self-esteem makes them assert themself at someone else’s expense, and this really makes it easier for them. However, waves of negativity pour out on you, which can not but affect your mental health.

4. Friendship with them is like a game of one gate

As a rule, they do not respect those who cherish them – they simply use them for personal gain. Yes, and in a healthy relationship, there are “distortions” when one of us needs more support and attention. But one way or another, a balance must be maintained. It is unfair if one only knows what he gives and the other receives.

"Neither friend, and not enemy": how toxic friendship poisons our lives

5. Think you’re not doing enough

Even if you’re out of your skin. Toxic friends are constantly dissatisfied and demand more while giving nothing in return. Moreover, they try to impose shame and guilt on you for not living up to their expectations. As a result, you go against your conscience and sacrifice your principles just to please them.

6. Prevent you from being yourself

Next to such people, you always feel uncomfortable. It’s as if you’re being pulled by the strings and forced to behave completely unnaturally: you feel constrained, you snicker, you don’t say what you would certainly say in another situation. In short, you are uncomfortable, which clearly indicates the toxicity of the relationship.

7. Bring you to the state of squeezed lemon

If you are exhausted all the time, especially after communicating with a particular person, then he destroys your psyche. It’s not about temporary misunderstandings, but about the fact that you are physically ill in his presence. Maybe it’s the constant quibbles. Or you’re depressed that you’re being pushed. That is, everything has gone so far that you are ready to escape from this person for the tri-state if only he would leave you alone.

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8. Do not allow to stop communication

Not openly, of course. But because of their behavior, you can’t take this step, worrying about the possible consequences. Or you suffer from guilt. Most likely, the reason is gaslighting: your feelings are systematically devalued and claim that you invented everything. Therefore, you are tormented by doubts: maybe you should not leave your friend?

How to Break a Toxic Friendship

First of all, counsels psychotherapist Lisa Seid, recognize that this friendship threatens your mental health: “Knowledge is power, no matter how hackneyed it may sound. Everything can change if we recognize the problem.”

If you want to end a destructive relationship, be adamant. Clearly state what caused your decision, and at the same time remind yourself about your boundaries. If they are not respected, it’s time to cross the person on your friends’ list and go to those people with whom you are fine. Talking to real friends and family is always a great idea. At least in order to remember what a normal relationship can be.

心煩意亂的女孩感到孤獨,避免與人交談 - toxic friendship 個照片及圖片檔
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