How to deal with Toxic friends

I have a small circle of friends. I like it that way.

Although that’s not always been the case for me. When I was at school I was desperate to be liked and I think I often confused myself as to who were my real friends and who wasn’t. Of course, once I started maturing I found out very quickly who the good guys were and who I had to let go of. I call it friendship filtering.

I still do it even now. If I’m in the situation where I’m questioning whether someone is a good friend, I’ll ask myself these questions: Do I like this person? Does this person like me? Do they make me happy? Are they loyal and have they always supported me? If I answer no to any of the above, then the effort from my side disappears and eventually the friendship washes away through the filter.

Life is about growing and unfortunately people do grow apart. My dad always taught me that life is like a path. As you walk down it towards your destination you’ll pass lots of people. Some may touch your hand and let go of it quickly, others may hold your hand for a long time but eventually let go and some may hold your hand for the entire journey.

It makes me smile when people say they have lots of friends. I think its delusional to believe you have many close friends. And as the old saying goes:

You can only count your true friends on one hand.”

To me this quote is so true.  I like nothing more than reeling off all five of my close friends to prove this point. Of course I have other friends, who I love to pieces, but my close five are the individuals who I know will always support and be loyal to me. Who will always be on my side even if I do something wrong. Who will cheer me up when I’m down and who will be straight at my door when something bad happens. But most importantly my close friends just accept me for who I am.

Naturally friends show their true colours eventually and it’s up to us whether we’re willing to accept them for who they are.

It’s when you’re in the situation where you can no longer accept someone or how they treat you, that you need to break-up with them.

Life is too short to be with people who don’t make you happy. Dumping toxic friends is hard but it’s worth doing to save both yours and their time. 

When you ditch a friend you need to do this with ease and you need to make sure that no one is hurt during the process. You never know when your paths may cross again and it’s vital that you have the higher ground throughout.

Talk to them

Tell them how they make you feel. No one is a mind reader and people do have their faults. Be a good friend and talk to them. 99% of the time your toxic buddy won’t even know what they have done or are doing. So be brave and open that mouth of yours and be eloquent. If you have a friend who’s a flake – tell them that they should buy a watch because you certainly don’t have time to wait for them. If you have a friend who bitches behind your back – Confront them. Be open and get things out because you never know there might be an underlying issue or a reason as to why they behave like they do. You may even save the friendship if they decide to change.

Take time to reflect

What seems like a big problem now probably won’t be in two years time. Be careful with what you say to them and how you end your “friendship”. You don’t want to cut off your own nose to spite your face. Take your time and step back for a bit and watch how your friend reacts.

Prepare for the fallout

As nice as it would be for no one to hold a grudge, us females certainly can’t seem to help but build inner poison. Take everything with a pinch of salt and don’t react. Stay true to yourself. This will blow over eventually.

Move on

Whether you dumped them or you’ve been dumped, learn to accept that this is all part of life. People will come in and out of your life and unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it. Sometimes it can be hard if the ex friend is still in the same friendship group as you, but try not to let that come between you and your other friends.

No one ever said dumping a friend was easy but you have to be selfish and think of your own happiness. Behind every successful lady is a group of ladies supporting her. You need to hang out with people who add to your life, not those who drain it.

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