As you go through life, it’s inevitable that you’ll lose some friends along the way. You might go to different schools, move to different places, or simply lose touch. There will also be friends that you may hang onto for years, which is great! Those are the people you can depend on, hang out with, and share all your fond memories with. Then there are those toxic friends…
Yeah, I’ve also learned that just because someone is willing to be your friend, doesn’t necessarily mean you should stay friends with them.
You should be okay with cutting certain fake or toxic friends out of your life—there is nothing wrong with it at all. Not to mention you’d be expertly following the tenets of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight. Some people are simply too toxic to interact with, and that’s reality. Staying friends with demeaning, abusive, or downright rude people can seriously poison your well-being. Whether it’s with negativity or sadness, some “friends” bring you down, and some of them do it on purpose. So why stay friends with them?
“Staying friends with demeaning, abusive, or downright rude people can seriously poison your well-being.”
This is when you should consider dropping someone as a friend and why it can make a huge, liberating difference in your life.
1. With Them, It’s All About “Me, Me, Me”
As friends, it’s typical to vent your endless problems to one another. Venting isn’t bad in and of itself; a friend should be someone you trust enough to unload your bad days and problems on, and they should be willing to help you with those issues.
This should be reciprocal. Your friend should let you talk about yourself once in a while, too. You have problems, too. You have things in your life that you want to talk about. You need to surround yourself with people who can not only talk about themselves, but are willing to listen. If they aren’t, they don’t care about your feelings all that much, do they?
2. They’re Extremely Pessimistic
Nobody can be happy 24/7.
There will be times when you’re in an awful mood, and you can’t always help it. But in order to be happy, you need to have friends who are uplifting and generally positive. If someone is extremely pessimistic all the time, the only thing they’ll accomplish is bringing you down with them.
Be smart enough to recognize a friend who is just having a bad day compared to a friend who can never seem to have a good one. If you suspect your friend has mental health issues, by all means, stick around and do what you can to help. Otherwise, they’re either begging for attention or actually enjoy being miserable, and you don’t need that in your life.
3. You Feel Bad When You’re With Them
This one should be a given, but mistreatment isn’t always obvious. I’ve personally remained friends with people even though I felt like they didn’t treat me well. There are lots of reasons for this—maybe you’ve been friends for a long time and find it difficult to cut ties, or maybe you feel too bad about their feelings (or afraid) to speak up.
Nonetheless, you need to realize if someone is treating you badly. If a friend disregards your feelings, only speaks to you when they need something, and rarely invites you out, that person isn’t a friend. “Leech” is more accurate. Don’t be afraid to show toxic friends like this the door.
Ask yourself, “Does this friend respect me? How do I feel about myself when I engage with them? Do I feel more relieved without them around?”
4. Melodrama Is Their Full-Time Gig
Who wants to live in the midst of perpetual, petty high school drama? You don’t need people who are always gossiping to you about others (which, 95% of the time, means they’re also talking behind your back).
Save yourself the complications. Why stress yourself out with someone else’s over-the-top drama? You need genuine friends. Having two or three amazing, loyal friends is always a million times better than having fifteen fake friends who do nothing but talk smack about one other behind closed doors.
By being aware of these negative traits, you can learn how to surround yourself with the right people. Don’t let just anyone into your life. You control who stays and who goes. Don’t be afraid to cut people out if it will improve how you feel about yourself and the way that you live your life. You deserve friends who act like friends. Nothing less.
READ MORE: Want To Make Friends In Post-Secondary?
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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.