They say that friends are the family we choose and create by choice. If you are fortunate you have at least one such friend who you can count on for anything, whom you share interests with, laugh with, cry with and can completely be yourself with. Having such friends are a blessing and something that every one cherishes. However, on the flip side we all know people who add nothing more to our lives than a whole lot of negativity!
Toxic friends are all too common – you know the ones that bog you down instead of uplifting you, constantly. Most of us have or have had at least one such person in our lives whom we meet and leave wondering why the heck we bother spending precious time with them. Toxic friends have different characteristics and if you have a person in your life that fits into of the categories below, maybe it is time you do something about it.
The most common kinds of friends without benefits -
1. The Self Obsessed – Ah, we all know that one person who is completely and utterly in love with themselves. And if you have such a person in your innermost circle you know by now it is all about them. A self obsessed friend cares and is passionate about only one topic – themselves! If a situation, conversation or incident doesn’t concern them, then they couldn’t care less. If you are hoping for a heart to heart about something bothering you; forget about it, this is not a person you can go to. Other signs of such a toxic pal – they interrupt you every time you speak with their own anecdotes and rarely let you finish what you are trying to express!
2. The Downer – Oh few things are quite as annoying as negative people. Everyone has issues and troubles, but this kind of person puts a damper on everything. Whether it is always looking at the glass half empty, whining about every development in your or their lives or finding the dark cloud behind the silver lining, all they do is bring negative energy into your life. If you walk away from every meeting feeling dejected and blah, you know you have a downer in your midst!
3. The Manipulator – Manipulative friends can be the worst and definitely suck the energy right out of you. They find a way hell or high water to get what they want out of you and are usually around when there is an ulterior motive in mind. You know the ones who are super sweet and attentive till it serves their purpose and then you don’t hear from them until it’s time for the next favour. They usually know which buttons to push and what emotions to play on and often resort to emotional blackmail if they aren’t getting what they want from you!
4. The Drama Queen / King – Drama, usually negative, seems to often follow the same people around, whatever the situation and whoever the other parties concerned. Certain people thrive on drama and chaos and often drag it into their friends’ lives as well. If you often find yourself in uncomfortable or even dangerous situations arising out of a friend’s making, it is time to re-evaluate your relationship with them.
5. The Blabber-Mouth – We count on our closest friends to be the keepers of our secrets. They are privy to our dreams, hopes, disappointments, victories and failures. One of the biggest betrayals you can feel is when who you thought was a close friend goes spilling your innermost secrets you had confided in utter confidence. Some people may be good people but just cannot keep things to themselves and you often hear about it eventually. While you may not necessarily want to cut a blabber-mouth out of your life, it would be wise to take a step back and be more open elsewhere!
6.The Green-Eyed Monsters – Jealousy is not a rare phenomenon; we have all felt jealous of certain people at some point or a twinge of envy at someone’s achievements. However, a pal who is constantly jealous of everything you do or achieve is very bad news. Be vary of the toxic green eyed monsters, they are always hoping to snatch something away from you and usually express their negativity in varied ways.
A healthy friendship is one of give and take, of support and trust and one where you grow together, rather than hold someone or be held back. If you are avoiding someone you have been friends with or the thought of spending time with them makes your stomach sink, it is time you evaluate the dynamics of your relationship. And if you find yourself becoming one of these toxic friends, it is time to look within yourself.
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About the Author:
Raina Gadgil is a writer and editor and has worked across various mediums over the past decade. She loves exploring topics concerning the human psyche and also enjoys writing fiction.