How to Handle Toxic Relationships: 4 Tips on When & How to End a Toxic Friendship by Erin Basford
Friends play an important role in our lives. They nurture us, support us and encourage us. When we are lucky to find those friends, we want to hold on to them. However, some friends always seem to drill a hole in your self-esteem and are a constant drain on your energy. You know who I mean! Those "friends" who are constantly judging you, criticizing the things you say and do, and never show up for the important moments in your life.
Sadly, it's like being in an abusive relationship, and to just walk away is often easier said than done. Before you send that nasty text in haste, here are some tips on how – and when – to end a toxic friendship:
- Assess the Situation: Ask yourself if the friendship is having a positive impact on your life or is it creating more stress. Determine whether the behavior is toxic or just annoying.
- Talk It Out: It's possible they are not aware of their behavior, so be honest and tell them how you are feeling. This will allow you to determine if there is a deeper-rooted issue.
- Walk Away: If talking it out gets you nowhere, it may be time to walk away. Tell them you need space, but do it gently. It may not happen overnight, especially if you are dealing with a truly toxic person. Toxic people will attempt to pull you back in, so remember to keep your distance to avoid confusing them.
- Forgive: No one is perfect and sometimes bad behavior is the result of underlying self-esteem issues. Chances are you formed a friendship with this person for a reason, so instead of holding grudges, reflect on the fun times and memories you shared with them.
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