Types of Toxic Friends and Others To Kick Out Of Your Life
We all have one or two “friends” who drag us down instead of make us better. If you have someone in your life who’s taking more than they’re giving, it might be time to go your separate ways
by Ronnie Koenig
The half-assed friend
She forgets to return calls for months, doesn’t acknowledge your special occasions and is generally MIA. When you do make plans, she’s always rescheduling at the last minute or showing up super late.
“You should dump this ‘friend’ because she does not respect your time or your life,” says LeRoy. “You need to spend that time with those who do appreciate you as a friend and who are interested in your life.”
The verdict: Time to move on to someone who has friendship to give.
She’s your friend, but also your arch enemy. How is this fun?
“Women deserve friendships in which they support each other’s triumphs as opposed to bringing each other down,” says Jessica LeRoy, psychotherapist and founder of Center for the Psychology of Women. “Some women who are a bit more insecure may believe that they deserve this type of friendship, or that this is normal female behavior. In reality, supporting each other makes us feel much better about ourselves and our friends.”
The “Old Friend”
“It’s great to have friends from your past, but if that is all you have to connect on, you’re not moving forward with your lives or making new memories,” says LeRoy. “Live in the present and spend time with people you would like to make new memories with.”
The next time she calls to make plans take a pass and spend the time with someone in your present -tense!
From asking you to help her spy on her ex to involving you in her get-rich-quick schemes, she’s always trying to make you an accomplice to her shady plans. You might want to spend your time with someone who has more lofty goals and aspirations!
“What are you really gaining from this friendship?” asks LeRoy. “It sounds like this person only wants a sidekick who will take the fall with her. You have better things to do with your time.”
The Hot Mess
You’re always scraping this friend off the floor — literally and figuratively. A night out with her is full of surprises — in a bad way.
“If you’re the one always bailing your friend out of difficult situations then you’re the one dealing with the hot mess, not her,” says Barbara Neitlich, L.C.S.W., a Beverly Hills psychotherapist. “Once you release this type of friend out of your life, you will truly recognize how this individual often drew the mental (and sometimes) physical life right out of you.”
The Broke Buddy
“Get rid of those who don’t pay their way,” says Neitlich. “In time you end up building resentment for always having to be the one to pay. Cutting the cord with these folks allows you to stand your ground as a woman who is savvy and mindful of her money!”
The Office Husband
One or both of you are married but you have a pretty serious flirtation going on.
“Set boundaries,” says Neitlich. “Stop engaging in the playful banter. You’re better off moving away from this type of temptation, as it almost always ends in disaster.”
She makes you feel bad about your clothes, your car and your staycation. Friends don’t let friends feel like less-thans!
“When you consistently allow someone to make you feel badly about yourself, you turn a great deal of mental power over to them,” says Neitlich. “Most of us are pretty critical of ourselves. Do we really need a ‘friend’ who is so critical of us?”
The Judge Judy
She gives unsolicited advice even though you’ve politely asked her to stop. There’s no reason to continue being held in contempt of her court.
“Too much time spent in her company will make you doubt every decision you’ve made,” says Dr. Lieberman. “She wants to give you a life sentence of insecurity without parole.”
Find a friend who’s cool with letting you make your own choices — even if she disagrees with them.
The Bitter Betty
Everything is negative in her life and spending time with her makes you feel like life sucks.
“Bitter people are bad for your health,” says Lieberman. “If you want negativity in your life, you can read the headlines and do away with her.”
Life’s too short for this type of attitude. It’s time to break up!
She gives you compliments that somehow also take you down a notch. How does she do that?!
“This so-called friend is passive-aggressive and not to be trusted,” says Lieberman. “She’ll smile while she’s twisting the knife in deeper.”
The next time she gives you a backhanded compliment, show her to your front door.
Whether it’s who took the nicer vacation or who has better parenting skills, she’s always trying to one up you.
“It’s exhausting to try to be friends with The Competitor — and not really worth it,” says Lieberman. “She’s just using you to try to feel better about her poor, pathetic self.”
Seek out friends who support you and you’ll be a whole lot happier in all aspects of your life.