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Friendship Going South?

September 11, 2017

When Friendships Go South… Are You Ready?

Having a friend can make life brighter, but there are times when certain friends aren’t worth having. This situation becomes a toxic friendship!

Psychologists agree that a healthy relationship involves compassion, respect, security and sharing. Unfortunately, not every relationship meets these qualifications. According to a Today.com and Self magazine survey, 82 percent of people have had toxic friendships. These “friendships” involve criticism, dishonesty, negativity and selfishness.

When people grow apart, have a fight, or experience personal misfortunes it can turn friendships toxic. According to the survey most people (65 percent) have had a selfish, uncaring friend. Fifty-nine percent feel that their friend was constantly negative, draining them of their energy. Of the participants, 55 percent have had over-critical friends, 45 percent have had a “backstabbing friend,” and 37 percent have friends that they don’t trust.

How will you know that you’re in a toxic relationship? According to psychologists there are symptoms. After visiting a friend that’s critical of your life or appearance you may feel depressed or experience low self-esteem. A selfish friend that borrows money without offering to repay can be financially taxing. And if a friend’s constantly negative, a person may find themselves becoming increasingly negative too.

If you realize that your friendship is an emotional hazard, consider taking action. WebMD suggests taking the time to assess the relationship, write down your thoughts and see how each of you contributes to the toxicity. You’ll then be able to decide whether you want to work it out or end the relationship. When making mindful decisions consider these tips:

  1. Work to a solution. After meditating you’ll be able to make a decision. Would you prefer to mend the relationship or take some time apart? When you’re ready have a frank conversation with them. Explain your feelings and together you can work on your relationship. If they aren’t committed to change, consider reducing their role in your life, from friend to acquaintance.
  2. Time to move on. If they continue making negative, critical or selfish comments after you’ve tried being honest, you may need to make a more tough decision. Some relationships are meant to grow, but there are those that weren’t built to last. If your friend isn’t willing change with you it may be time for you to go your separate ways.
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