What Toxic Friendships
Will Do to You
(And How to Let Them Go)
By Therese Aseoche
What makes a person “toxic” is his or her need to control you in order to sustain themselves.
Their world revolves only on what they experience — the time they spend, the effort they make, the problems they face — without any regard to how it also affects you.
Being in any kind of relationship with a toxic person never ends well. You will only come second to everything else they deem much more worthy of their attention, even though you put them first.
And this kind of dynamic sucks the life out of you until you’re left empty. The sad thing is, toxicity in friendships is rarely spotted right away. It only ever dawns on you at the very last moment, at the very last straw, when you’re on the brink of giving up on understanding the other person.
It’s easy to say that you must never let it come that far. But if you practice the habit of reflecting on your relationship with those around you, then it might become much easier to discover the ones that are suspect and which you should gradually let go of.
Here are telltale signs that your friendships are toxic.
You suffer low self-esteem
Toxic people point out your flaws — every single one of them. They rain on your parade, make you feel even guiltier over your problems, and scold you instead of providing support and sound advice. In short, they make you feel like even sh*ttier than how you already feel.
Maintaining these friendships tire you out
Friendships that are high maintenance and toxic are the worst kind. It requires so much effort to make the other person happy, and you feel like you always have to be on your toes to avoid doing anything that would upset them.
You feel insignificant
Because you focus more attention on your toxic friend’s needs, you forget to care for your own. And it’s not like you neglect them willingly; it’s just the consequence of your friend making you feel insignificant. They don’t make time to listen to your problems, they don’t want to make the effort to meet up with you, and they would rather escape conflict than face them with you. They just don’t see the point of exerting so much effort for you.
It affects how you deal with other friendships
Whether romantic or not, your relationships with other people are heavily affected by the toxicity of your friendship with one person. The negativity you get from it spreads like a disease. You either become too tired to maintain other friendships that would have been much more worthy of your time and effort, or you tend to vent out your bottled up frustrations on them because of that negativity. It just all becomes one never-ending cycle of toxicity.