Our friendships nourish us, make us stronger. But what about when that fuel turns into venom? Life is too short to be poisoned, so we call it toxic friendships.
You don’t form a friendship without something about the other person that you like. We feel good with her, we share values or activities … There is generally a positive starting point. Some friendships will last a lifetime, from childhood to old age, without taking a wrinkle. But for others, things go wrong and one day we realize that the relationship is doing us more harm than good. Are we struggling with a toxic friendship?
Here are 6 unmistakable signs:
1. You walk on eggshells
It’s simple: you feel like you’re friends with a ticking time bomb! You never know how things got out of hand, but with it, the five to seven often turns into drama. You live in fear of angering or hurting her, to the point where you can no longer be completely yourself in her presence. Sometimes you even hide things from him for fear of his reaction. Above all, you weigh every word so as not to find yourself obliged to persist, to justify yourself, to explain what you wanted to say and that she seems to have misunderstood … Phew!
2. She makes you feel guilty
Have you ever heard of the Karpman Drama Triangle? It is a psychological and relational scheme in which we find three roles: the Victim, the Savior and the Persecutor (or Executioner). So, if your friend has chosen to play the Victim full-time, you will inevitably have to play the Savior (a rewarding, but exhausting role) or the Executioner (a particularly guilty role when imposed). Never say the right thing (the one she wants to hear)? She accuses you of lacking empathy for her personal drama? Distrustful and a bit paranoid, she constantly attributes false intentions to you? Is she jealous and possessive, blaming you for your other friendships? Whichever version you are entitled to,
3. It drains you of your energy
It’s the end of a hard week of work, you wanted to go out, to relax with friends, and here you are, you come out of this evening even more emptied than you entered it. It’s because the glass, with this girlfriend, is always half empty. His negative attitude pollutes you, vampires you, drains you. And this energy-hungry friend seems, moreover, to need you more than you need her. You never have time to get bored of her wanting more. So much so that seeing her looks more and more like a task and less and less a pleasure …
4. She doesn’t seem to want your good
Our true friends want us to shine, to succeed; they are proud of our success. They pass our name on to potential employers, praise our merits, write in comments that we are superb when we publish a selfie, the hell! If your girlfriend has a tendency to put you down – even as a joke – and you can’t tell her about your good moves or what is happening to you that is positive otherwise you will see her pursed her lips, your friendship will fail. may not be as healthy as you think. A friend competing with you, who doesn’t want you to be successful – nor does she, anyway – is nothing to pull you up. To paraphrase a certain Pierre-Yves McSween: do you really need it?
5. She lives in her navel
She is entertaining, charismatic, certainly, but when she takes the spittoon … impossible for you to place a word! Everything must revolve around her to interest her. Moreover, as soon as you manage to tell something, she inevitably uses it to bounce off a story of her own. And while you know every detail of her personal and professional life, as well as all her anecdotes, she struggles to remember the name of the company you’ve been working for for three years already. Could it be that you are more of a foil to her than a true friend?
6. She is not trustworthy
We often like to say that our real friends are the ones we could call at 3 a.m. if we got into trouble. Those who would come running, in pajamas, without asking any questions. Well, this friend may be very present in your life, you are not at all sure that she would come to your rescue. She doesn’t keep her commitments, often lets you down at the last minute with vague explanations, and you feel a strange unease at the thought of leaving her alone with your lover. Worse, sometimes you choose not to confide in her for fear that she will spread a secret or use it against you. With such a friend, no need for an enemy!
Something sounding a little too familiar? Have you had to postpone the moment to see your friend or do you often come back from a night with her disappointed, bitter or frustrated? These signs do not deceive. Indeed, according to psychologist Julie Demers, you must first turn to yourself: “The idea is to ask yourself: ‘What does it taste like when I see this person? How am I fed by her? What does it bring me? Am I feeling good? ” If this friend makes us experience more negative emotions than positive emotions, it is important to respect our limits, to make him understand that we are not comfortable with his behavior and to ask that he stop. ”
According to Demers, however, it is necessary to first do a self-examination before throwing all the blame on the other. If everyone makes us feel this way, maybe the work to be done is on our side, says the psychologist. This specialist in personality disorders recommends giving a friend that we want to keep in our life and who shows a sincere desire to change one chance (or even several), while adding a caveat: “If a person suffers from a personality disorder, she will be unable to adjust. And if there is no improvement, why would anyone keep swallowing something poisonous? We will choose something else from the buffet … someone who will feed us better. ”
So we assert ourselves and if nothing changes … we change friends!