Do you have toxic friends? Are there people in your friendship group that seem to be intent on bringing you down instead of lifting you up? Your toxic friends can be damaging to your health and your self-esteem.
How can you tell if a friend is toxic?
- Do they criticize your clothes, appearance, choices or actions?
- Do they let you down, like “forgetting” to show up for dates?
- Do they borrow money, but don’t pay it back?
- Do they try and pressure you into doing things when you don’t want to?
- Do they always talk about themselves and their problems and never about
- Do they talk up their lives, but are negative or dismissive about yours?
- Do you have to make all the organizing for trips, dinners, or even just staying
- in touch?
- Are they happy and celebrate your successes? Or do they snipe or criticize?
- Do they stand you up, even if you organized that vacation, dinner, or party
- months ago?
If someone is continually telling you that you need to lose weight, or you’ll never get a good job or write that book, they are not your friend. If they borrow money or your car or your clothes, they are subliminally (and not very subtly) telling you that you’re not worth much at all. If they treat you like a doormat, sooner or later you’ll come to believe you’re a doormat.
Toxic friends are holding up a distorting mirror – showing you a negative reflection that is not you – it’s a part of them. But this reflection can undermine your self-esteem and leave you feeling powerless. You don’t need that in your life.
Friends are supposed to add to your life, to make you feel good, to be there for you when times are tough, to support you, and celebrate the good times. Toxic friends continually let you down and undermine you. Bad friendships can affect your physical and mental health, leading to high blood pressure, lower immunity, depression, and anxiety. Research has shown that supportive friendships can boost your immune system and people with good friends even live longer!
So, take a look at the so-called friends who don’t make you feel good about yourself and decide whether you want them in your life or not. You can choose to let them fade out of your life, allowing more time to make real friends.
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