Recognising when a friendship is toxic
Friends are a big part of our everyday lives. They cheer us up when we’re having a bad day. They’re there for the good times and they lend an ear when we need to talk.
Having a good friend through thick and thin can be make all the difference when getting through a tough time.
All relationships are the same
There’s also different kinds of friendships. There are some friendships that are about hanging out and not about sharing how you’re feeling and that’s OK too.
Whatever the relationship, who we chose to be around is something we need to think about carefully.
Sometimes we can fall into friendships that may not be adding to our lives in a positive way.
Evaluate your friendships
If you’re spending time with someone who is making you feel bad about yourself then it’s time to reassess your relationship. Sometimes even small comments that make us feel uncomfortable or upset can have a big impact on our overall self-esteem.
It’s OK to have friends that challenge you, that’s how we grow. But, if you find being around someone who is making you anxious or unhappy, or they’re putting you down, taking a step back right now can be a good thing.
Rid yourself of negative friendships
There’s no doubt it’s a tricky situation. When a friendship is bringing you down, there are no hard and fast rules.
If there’s an opportunity to talk to your friend about how they’re making you feel, do it. Tell them, “I find it upsetting when you…” or “It’s kind of embarrassing when you keep bringing up that time…”. If they don’t understand and nothing changes then it is time to start to pull away.
>> Read more about effective communication
It’s difficult if you feel you have to continue a relationship that has become uncomfortable and it’s not good for you.
Fill your time with friends that make you feel good about yourself and enjoy being around. The more time you spend with people you’re comfortable with, the easier it is to get perspective on relationships that are not going so well.
Talking things through
If someone is making it difficult for you to maintain a relationship with them, talking through your feelings with someone you trust can make the situation clearer and easier to manage.
A family member or friend can help you feel more in control of a difficult friendship and help you find ways of dealing with a negative relationship.
Our friendships are important, as is being a good friend. Taking the time to make sure we are surrounded by people who make us feel good keeps us in all aspects of our lives.