Leaving a toxic friend or partner can be an extremely daunting task. You may have a history with them, value his or her company, or may fret over whether this will affect other people. But a person that manipulates, lies or takes advantage of you is one that does not deserve your time or energy.
By spending time with someone negative, it’s natural for you to assume their point of view. If you constantly hear, “this sucks,” or “you shouldn’t wear that,” you may find yourself adopting these same thoughts. Since people have an innate and powerful ability to influence others, understanding ways to eliminate ties with a toxic friend is important.
Here are some effective ways:
Identify the Toxicity
The first step to eradicate a toxic relationship is to realize you’re in one. Often, discussions about abusive relationships focus on ways to handle cruel parents and romantic partners. We sometimes disregard the idea that friends, too, can be toxic.
The following article on WomenWorking lists 5 signs of a toxic friend-it can be found here; https://www.womenworking.com/5-signs-of-a-toxic-friend
Skip the Reminiscing
I highly recommend you don’t open old diaries, look at photos from the past or reread Facebook messages when you’re deciding whether to stay friends with someone. With most friendships come some positive memories so we might be quick to place someone on a pedestal. You can think about your friendship in a positive light if it allows you to have closure. Yet acknowledge that those moments of laughter and fun were fleeting. While you reflect on the cheerful memories, you may also consider the malicious actions of your friend. A significant note to remember is that the history of relationships does not define the current dynamic of friendships.
Eliminate Any Sort of “Relationship”
We’ve heard that a “thin line between love and hate” exists–a song was even written about it in 1971 by the persuaders. In applying this sentiment to a toxic relationship, you may deal with conflicting feelings about your friend. Sometimes, it’s easier to hate someone than to let them go. However, by loathing someone, you’ve given them the power to have control over you. Gossiping about them or being competitive will only solidify their effect on your life.
To cut ties with a toxic friend, you need to let go of the memories altogether. You may try to limit social interaction with them and establish distance. Yet if this is difficult, i.e. you’re in the same friend group, you may want to show passivity when engaging with them.
Emotionally Move On
Abandoning any friendship is a difficult undertaking, one that takes an emotional toll. To emotionally recover, you may explore your feelings by discussing them with someone trustworthy. Realizing that you are involved in a toxic friendship can cause tremendous pain and affect your sense of self. Your perception may be skewed as you wonder, “Was it something I did?”
Talking to someone or journaling may be beneficial tools to help you stay confident and recover. A third party may be able to offer you an outside point of view, one that can bring light to the situation. Writing a letter to your poisonous friend (but not sending it) can alleviate some of the emotional pain.
Realize Your Worth
Eleanor Roosevelt once remarked, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Removing ties to toxic friends becomes unchallenging when individuals comprehend their personal value. By staying strong and adhering to your standards, you will be able to conquer anything or anyone.
Disclaimer: The insights of this article are in part the opinion of the author.