Finding a true friend is truly a rare thing. That's not to say that true friendship won't be difficult or have rough patches, of course! After all, we all make mistakes, have hard times, and sometimes we do stupid, thoughtless things. But if those things dominate your friendship and leave you feeling exhausted, emotionally depleted, and depressed, instead of happy, refreshed, and validated, it's a good bet that it's time to move on up. In honor of Friendship Day, here are 7 toxic friends you should kick to the curb.
Some people have really hard lives. It's true. And often they need a lot of support and help. But when every single cloud in the sky becomes a reason to complain about rainstorms that haven't even happened, it can be too much for any friend to deal with. All that negativity can be soul-sucking, and we kind of need our souls to be in top-notch condition. So if you notice that you're hanging around someone who can't seem to shine a ray of light on anything, ever, it might be time to hand them some rose-colored glasses and move on.
Good friends inspire you to be better. Good friends teach you ways to be better. Good friends are happy for you when you do better. They appreciate your success and cheer you on as you try to become your best self. They don't feel threatened when good things come your way. And if you've inspired them to make a positive change in their life, they let you know what a good influence you've been on them. But if your "friend" has to one-up you every time you share some good news, or she sees your every accomplishment as a challenge, she may actually be a frenemy in disguise.
This friend is extremely nice - at least to your face. She's probably really fun to be around, and seems to have a good time with you, too. In fact, you really enjoy spending time with her. So it is especially confusing and hurtful when you hear - from others - that she thinks you're kind of a slob and that your kids are personality-less blobs. Give her a chance to explain herself, but don't be too shy about giving yourself plenty of distance from her in the future.
It's one thing to have different backgrounds and opinions about life and how things should be done, and having friends with different viewpoints is one of the great things about life. But there's a line. And when a friend crosses it by critiquing the way you live your life, or the way you parent your children, they've crossed it. Helpful feedback and solicited advice are one thing, but unsolicited criticism is not something a true friend should give.
This friend needs you so badly. You're the only one who understands her. In fact, you are her only friend. She feels betrayed whenever you imply that you have other friends, and she blows even the smallest perceived slight into a catastrophic event. Before too long, you realize that not only are you constantly apologizing to her for things she thinks you did wrong, but you are also feeling more and more isolated in your relationship. It feels like you are always jumping in to help her through life's little unfair moments. And this is when you should step away, give her some distance, and not feel guilty when you go to a girls' night without her.
It's always fun to find out that the whole neighborhood knows something you told a friend in confidence. Oh, wait, no, it's not. But at least it makes it easy to know who you can really trust. A true friend respects your wishes for privacy and even secrecy - no matter the circumstances.
This friend knows a good thing when she sees one - and you're the good thing. But the good thing about you is that you're standing right where she wants to be. If she gets close enough, she can have everything you have, and then push you out of the picture. In fact, it feels a lot like she's stepping on you or holding on for dear life. The second you're no longer in the "right" place, you're not useful anymore. That's the best thing about her? She'll usually move on by herself and leave you in peace.