15 Signs It's Time To Break Up With A Toxic Friend
I'm not going to lie and be all kumbayaish with you. The truth is I have a VERY hard time trusting other women and have always been the type of person who has just a handful of friends. Even as a single gal I preferred sharing an apartment with guys-much to my parents chagrin. Sure the cleaning factor- as in I cleaned and they didn’t - was annoying, but as far as meow catty incidents, those were nil. With male friends I never felt like there was any hidden subtext in their comments to me, it was, as it is with my husband, what you see is what you get. I love that characteristic and have always looked for women who possess that down-to-earth-like quality and the attitude of I don't feel any need to compete with you, I just enjoy being in your company and really care about your well-being.
I also think if I really dig deep, the reason I have a hard time befriending women is because I harbor a deep seated distrust of most women, other than my two sisters. And perhaps because I’ve always leaned on them to be my source of strength and support, doing so has made me less apt to develop close knit bonds with other women, especially as I’ve gotten older. That's not to say that I haven't developed friendships with other women, I have, and as is the course of natural life I have been burned by a toxic friendship.
What is the definition of a toxic friendship? It’s when this person you call a friend becomes more of a liability; she does nothing to enhance your life and seems to suck all the air out of the room. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize that I was involved in such a toxic friendship until my sister pointed it out to me and said, "Girlfriend, it’s time to cut your losses, because I can NO LONGER listen to you vent about this person anymore.”
Of course it is hard to be objective about a friendship and its toxic quality when you are in said friendship. So I asked a few of my friends to share with me and anyone else who needs a wake-up call to their this, the 15 signs you're in a toxic friendship. Oh, and if you recognize your relationship in any of these examples-- cut your losses and move on; life is too short to spend it with people who don't lift you up.
#1 HaDassah Sabo Milner: Your stomach drops when you see her number on the caller ID and you delete her emails or IMs without reading them.
#2 Devra Gordon Renner: You don't return calls right away. She stops inviting you to do things with her and you find out later that you weren't included and others were. You realize the relationship is one-sided. She is a time vampire when she is in crisis and needs you. However, she becomes the invisible woman when you have a crisis.
#3 Amy Gottlieb Shuter: You avoid her in the Supermarket. Worse, you see them and pretend you didn't see them. You can't find a positive thing she's said to you recently.
#4 Jessica Rubin Cohen: When there is an air of tension in the room each time you see or speak to one another.
#5 Hadass Eviatar: You write and delete furious emails.
#6 Lani Horn: You get a stomach ache when she reaches out to you (phone, text, email).
#7 Shoshana Martyniak: She punches your kid in the arm to prove that he shouldn't play fight with her kid
#8 Sara Atkins: You call and their kid or husband makes some excuse and you hear them in the background prompting that excuse.
1. You avoid a social gathering you'd normally attend and enjoy because she's going.
2. You avoid being on FB at times you know she will be on.
3. She asks if you've noticed how great she's been about not making jokes about your weight. (That one was epic...)
#10 Debbie Goldberg: It's time to ditch the friendship if: she makes you feel bad every time you see her because you are not as good a friend to her as she is to you. She says stuff like, “ You never call! I should be mad at you! Blah blah blah that's why I don't call!“ Also, when she plucks every good contact you have from your FB friend list and then adds them to her email blasts without permission.
#11 Leah Jones: When you realize that she doesn't accept your invitations to hang out, but only sees you on her schedule and her priorities.
#12 Elissa Freeman: When she calls you the conversation goes like this. Her:" How are you?" You: "Fine. How are you?" One hour later.....you've heard enough tsuris to last an eternity...that was when I broke up with an ex-toxic friend.
#13 Varda Steinhardt: When her control freak ways go out of control after she loses her job and she starts to boss around all her friends like she used to her underlings at work. When she tries to get the babysitter you share to report back to her on your activities. When she calls YOUR HUSBAND to complain about things you do that she thinks you should do differently, and asks him to step in and make you do things her way. (no lie) When she decides you haven't ordered the right kind of food for your father's memorial service, so she bullies another friend into going in on an expensive platter with her. (And then she hijacks the proceedings by making a "brief remark" that lasts almost as long as your eulogy.) When you realize she says judgmental and unkind things about your special needs child to others, and is much less accepting of him than you had always thought. D.O.N.E.
#14 Ciaran Blumenfeld: When everything becomes a competition and you are afraid to divulge secrets such as where you have signed up your kids for summer camp. Also? When she steals your nanny.
#15 Deborah Goldstein: When you have more imaginary conversations with her in your head than you do in real life practicing all the things you'd like to say to her but probably never will.
So have you got any to add??