Toxic friendships are tricky.
They sneak up on you after you’ve poured yourself out past your capacity.
You make excuses for people because they are friends, and you often give them too many chances.
If you have a big heart like mine, even when people try to warn you, you find yourself giving too much of yourself because you are a glass-half-full kind of person.
Listen, I’ve been there. I’ve had to say goodbye to friendships I thought would last a lifetime.
No matter how necessary it is, it’s never easy.
Now that I’m 36 and a mom of 3, I’ve decided not to hold back and make excuses for people anymore.
If I’m going to invest time in someone, it darn well be with someone who is ready to do the same for me—especially if spending time with them means time away from my family.
Here are a few toxic friendships I’m saying goodbye to:
I’ve done pretty well at staying away from messy folk. I try to keep the mess meter non-existent (except for my Real Housewife reality obsession), but every now and then, I meet a new person who seems to be nice, but then reveals their messy roots.
I ain’t got time for it.
Yeah, you heard me I AIN’T GOT TIME FOR IT.
The friend who listens to you vent then goes to the person you were venting about.
Or the friend who takes bits and pieces of what you say and spreads it to whoever, whenever.
You may have wanted to see the good in her, even when everyone else warned you that she was messy. But if she keeps making enemies because of her messy ways,
Which leads me to the next friend to ditch…..
The friend who always makes excuses for never returning phone calls, but you see her having fun with her other friends on social media.
She’s also the friend who gets uncomfortable talking about hard things or can’t seem to understand why you’re upset when she let you down for the millionth time.
This kind of toxic friendship leaves you feeling empty very quickly. She only wants to talk about herself and what she’s going on. The minute you need something from her, she’s a ghost.
If you try to tell her how you feel, she may turn things around on you, making you second guess your own feelings.
Having a selfish friend is the epitome of a toxic friendship they only express love and kindness when they need something from you.
When you tell them how you feel, they come up with a million reasons why this isn’t possible. They never take accountability for how their actions are affecting you.
Being empathetic doesn’t mean your friend has to experience everything you have. It means that they listen to you—really listen.
Being emotionally unavailable is a form of selfishness. These kinds of toxic friendships are draining because you are always listening but never listened to. When you share intimate details of your life, you are left with generic comments like Oh, no! or That sounds bad. Or just a blanket, I’m glad that’s not me.
Dealing with someone who is emotionally unavailable can leave us feeling resentful, lonely, or rejected.
Sometimes the fear or being hurt, or growing up experiencing some kind of trauma can cause a friend to be emotionally unavailable. If they aren’t actively working on healing their own past hurts, then you can’t expect them to show up for you in your time of need.
Listen, people can change, but not everyone wants to, or is willing to.
If you find yourself in toxic friendships, there are a few things you can do:
Open the door for conversation
Have some honest conversations about your feelings. Instead of pointing fingers, tell your friend how you feel when they do or say certain things. Listen to their point of view. Is there a valid reason for their behavior? Have they experienced a recent hurt or trauma that has affected the way they treat you?
Leave some room for growth
After you have a conversation with your friend and they seem receptive, give some time for a change. Are they genuinely trying to make amends?
Reevaluate your friendship
Sometimes healthy conversations about feelings don’t end the way we anticipate. Sometimes people are unwilling to change, and we have to be ready to deal with that too.
Reevaluate your friendship and decide whether or not you want to put any more effort into a relationship that is no longer serving you well.