getting free from the bondage of TOXIC PEOPLE (what no one tells you)

ugh.

this topic.

this topic is the worst you guys.

no really, I actually hate it.

knowing the difference between a toxic person & a person you just don’t gel with is sometimes really tough. and in our “It’s all about MEEEEE” world, it’s easy to just start labeling people without much wisdom or thought. definitely not cool. (also, you would kind of start to become that toxic “label-er”, and no one wants to be that guy.)

so, here are 6 signs your friend is toxic… with strategies to set you (both) free ❤

TOXIC STUFF

1.) THE PROBLEM: the “too busy for you” toxic friend
she only texts you when she’s having a bad day, only calls you when disaster strikes, only wants to hang out when the world is ending. but they make sure to let you know that you’re crazy for thinking that. she’s just busy, right? there’s just a lot going on right now… surely you understand?
THE STRATEGY: don’t let their bad days run your life. they only contact you because they know you’re the only one who will drop everything to come to their aid… even though you haven’t talked in months.
if you’re busy, let them know. “sorry, I can’t help right now, but let me see what’s on my calendar, and I will let you know.”
set a time. don’t let them suck you in for hours on end. spend the time on them that you would with anyone else, and then go on with what you have to do.

2.) THE PROBLEM: the “keeps you guessing” toxic friend
just when you think you’re besties, she drops off the face of the earth. you never really know where you stand. she’s manipulative. she’s distant or short with you for no reason… then laughs and says you must be seeing things, you’re too sensitive, or accuses you of making things up. you constantly question whether or not you’re the cause of her hurt feelings or cold standoff-ishness.
THE STRATEGY: don’t play to her hand. don’t become hurt and question yourself when her mood swings south. if she won’t give you a straight answer when you ask if you’ve offended her, stop pushing and believe her, even if her answer is dejected and melodramatic. making you question & doubt yourself is her game, and you are under no obligation to play it with her. in time, she’ll either no longer play a game that doesn’t work, or just stop spending time with you.

3.) THE PROBLEM: the “strings attached” toxic friend
there’s always another side to her kindness. all her compliments are backhanded. her favors always have strings attached. nothing is free. you feel worse after being around her, even though she seemed nice the whole time. “but I did _____ for you.” is a constant excuse for the unending favors she asks of you. she might even bully you on social media, and then claim she was “just kidding”.
THE STRATEGY: sometimes it’s as simple as that- unfriend, unfollow, or unsubscribe to her crazy. whether it’s literal or figurative is completely up to you. 😉 realize that her compliments are what they are- fake- and stop finding your worth there. if it comes down to it, tell her straight up “your behavior is toxic to me, and unless we make some changes and set some boundaries of how you are allowed to treat me, this is not going to work.

4.) THE PROBLEM: the “needs more attention” toxic friend
you can’t go even a day without a text from her. you feel guilt-ed into spending time together. she says things like “you’re never around”, or “why won’t you spend time with me?” even when you’ve done lots of things together or spent significant time corresponding recently. you’re always feeling at a loss as to what more you can do or how much more you can give.
THE STRATEGY: give what you can. stop when you can’t. boundaries are crucial. tell her this. she needs to learn that you are not responsible for her wholeness. there are deep wounds that you cannot heal in her. don’t try. be kind, but be firm. no need to abandon her, but communicate what you can and can’t, will and won’t do. your emotional safety and health is important, too.

5.) THE PROBLEM: the “always condescending” toxic friend
she always knows better than you do. her advice is more like instructions for life. it’s her way, or… you’re just wrong. you’re always “too ______”. fill in the blank… young, inexperienced, emotional, stubborn, ditzy… even if her points are good ones, they’re voiced from a place of pride and a holier-than-thou attitude that permits her nasty delivery of the opinion. take what she says for what it’s worth, and get rid of the rest.
THE STRATEGY: make it clear that you may not know everything, but that is not an excuse for her to run your life or judge the way you live it. know that her approval is not what you need to be searching for. keep your time together fun and light, and perhaps choose not to ask her for advice where things get deep or very personal. lastly, if she cannot respect you, you may need to tell her you are not afraid to take the drastic step of stepping back from your friendship for a while.

6.) THE PROBLEM: the “half the story” toxic friend
she lies. or leaves things out. or just doesn’t tell you all-together, even when it’s something that concerns you. she sees no problem with this because it’s “her life not yours”. she talks or acts out behind your back. she hides what she’s doing or saying from you because she knows you wouldn’t like it. you leave conversations feeling suspicious or like you’ve been probed for information. she NEVER wants to talk about herself- only wants to hear the most intimate details of YOUR life. she’s very secretive.
THE STRATEGY: when you find out she’s been saying or doing things behind your back, confront her; don’t hold it all inside. make it very clear you are not okay with this behavior. if it directly involves you, and she won’t leave you alone, politely tell her it is not her business. vocalize your feelings to her. tell her you don’t feel you can trust her. be careful not to turn into this same toxic friend out of retaliation towards her!

but here is the most important part of this article…
at one point or another in our lives, we are all toxic people. we’ve all been too needy, too prideful, too self-centered, too guarded, or too “holy”. we’ve all made poor choices and hurt the people we love at some point. none of us are above being toxic to the people around us, but for the grace of God. and so often it is when we are deep in hurt and pain that we act out this way.

so remember: the toxic person needs to be free of their toxicity as much as you do.

toxicity

don’t let a temporary attitude ruin an incredible friendship. sometimes we each need a swift kick in the pants… with love of course 😉 if that’s what your friend needs, give it to her.

if this is more of a way of life than it is a phase, either a temporary or permanent severing of the relationship might be what you both need to find freedom in your own way, in your own time, and simply on your own. ❤ whatever you do… your friend deserves to know why. be honest. be loving. even if she isn’t, and even if she doesn’t understand.

ultimately, do what needs to be done for freedom, healing, and hope to abound… for everyone.

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3 thoughts on “getting free from the bondage of TOXIC PEOPLE (what no one tells you)

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