If your friend is the Chandler to your Joey, the Monica to your Rachel, then congratulations are in order, as not everyone is fortunate enough to have such good friendships.
Many people are saddled with toxic friends, whom they are simply not able to either recognize in time or are unable to let go of.
Just as good friends give you support, help you through your social life and provide you with solace, their antithesis, toxic friends are just as grave a burden.
Not only do they negatively impact your other relationships, but they also lead to mental health problems like stress and self-esteem issues, which then require the help of a therapist whom you can consult via oladoc.com.
Signs of a toxic friendship
The first step in dealing with the impact of toxic relationships is understanding what constitutes a toxic friendship. Amongst its hallmarks is the unsettling feeling that friendship gives you.
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Friends of this sort put themselves at the forefront and are not concerned about your wellbeing. Toxic friends also try to change you rather than accept you for the way you are. They also are not careful with your secrets, instead, they tend to spread gossip about your private life.
Furthermore, toxic friends also cause put you down at points, especially by comparing you to others.
The impact of a toxic friendship
Perhaps either out of peer pressure or from familiarity, you are tied to your toxic friend. However, it is important that you understand the ramifications of toxic friendships, which you should not be making light of. These include:
Make you even more alone
The point of friendship is to make you feel connected. Ironically, with toxic friendships, you cannot help but feel lonely. They might not reply to your messages, ditch you in plans, and might not spend a healthy amount of time with you.
One way to keep you on your toes is through their manipulation tactics. This then leaves you feeling off.
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You cannot put your finger on the thing that is bothering you. Whereas friends are supposed to make you feel calm, this feeling of unease continues with toxic friendships.
The point of having friends is to have social support. They lend you a sympathetic ear, offer you care and support, help you navigate through difficult turns in life. However, with toxic friendship, this element of support is missing. They do not consider your problem particularly important and are not there for you during the hour of need.
Good friends lift you up. They make you feel loved, pretty, and special. Toxic friends are an antithesis. They make jokes at your expense, criticize everything that you do, and put you down.
When people near and dear to you poke fun at you, it tends to hit harder. This then leads to impaired self-esteem.
Poor conception of self
Toxic friends, especially the ones who are narcissistic are great at shifting blame on you. Instead of holding them responsible for their atrocious behavior, you then start to think that you are a source of the problem. You think you are exaggerating or overreacting. This unhealthy shifting of the blame allows the toxic friends to walk away scot free.
Stress you further
A good friend is supposed to share your load, not add to it. A sign of a toxic friend is that they increase your stress. It may be due to their presence, their constant jibes at you or they may just make you uneasy.
Do not be ambivalent about toxic relationships
Living with toxicity is not a healthy approach. Poor relationships not only lead to impaired physical health but mental health as well.
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They cause stress, which can be debilitating, meriting consultation from an online psychiatrist. Hence, if the situation is redeemable, give them a second chance. Else, cut such friends out of your life.