Friend Or Foe? How To Identify & Deal With Toxic People


If you feel drained after spending time with your nearest and dearest, they could be energy vampires! Here, Sarah Coyne shows you how to remedy this:

Every friendship will have minor disagreements and maybe even one or two major arguments. However, a real buddy wants what’s best for you, no matter what. A toxic person, on the other hand, is only concerned about herself and it doesn’t seem to matter if your happiness is crippled along the way. If you are unsure whether you’re in a toxic friendship, begin keeping a ‘feeling record’ of your emotions before, during and after your next get-together. The questions below are good to have in mind for your next catch up:

• Does spending time with this person fill you with dread?

• Are you emotionally drained after being with them?

• Do you find yourself disagreeing with most of their comments and /or behaviour?

• Has their conduct made you cringe on occasion more than one occasion?

Here are some of the most common energy vampires you may come across and how to go about breaking ties, if you need to…

The ‘Negative Nancy’

Nothing is ever going well for this particular person. From their partner, children, house, work and even the dog, everything is a total disaster… in their eyes. At times they will begin to think the universe is actually transpiring against them.

Mend or end?

Their relentless pessimism can be too much to take day after day. If you have a toxic friend who is constantly negative, be upfront and ask them to stop with the doom and gloom. Suggest that rather than asking, ‘why me?’, they ask, ‘why not me?’ whenever life throws them a curve-ball.

The ‘Possessive One’

This type of toxic friend needs to be told everything first. If you don’t let them know about a significant circumstance, you will be in line for a full interrogation. It is highly likely that this energy vampire doesn’t interact well with other people.

Mend or end?

This person may actually have a real problem. They could be so clingy because they don’t have a tribe of their own. You could introduce them to your social circle and see if helping them branch out takes the pressure off you.

The ‘Green-Eyed One’

They want your house, car, career and even the clothes on your back! Their intrigue into everything you do and how you spend your life is really annoying. However, the root cause of this behaviour tends to stem from low self-esteem.

Mend or end?

Your friend may just need a boost of confidence and to be reminded of their individuality. Why not take them shopping and show them that what suits them, may not be right for you. If it continues, it’s best to talk to them about it gently.

The ‘Drama Queen’

The tiniest thing can send this one spiraling into a performance worthy of an Oscar. Every emotion is used as they relay the sensational story to you – it’s exhausting to watch and after a while it becomes incredibly boring.

Mend or end?

To cut ties with this toxic relationship, you could tell them face-to-face that you’ve had enough. However, don’t tell them in your house, as their performance could last for hours. Instead, speak to them on neutral ground and walk away when you’ve said your piece.

The ‘Little Miss Perfect’

Everything you do, have or strive for will be met with some form of criticism. You simply can’t match up to this friend’s ideals. Just remember this demonstrates their insecurities, and has nothing to do with your own worth or value.

Mend or end?

Breaking ties with this person is best done on the phone. Simply say, “I don’t enjoy being criticised every day,” or,”We have so little in common that it is time to say goodbye. It is best if we don’t speak again.”

The ‘Money Pincher’

No matter how much money they earn, they can never make ends meet and will never offer to pick up the bill. While most of us are too proud to ask friends for money, this toxic person makes a habit of it. Even though the amount you lend is small, it’s the principal of the matter. It’s not for you to be forking out for them all the time.

Mend or end?

If they really are struggling with money then they need to take ownership of their finances. You have your own bills to pay and that’s that. Tell them they overstepped the mark, but that you’re willing to help them get themselves sorted if they would like some support that way.

The ‘Half-Hearted One’

Are you calling or texting her far more often than she reaches out to you? If you feel like you’re more interested in staying in touch, then this relationship has gone sour. You deserve your friends to be just as invested in you as you are in them.

Mend or end?

Perhaps this particular person doesn’t want to be a part of your life, but doesn’t know how to tell you. Stop initiating phone calls and see if they contact you. Sometimes we can get so caught up in organising everything that we become exhausting ourselves!

The ‘Eternal Child’

This pal has always had everything they ever want, so when they are finally out in the big wide world they can’t understand why they’re no longer the centre of attention. This means they are constantly talking about themselves.

Mend or end?

The way to end this toxic relationship is by telling them about their behaviour. Give them a chance to change, because they may be unaware of how they are coming across.

Via SoulAndSpiritMagazine