You’re really naive if you think you haven’t had toxic, poisonous, intolerable friends in your life. For a simple definition, let’s say these are people who are titled ‘friends’ but do the exact opposite of what friends are supposed to do. They make your life miserable, one way or another, they use and/or abuse you, they treat you as a trashcan for venting out negativity and make you wish you were a loner after all.
So here’s my checklist of whether or not someone is a toxic leech:
Every time that certain friend contacts you and you thought to yourself:
you’re definitely dealing with a drama queen. These people will appear with an influx of over-the-top, blown out of proportion anecdotes and tales. Whether they fought with someone, people have been going ga-ga after them, their love life is the closest to any fairy tale, how they’re being marginalized at work/home, how their life is the most EPIC series of one unbelievable episode to another, these people always have a platter full of stories you DON’T give a shit about. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be a good listener or a cynic who doesn’t buy what their friends tell them; I’m saying one is simply not in the mood of listening to dramatic incidents all the time. You see, life is 80% a plain road, no twists or turns (especially not good ones). So any time somebody keeps updating you with a life that’s straight out of a sleazy reality show, just know this is all an attempt to gain attention by making up BS to spice their boring life. Nobody is a freakin’ Harry Potter living in Hogwarts here.
A major sign of a toxic friendship is the air of negativity that it fosters, the bad vibe of these people. Often when family and friends don’t like a particular person we hang out with, they’re right because they have ‘bad news’ written all over them. Most of the times, these people will bombard you with their life problems, their financial constraints, trauma while growing up, discrimination issues, need for constant validation from you and 24/7 pick-me-up attitude. They’re simply needy people, emotionally.
Yes some people have had a very rocky road in life and there’s more bad than good happening at a particular phase of life, but guess what? That’s the story of EVERY SECOND PERSON! But you can’t probably guess because majority of the people who are real victims don’t broadcast their problems to the world. They are fighters, survivors and lone wolves who figure out what to do with their lives and bounce back to glory. Life is never going to be perfect, but neither it’s going to be sucky all the time. Every dog has its day. That’s why it is great having positive, optimistic people around us who serve as examples of struggle and success. The complaining attitude does harm not only to you but to others around you. I have SO many friends who literally avoid friends and family members who treat them as dumpsters of their sufferings. You know what? My life isn’t perfect either but you don’t see me running my mouth around everyone. Deal with it and have a heart-to-heart catharsis when problems are meaningful and they deserve to be shared.
They put you down
There’s a potent amount of insecurity in these friends about themselves which stirs up jealousy whenever something good happens in your life. See, these self-entitled brats think everything good should happen to them but instead in their heads, everything does south in their lives. So whenever anything worth cherishing will come to you, their jealous asses will become obvious and they’ll put the wrong ideas in your head. Ever wonder why some friends give you wrong advice about your stable relationships over petty fights, or tell you you have gained weight, you look too skinny, you’re really dumb or generally not good enough? YEP that piece of shit has been pretending to be your friend the whole time but can NEVER digest anyone being better than them (when you already are). They transfer this insecurity in you and you end up second-guessing everything you do. MOVE AWAY NOW! Never doubt yourself, even if you’re wrong there will be a lesson to learn.
They’re the center of gravity
With these drama queens, everything has to be about them. They’re narcissistic pricks who believe anything happening in the world has some link to them. Their bragging is so hard to buy that you actually making fun of these predictable cause-and-effect stories narrated by them. You tell them about something important that just happened, or why you’re really depressed, they’ll feign concern, utter some cliched advice and INSTANTLY rivet the compass towards their own selves, their trivial shit that is apparently more important than whatever is happening with you. I had a friend who was narrating his dad’s health issues (some tests that had to be done, nothing ominous) over the phone on the day of my wedding, while I was getting my hair and makeup done! So if you’re tired of getting your thunder stolen every now and then by the same sicko, loser spotted!
Part-time friendship/ Hypocrisy
While they make you feel like the meanest person alive for not being there for them, for not doing enough, for not taking out time for them, they will never be physically or emotionally present for you when you need them. Infuriatingly, they’ll party and have all the fun minus you but when there is need for venting out melodrama or need for any sort of help, they’ll come crawling back to you. They have a stable pattern of having an unstable presence as a friend.
Your gut tells you something is wrong
Almost all the time you know inside that there’s something fishy about a person or a situation but we’re so forced by nature and society to be understanding, accommodating and sympathetic that we allow tides sweep above our heads and make things worst. We should be and very much are in control of our lives yet we somehow allow inconsequential people to manipulate and use us emotionally, physically and financially just because we simply cannot say NO to them. The journey of starting to stand up for yourself and refusing in our best interests is one we are all going to make; the sooner the better.
Whether it’s the grandiose lies, the repetitive self-harming behavior, constant need of favors, belittling your self-esteem or competing with you, there are many cues of having unworthy, thankless and selfish people in your life that label themselves as friends but are only blood sucking vampires. The sooner you let them go, the better you will be. Being alone is always better than being with manipulative people who drain you out.