I’ve had many toxic friends over the years. In fact I’ve got to a point in life where I feel doubtful as to whether friends are even real or a good thing.
Deep down, I know this is just the hurt talking and when I really sit back and think about it, I might only have a few true friends but those friends are real. They are the people who lift me up when I’m broken.
They’re the people who I could go for months without seeing and yet if I meet them it only feels like yesterday since I saw them. In fact one of my friends lives in Turin in Italy and I haven’t seen her in years but we still stay in touch.
Maybe I could go and visit her and blog about Italy when the pandemic has finished. I’ve always wanted to visit Italy.
Anyway the point it is, real friends are there for life. Toxic ones aren’t but the longer you have them in your life the more damage they’re going to do.
At times in the past, if I’m honest, I have been toxic myself. If you hang around with the wrong people their behaviour starts to rub off on you, right?
There were times where I felt like someone pushed my boundaries and I thought to myself what would X do?
I thought that behaving in a bad way was an appropriate way to respond. I thought I was being brave because I’d seen people who I thought were stronger than me act that way, so simply put I copied them.
This is why toxic people need to leave your life and the change starts with you.
So, for example, I’ve always been attracted to people who are louder than me. I think this is because I’m softly spoken.
I struggle to communicate with others and I don’t express my feelings well, so I tend to make friends with people whom I hope deep down will do the communicating for me.
This is a habit I’m trying to break, It’s dangerous to let someone else have a say over your voice and your emotions, they can make you into anything they want, beware.
Deep down I think I’ve always wanted to be loud, just to be able to go somewhere and not have one person point out that I’m quiet, so maybe there’s some admiration mixed in there too. They have power over me from the get go.
Not that all toxic people are loud, I know some lovely loud people too.
I think there’s a huge difference between being self assured and confident to needing to dominate every conversation.
What defines a toxic person?
A toxic person is someone who’s bad for your soul. They usually start off nice, the friend or lover or whatever that you’ve always wanted.
They might stand up for you, they make you feel confident, they teach you how to be a better version of yourself (because the actual version of you isn’t good enough, in their mind).
They feed on your insecurities and more importantly they are lulling you into a fantastic fantasy of a perfect situation that is far from real.
Personally I’ve actually become friends with women that I hated when I was younger. Women that travelled in similar social circles. They flirted with my boyfriend’s in front of me, they made bitchy comments, they made it clear they didn’t like me….
Only to befriend me years later when I was a low point, telling me that they were like that because they thought I didn’t like them! Did I fall for it? Yep.
It seems that they just wanted to mess with me. What you have to understand about toxic people is that there is no change within them, these people are bad and they like it like that.
Toxic people like to make you think that you are the problem. You’re the reason they’re behaving like this, actually it was your fault that this situation happened, you caused it, because you let them in and didn’t notice the signs.
They will twist everything they can.
They crave power over you and this is one way that they can do that. They mess with your reality.
You begin to learn very quickly that you’re actions will have consequences.
This makes you doubt yourself and everything you do as you are unsure of how they will react.
They’re unpredictable and if you find yourself friends with someone and you’re worrying about the multiple ways they might respond to your actions, they’re probably toxic. Deep down in your soul something won’t feel right.
The signs you’ve missed:
Toxic people love to gossip. If they gossip about others, they will gossip about you.
You might hear it first about someone you both dislike, someone that’s been mean to you in the past for instance, and think it’s funny.
You might start to hear them saying things about your friend’s that makes you feel uncomfortable or that you think is unnecessary.
A few months later they might befriend these people that they were bad mouthing and not invite you, who knows what they’re saying to them?
The point is you’ll notice there is a constant change of power with people who gossip. It’s like they’re gathering information about you, they’re finding what your weak spots are.
Whether you say anything or not, they’ll figure it out. Toxic people such as narcissists are masters of reading people.
Your strong relationships with other people start to diminish
You’ll often find your relationships with other people begin to change, although you’re not sure why or what you’ve said to upset them.
You might start to argue with them and you’re not sure why it’s happening. Toxic people want to isolate you because you’re easier to control this way.
They’ll be that shoulder you need to cry on until they feel like you’re isolated enough and then bam! They’ll pull the rug from under you and remove their attention and you’ll feel loneliness like you’ve never felt before.
Suddenly the power will shift and you’ll find yourself doing anything you can to please them so you get their attention back. Make no mistakes isolating you is deliberate.
They exploit your kind nature
You might not want to believe they’re bad people. After all, remember all those good memories you had at the beginning? Well that’s something called love bombing and there’s a good chance none of those memories are real.
This happens to sensitive, kind and caring types of people with insecurities.
Toxic people pry on people with good natures who want to do the best they can for people, because they’re like good nourishment. They know they can keep mistreating you and you will take them back again and again.
Part of the reason you do this, is because you’re a nice person and you just don’t want to believe that they are capable of the things you are seeing.
My advice? If someone pushes your boundaries and mistreats you, they’re going to keep doing it. You’re better off without them.
Toxic people get into your life like parasites, they make it hard to let go.
They twist and destroy relationships, they gain control over you, they mess with your mind. They’re hard to get rid of, so you have to be strong.
You have to cut them out of your life by not speaking to them anymore. The greatest weapon you have against people like this is your attention.
Once the toxic people in your life have gone the things that they’ve done stop hurting you.
There might be relationships that have been effected but if those people are good friends they will come back to you, listen and understand, I promise.
Toxic people need to go so you can heal and get stronger.
Lastly I wanted to talk about boundaries, because this is something I’ve been learning about this year.
Boundaries are your values, they are the limitations that you set for yourself and they are how you let others treat you.
If someone pushes your boundaries they don’t respect you, cut them out, don’t allow them to keep pushing you.
When I was growing up, I didn’t learn that I had rights and I let myself be mistreated.
It’s a lot like working on confidence, you can learn how to set boundaries. If you would like to learn more I have a free E Book available here on this site. It’s available to download here:
Anyway, don’t let toxic people spoil your day, you’re one of a kind and your life will be so much better without them.