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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. One of my closest friends lives in Turin in Italy and I haven’t seen her in years but we still stay in touch. When I do speak to her I get the best advice, giggles and love.
I’m planning to 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 are not 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, am I right?
There were times where I felt like someone had 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 perceived as stronger than me act that way, so simply put I copied them.
This is why toxic people need to leave your life, right now. Eventually their behaviours will rub off on you. As difficult as it sounds, the change starts with you.
So, here’s a little case study, 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 who I hope deep down will do the communicating for me.
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 also…
Can you see how they have power over me from the get go? I’m practically inviting them in.
I think there’s a huge difference between being self assured and confident, to needing to dominate every conversation this is definitely a sign of a power struggle and a red flag.
It’s a habit that needs to be changed, 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.
What defines a toxic person?
Simply put a toxic person is someone who’s bad for you. They usually start off being lovely, the friend or lover that you’ve always wanted.
They might stand up for you, they compliment you to make you feel more confident, they teach you how to be a better version of yourself (this is because the actual version of you isn’t good enough, in their mind by the way).
I think what’s interesting about toxic people is that they’re often surrounded by drama, at first I guess this is exciting but I can assure you after a while it becomes tiresome…
I also think it’s important to point out that everybody can exhibit toxic traits. We can all make mistakes, get angry and say thing we regret, or try to control things when we feel like we can’t…
In all honesty I hate the term ‘toxic’, because we can all be toxic. I truly believe that we are all capable of shadow work, introspection, healing and change if we really desire to.
What I’m referring to when I say ‘toxic’ are the people who aren’t on our path at the same time. They haven’t decided to heal yet, or they’ve decided not to because they’re not ready to. We meet them to teach us a lesson about ourselves. Simply put they’re just people, they’re not toxic people, they are toxic for us.
Toxicity will feed on your insecurities and more importantly, lull you into that fantasy. At the start of it might all seem perfect, too perfect, know that it is far from real and it will lead to a lot of pain at the end…
If we choose not to notice the signs, or take the time to heal ourselves first, we fall into a repetition of these behaviours. We will keep meeting the same behaviours and experiencing these patterns until we decide to heal ourselves.
For example I made friends with a women that travelled in similar social circles when I was young. She openly flirted with my boyfriend’s in front of me, she publicly belittled and ridiculed me. She made it very clear that they didn’t like me, so I moved on….
…Only to then befriend me years later when I was a low point, lacking confidence within myself, telling me that she only behaved liked that because she thought I didn’t like her! Did I fall for it? Yep.
It seems that she just wanted to mess with me, but I already knew that didn’t I? … and yet I fell for the love bombing and the flattery years later when I lacked confidence…
Isn’t that interesting?
What you have to understand about toxicity is that you let it in. You believe what people say and ignore the signs. There is no change within them, these people are bad and they like it like that but there is also no change within yourself to respect yourself and leave these people behind.
If people like to make you think that you are the problem, know that you’re not the reason they’re behaving like this. But because you let them into your life and didn’t notice the signs, it is your fault that they’re there.
You have to take responsibility so that you can begin to heal..
Or watch them infiltrate your life and your head space. They will twist everything they can and you will continue on the cycle until you decide to heal and get stronger.
Four signs of toxicity that will drag you down…
They crave power over you and this is just one of the ways they will do that. They mess with your reality so that you doubt yourself, your abilities and thoughts. Why? In short, it’s for control over you.
You begin to learn very quickly that you’re actions will have consequences and you doubt yourself and everything you do as you are unsure of how they will react. They’re unpredictable, unkind and you want to please them so that they won’t do the same to you.
If you find yourself friends with someone and you’re worrying about the multiple ways that they might respond to your actions, they’re probably toxic for you. Deep down in your soul something won’t feel right.
Toxic people love to gossip. If they gossip about others, they will gossip about you.
For example, 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? Are they telling them what they said, but saying it was you who said it?
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.
Toxic people need to go so that you can heal and get stronger.
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 and the way you do this? You do it 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 affected but if those people are good friends they will come back to you, listen and understand, I promise.
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. Over time I became empowered and learnt that I was the one navigating my life and I didn’t have to put up with people like this.
Anyway, don’t let toxicity spoil your day, you’re one of a kind and your life will be so much better without them.
You need to stop seeing that toxic friend, stop doubting yourself.