Spot Your Toxic Friends
Good friends last a lifetime, but others come and go - and that’s OK. Some friendships become strained, and you have to know when to let them go. Judith Sills, author of The Comfort Trap or, What if You’re Riding a Dead Horse?, says if you have any of the following friends in your life, it might be time to let them go, so you can concentrate on your healthier relationships. Here they are:
- The psychodrama friend. Her awful boss. Her evil neighbors. Everything is drama. Now, some crises require our full attention, no matter what – a bad health report, an ill child, the death of a parent. However, if you find yourself consoling your friend for the 10th time because her kid didn’t make honor roll - which of course means she’s failing miserably as a mother – it may be time to stop offering your shoulder. A hallmark of toxic friendships is when you leave them feeling utterly exhausted.
- The flake-factor friend. You have to reschedule your lunch date because she “totally forgot about it.” Or he bails on picking you up at the airport at the last minute because something “came up.” Sills says if you have to do things like give your friend fake start times for meals, movies, or meetings because you know they’ll be running half an hour late, the clock may be running out on this friendship.
- The one-upper. You both agree to bring salad to the neighborhood barbeque, and she shows up with hers displayed in a hand painted pottery bowl, adorned with gourmet croutons she had flown in from Italy. Or you tell your buddy about the summer camp you found for the kids, and he asks if it has horseback riding and tennis courts, like the one his kids will be going to. If your friend is constantly going for first place in a contest you didn’t even know you’d entered, it might be time to end the game.