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Five Categories of Toxic Friendships

I once had a friend who would do anything to get the attention back to him. If we had a conversation and it was my term to vent, he'd get distracted and center the conversation back on him. At first, I did not recognize it, but after a while, I saw how imbalanced the relationship was and ended it.

Often, we give our friendships more patience and compassion than we give anyone. We hear stories about their background and want to save them. We want to protect them. We want to give them the encouragement their parents should’ve given them, but soon we realize that it is not enough and it is not our job.

Below I’ve outlined categories of friends that you should be wary of: Shade Queens This friend loves to embarrass others. They use moments when everyone is around to bring attention to you. It isn’t fun or light shade. It is extremely hurtful information to be revealed publicly for their amusement. One-Upper  This friend is insecure and uses every moment to one-up you. If you won an award, they won the same award and were given even more praise. If you got a new car, they know someone who bought the same vehicle. If you had a great date, they’ve had an even better date. The competition is non-stop and it hinders you from sharing because you don’t want to engage in this one-sided battle. Energy vampires Whenever you talk to this friend it is all complaints. They never have anything positive to say. Even when you change the subject, they find a way to make it negative. So, you leave every conversation completely drained. Man-worshippers  This friend loves attention from men. Everything she does is inspired by men. She loves men so much that she belittles other women to make herself look more desirable. She may even throw you under the bus and make you look crazy for that attention. Narcissistic friends This friend creates stories to elicit sympathy. The goal is to bring attention to themselves. It is especially pronounced in conversations. They want the conversation to be centered around them and when you veer away from that, they do anything to get the conversation back to them. They’ll go so far as to find a distraction to make them become the center of attention again.

“There’s a person in the “taker role” who’s under-functioning, immature, addicted, entitled, personality disordered, selfish, troubled, or some combination of these. They rely on their partner to cater to them, to assume or soften the negative consequences of their actions, and/or to compensate for their under-functioning. Some have narcissistic and manipulative qualities. Meanwhile, the partner in the “codependent giver role” is usually an empathic, forgiving, competent, and helpful person. They consistently play the role of sacrificing caregiver, rescuer, supporter, or confidante. They often believe that with enough love and support, they can “fix” their loved one and help them realize their potential, but in fact, they usually end up enabling them. ”[1]

Remember, friendships cannot develop the pattern above without an enabler. This relationship cannot exist without your participation.  So, ask yourself, the following questions.  ·      “In my efforts to be there for them, have I sacrificed other important relationships, my physical or mental health, my happiness, my finances, or my career or personal development?” [2] ·      Am I starting to feel taken advantage of and resentful about the sacrifices I’ve made for this person? ·      Am I largely meeting my friend’s needs for care and consideration while they rarely meet mine?  ·      Are friends and loved ones expressing concern about my imbalanced relationship and how much I’m sacrificing for my romantic partner? People change; however, you can’t accept fundamentally toxic behavior. Friendships are bonds that shape you in every way. Like romantic relationships, they can add to your life or subtract from your life. [1] [2]


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