Recently, one of my friends asked this question on Instagram: “How do you know who is toxic?” My short response was you bring their toxic ways to their attention and they don’t try to change their ways. You find yourself in a constant struggle of not talking to them for awhile versus talking to them on a regular basis. It seems they act better after a hiatus, but alas their old toxic self shows up!
I used to believe toxic people didn’t know they were toxic. However, as I’ve matured I recognize they know their toxic and they don’t care. You know why they don’t care? They don’t care because they have the number one characteristic of a toxic person – they are selfish!
Their selfish ways show up constantly. Every activity has to revolve around them. Every conversation has to revolve around them, or they make the conversation about them.
You call the toxic person to vent about something you’re going through and this is how the conversation goes: First, they compare what you’re going through with something they have went or are going through. Then, somehow the conversation turns to be all about them! After you finish the conversation, you feel worse than you felt before you called them.
Another characteristic of toxic people is they are always the victim. Someone is always doing them wrong. They don’t do anything to anyone. They mind their business 🙄🙄. You know these are all lies because you know this person! They never take responsibility for their actions.
Then, toxic people like to monopolize your time. They want to be your ONLY friend. They don’t get along with any of your other friends. As a result, you can’t invite them to group outings. The toxic person not getting along with your other friends is their way to monopolize your time.
Furthermore, toxic people are users. Most of the time you interact with them, they need something. If you analyze your relationship, you will notice the toxic person always wants something from you. The relationship seems to always be you giving and the toxic person always taking.
Finally, another classic toxic person characteristic is they are never happy for you. If you tell them about your new job, they have to mention they wanted to work for that company and they didn’t get the job. They say you must know someone that works at the job. When you tell them about your financial increase, they have to mention how they need the increase more than you need the increase.
Toxic people leave you feeling drained surrounded with negativity. Their words and actions make you question your self-esteem and worth. The reality is the relationship is built on a foundation of jealousy. You may be wondering can any good come out of this relationship?! Yes, it can!
Here’s the good: As you grow and mature, you recognize toxic relationships have no place in your circle. You recognize there is nothing wrong with severing toxic ties and moving on with your life. You will more quickly identify toxic people before you have invested your time and energy in them.
If you read this post and recognize yourself, you are the toxic friend so clap, clap! Now that you see yourself, what are you going to do about it?
For those that have or have had toxic friends, how did you determine your friend was toxic? What did you do about it? Let’s talk about it.
2 thoughts on “If You’re the Toxic Friend and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!”
What if the toxic person is a sibling. Everything you described a toxic person to be is this sibling and more. No one is off limits. Not even our parents or their children. I’ve comforted the sibling multiple times. In the end I felt nothing was resolved. I felt hurt. In fact, I was more hurt afterwards because I couldn’t get my sibling to understand the error of their ways. What’s weird is, I’m the only sibling to speak up. Everyone else speak their true feelings when they are not around. There was a time I confronted my sibling and the end result was we didn’t speak for 5 years. I’m very careful with what I say or do around them. I’ve learned to not talk about certain subjects. I’m afraid there’s a plot or I’m being secretly recorded. Yep, this has happened in the past. Even when on the phone I’m this way because someone else could possibly be on listening in. Bottom line is I love my role as a big sister and I want to be able to have a healthy relationship. What do I do? I’ve essentially given up on believing it’s even possible.
I have a similar relationship with my sister. I used to tiptoe around topics so she would be comfortable and continue to not deal with reality. I stopped it. I told her going forward I wound tel her how I feel and she wound have to learn to deal with how her actions affected me. We are not close as we could be, but the relationship we have is genuine. You should not have to be uncomfortable for your sibling to be fine. I would be genuine in our interactions and let the chips fall where they may. As difficult as it may be, we have to recognize that sometimes we will not be as close as we want to be with family members and that’s okay.