Dump Your Toxic Friends, Be Happier

If you are like 80 percent of women (80 percent!), then you've had a "toxic" friend at some point. We may not always know it right away, but we all know that feeling when you hang out with someone and end up feeling worse about yourself or when everything she says to you is a thinly veiled insult. They can be hard to dump, but the dump is necessary and the key to happiness.

Life is just too short to hate your friends. So how do you spot a toxic friend? It isn't always easy. Even harder is the actual realization that your "friend" is, indeed, toxic. It took me about a year to finally admit that one friend's insecure rantings against me every time we hung out weren't my fault.


Even when all of my friends who had met her said she was toxic over a period of years, I still believed she wasn't. It was only when she started insulting my children that I finally decided to let that bird fly. And she was only the first of a few people I've had to dump over the years.

And here is how I knew they had to go:

  • You feel worse after hanging with her: There are some friends who make you feel like you just visited a spa. They remind you how happy you can be and make you want to be your best you. She doesn't do that.
  • Her comments have double meaning: You know the kind of comments that feel more like insults? Yeah. She does those. A lot. You get a lot of "oh your hair looks so much better than it did for the past six years" types of comments. They can be like time bombs you think are compliments until you think about them later and realize they were insults.
  • She is jealous of you: If you get a lot of sighing and "must be nice" type comments from her, she may be jealous of you and, if so, watch it. This can very quickly become a relationship in which she constantly demeans you to make herself feel better.
  • She doesn't have her crap together: The friend whose hair you hold while she pukes at 20 is cute. At 30, she is annoying. These friends become vampires, usurping the time you should be spending on things to help yourself.
  • All of her other friends have bailed: If you're the only friend she has had for more than a couple years, watch out. She is probably not someone you want to be around too much longer.
  • She usurps hours of your time: I had a "friend" who used to call me once a week, ostensibly to ask how I was, and then launch into three- and four-hour tirades only about herself. This went on for years. Finally, I had children and a family and I had things to talk about too, and I quickly realized I never got a word in about myself. Yeah. Not a good friend.

It isn't easy to do, but sometimes it must be done for sanity's sake. And like a Band-Aid, you will feel so much better once it's off and done.

How do you know when to dump a friend?


Image via Untitled blue/Flickr

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