Is your friendship worth keeping?
An insight into toxic friendships between women
We meet all different types of people throughout our lifetime. Some say these people come into your life for a reason, regardless of a negative or positive influence. As an empathetic person, I’ve had a lot of so called “friendships” which prey on my incessant need to wear my heart on my sleeve and inevitably drain the life out of me. Some of my friendships with other women have been tumultuous, dramatic, and even heartbreaking. It always amazes me how quickly a friend can lose trust they’ve attempted to build for years. If you’ve stumbled upon this article by happenstance, or searched for advice in the quest for the reason why you always attract dramatic and stressful friends- you’ve come to the right place.
The purpose of this article is to share with all of you the knowledge I’ve learned through the years. My advice is only meant for friendships between females; the male-female friendship is a different blog entirely. Unfortunately there are too many people in this world that take advantage of others, and although you may know this person is toxic to your life, you still keep taking their abuse and hoping things will get better. If you have ever asked yourself why you continue a friendship with this person, read carefully and see if she falls into the following categories.
At some point in your life you meet a girl who seems nice at the surface. She could be pretty, popular, or even extremely outgoing. If you’ve never been backstabbed before, you may even let her know personal things about you that you’ve never told anyone else. Whether your confessions were “in the moment” or just plain temporary insanity; saying “I’ve never told anyone else this” is music to their ears. Nothing is better to a tattletale than knowing something about you that’s extremely embarrassing and using it against you in an argument or announcing it to other friends or even strangers. If you’re smart, you’ll realize that you can never tell her something so personal again and disconnect all ties with “the tattletale.” Unfortunately, more often than not you become friends again even if no apology is given.
The tattletale is particularly dangerous because if she’s turned her back on you once she’s most likely to do it again. If you have a tattletale friend and you chose to keep your friendship, be advised that you can never fully open up to her and show her who you really are. Most importantly, DON’T LET HER KNOW ANYTHING PERSONAL that can be used against you.
Like the Tattletale, the gossiper also can take you by surprise. Ever have a friend that loves to tell you dirt on other people? Sure, you might secretly enjoy it, but have you ever thought about what she tells other people about you? Have you ever been shocked when you heard what was said about you- most often falsified, outlandish or completely exaggerated? Let me warn you, you do NOT in ANY way need this particular type of friend. You will be unable to trust her, or even feel that you can vent your frustrations in confidence. The Gossiper THRIVES on information, and loves to know the “dirt” or “juice” on other people. These girls LIVE for this information. If you want to keep your friendship with her, make absolute sure that you never comment when she is talking about someone else. More often than not, the she said she said rumors get started, and once the gossiper starts she will never stop or admit her mistakes and false statements.
The Fair-weather Friend
A Fair-weather Friend is someone who is only around when she’s not in a relationship. Once she meets a man, she’ll stop taking your calls and avoid making any plans. Most often, you will hear from them again when they have relationship problems or have broken up with their boyfriend. Fair-weather friends are commonly around during high school years, but some women never grow out of this habit. As we get older, we get less and less tolerant of this immature behavior and begin to expect this pattern from your Fair-weather friend. In this case, it’s truly up to you whether or not this person is worth continuing a friendship with.
The Mooch is someone who only uses you for what she deems necessary. This can range from borrowing money, clothes or other possessions, to using you for a ride or picking her up after she tells you a sob story. We all have had a few of these types of “friends”, and inevitably they will drain the life out of you. The Mooch will not commonly ask you directly for things, but she will allude to the fact she needs money to buy clothes or food, or that she’s stuck somewhere “dangerous” and can’t get a ride home. DO NOT EVER fall for this girl’s BS. DO NOT EVER loan her money. My father once told me “Never loan anyone more than $20, no matter how well you know them.” I have found this advice to be true, and wish to this day I had listened to him at a younger age.
If you “loan” her money, NEVER expect to get it back. Knowing this of course means that you can’t get upset if she decides to spend the money she does get on her own for her hair, nails, drug of choice, or other frivolous things. If you loan her any of your possessions, don’t expect to get them back. If she does return them, they will either not be in the same condition or she will put up a fight and practically make you stalk her to get it back. STAY FAR AWAY FROM THE MOOCH!! Nothing good can ever come from a friendship with this type of person. You will end up resenting yourself for putting up with her crap for so long!
The One-Way Friendship
The One-Way Friendship is a variation of The Mooch and an easy one to define. Frankly stated, you are her friend but she is not your friend. Have you ever been woken up in the middle of the night to your friend crying her eyes out saying “I need to talk to you” and you listened no matter what was planned the next day (not that she asks you of course)? She will interrupt you at any time of the day or night with some type of crisis, completely oblivious to your life. You listen intently to try to give the best advice possible knowing that she most likely won’t listen to you anyway, yet when you try and call her about a problem you’re having she’s “too busy” or “distracted” or “will call you back later”?
If you chose to remain friends with this person, understand that she is not the person you can turn to when you have a problem. She is so concerned about herself and her life that she knows practically nothing about you. When you try to open up about yourself, she turns the conversation to herself and instead of helping she’s more concerned about her own life. This type of friendship forces you to lose a lot of sleep and gain even more frustration. However, the best part about a One-Way Friendship is that since she knows practically nothing about you, there is nothing she can use against you.
The Drama Queen
The type of friendship requires very little explanation. This girl needs to be the center of attention ALL the time, even at other people’s birthday parties or special events. Much like the One-Way Friendship, the Drama Queen will turn every single day into some dramatic extravagant crisis. She will frequently get in arguments with random people, and even start arguments with you which blow up to an insanely dramatic climax and extremely unpleasant downfall. The Drama Queen will make absolutely everything about her, and will make it clear that if you do not give her the proper attention she will do something, anything, to get your attention and the attention of others.
Some people think we need a little drama in our lives. If you chose to stay friends with The Drama Queen, stay out of her way, give her the attention she needs, and accept her the way she is. There is nothing you can do to change her ways; just don’t get caught up in her drama- it will only lead to a bad ending.
So… do you really have a good friendship?
If you have read through this article and find you’re surrounded by these types of friendships, reevaluate who you’re hanging out with and decide once and for all if they’re worth your time and effort. Several times in my life I’ve had “friends” who have caused me so much heartache and pain that it was difficult to trust ANYONE else. These girls didn’t hesitate to stab me in the back for personal gain, and moved on with their lives like nothing happened so they could destroy someone else’s life.
The type of friendship worth keeping relies on mutual trust and understanding. You need someone who listens to your concerns and you listen to theirs. Hanging out together is fun instead of dramatic and overwhelming. True friends treat you with the same respect you treat them, and you shouldn’t be giving out more of yourself than she is. A true friend knows and respects who you are as a person, and even if they live in another state, no matter how much time goes by you can pick up where you left off.
But the question still remains…
Why do I attract these types of people to my life?
For me, the answer is simple. I’m a stay at home mom with few friends from my school years. The friends I do have, I have put up with more of their crap than necessary. Simply put, I thought I would rather have some friends than none at all. That’s when I came to the realization that I prefer to be alone than have to deal with all the ridiculous drama and unnecessary situations these girls put me through.
Just because you surround yourself with these types of people does not mean you’re a loser or an idiot. Unfortunately, when someone sees it’s easy to take advantage of someone else then they often will. For example, have you ever found yourself constantly giving a friend money because they complain incessantly about being hungry, not having clothes, etc… but never once do they offer to buy you so much as a coffee? You give in to her whining and complaining just like she knows you will, and finally it gets to the point where you don’t expect any reciprocation. DO NOT DO THIS TO YOURSELF!! You are too good of a person to put yourself through all of this BS. If you find yourself thinning out your friends fairly quickly, please remember there are other ways to meet people. I have met some of my good friends online through blog writing, moms groups and even facebook games. They are from all over the world with different perspectives and even though they are not physically someone to hang out with, each and every one of them is someone I can turn to for advice.
Bottom line girls, take a good look at the types of people that are around you and use this guide to help. If you do not want to cut ties for fear of losing friends, then just remember to keep your distance from telling her your personal problems.
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