Five Ways To Get Rid Of A Toxic Friend
"Make new friends, but keep the old, One is silver and the other gold."-Girl Scout Song
And, unfortunately, some are just slug nickels.
Well, you “kinda sorta” liked him or her, at first. They seemed ok and nice enough. After all, you don’t become friends with a jerk, right? They might do or say something nice, seem fun to be around, etc. But after a while you realize, they have another side of them.
I compare a toxic friend to a fisherman. They put an tasty bait on the hook, you bite, they reel you in, and eat you for dinner.
The only difference is, a toxic friend wants to eat your SOUL for dinner.
So, how can you identify the species I like to call frendous toxicous?
- They just want you to do this ONE favor for them, which turns into two, and then a dozen.
- They make you feel guilty for hanging around other people, not calling them back, or forgetting their nieces’ daughter’s birthday.
- They put you down CONSTANTLY.
- They mooch, they steal, and they invite themselves over all the time.
- They gossip about everyone, so chances are, they gossip about YOU too.
- They try to stir up trouble between you and your spouse, pointing out their flaws and shortcomings. Before you know it, you are mad at your poor spouse.
- Worse of all, they’re leeches and very difficult to rip off.
To get rid of them, you need to get serious!
1. First of all, you need to start screening your calls.
If their caller ID pops up, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, BUDDHA AND ZEUS, DON’T ANSWER! Ok, you are tempted in some morbid fashion, because after all, they had some good qualities and you had some fun with them. But seriously, you can’t be available to these people, anymore, PERIOD!
For my toxic friend, I put a special ringer on my phone just for her. I used a Chris Tucker voice clip from the movie "Friday": “Don’t ever EVER..evereverever come by here…ok?!?”
There is a dual purpose here: I don’t have to run to my phone to see who it is, and also, I get a humorous reminder of why I don’t want to be friends with her anymore.
2. Throw Emily Post out the window.
They say in the National Parks, “DON’T FEED THE BEARS.” You need to adopt this motto for your toxic friend situation. Just like bears, if you feed them once, they will come back.
There is a time and place to be a gracious host/hostess, and a time not to act like a doormat. When your toxic friend comes over in the middle of dinner, let them sit there and watch you eat. For someone like me, this can be difficult; you think, I don’t want to be “rude” and eat in front of them. But remember, this is what they are counting on!
Example: I already had company at my camp when my toxic friend neighbor “coincidentally” came over to sit her butt down at our picnic table while I was making dinner for our guests. She kept offering to help me, awww how sweet, right? SUCKER. She was just fishing for a proper invite to our repast, and I knew it. So, I politely waved off her offers of help and we all had second and third helpings, right in front of her nose. She got the hint.
3. Walk away.
They won’t stop yapping even after you have told them several times that you need to go? Take advice from Kelly Clarkson: you need to just walk away.
Remember: you aren't the one being rude!
4. Forget the special occasions.
When my toxic friend and I were still in the honeymoon stage (the stage before you realize your friend is a total soul-sucker),I surprised her with an upside-down pineapple cake for her birthday. She raved about this cake, and I was very pleased with myself. Unfortunately, my nice gesture made her believe I was her private bakery. Every year since, she requested cakes for her daughter, husband, granddaughter’s birthdays. Not only did she have the gall for that, but she wanted them done in a certain way, and delivered to the recipients at a certain time. Now, she would offer to pay me, but I felt weird about that. She was my "friend", after all (haha). But it also sucked all the joy out of doing something nice for someone. It became a chore.
So, stop sending birthday cards, gifts, or knowledge any sort of way a special occasion, even if they knowledge yours. This might be a tough thing to do, but you have to be strong. If you back slide, you are back to square one.
5. If all else fails, be a complete …you-know-what.
They still aren't getting the hint? Ok, make plans with them, elaborate plans. Confirm them several times. And then, don’t show. If they run into you and ask you what happened, just shrug and say you just didn't feel like going, or something else came up.
Just so you know, this isn't something I've ever done, or could do. I’m still too much of a sap to be act that way. However, if you have the kahunas, more power to you!
Some of you might be asking, "why can't you be just honest with your toxic friend and tell them exactly how you feel?"
Well, in my situation, I did just that. They still didn't get it!!! She blamed my anger at her as "misdirected," that I was really mad at my husband!!! HUH???
I think most toxic people are in extreme denial of their behavior. They think they are the most awesome friend ever. This is why they are so difficult to get rid of; they just can't imagine why you wouldn't want anything to do with them!
So, good luck dealing with your toxic friend. It took me 2 years to finally get rid of mine. With consistency and discipline, you can do it! Be strong!