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How To Spot And Deal With Toxic Friends

Updated on March 7, 2016

What Do I Mean By A 'Toxic' Friend?

- A person who has narcissistic behavior.

- A person who always believes that they are right about something.

-A person who overreacts over minor problems.

- A person who tells lies often/ they steer away from direct answers.

- A person who is highly dependent on others and they may show signs of addiction.

- A person who shows signs of desperation

- A person who uses sarcasm almost constantly.

- A person who is always complaining and blaming others for their own failing.

- A person who gossips and picks out faults about other people to make them feel better about themselves.

- A person who generally treats people poorly.

- A person who over exaggerates about an achievement by bragging.

- A person who tries to take control over you.

-Simply someone that your instinct tells you to steer clear from.

Please note, you should look for at least 5 of these personality traits within a person before associating them as 'toxic'.

Here's A Video To Help You SPOT A Toxic Friend

Advice For Dealing With Them

Persist With Happiness

If you can smile, laugh and be happy, you may just be improving a toxic persons attitude and outlook on life. When you smile at someone, you are non-verbally telling them that you think they are emotionally stable, secure, pleasant, attractive and likeable. Simply smiling at someone can be extremely powerful skill to have because it can transform someone with a negative attitude and low self esteem to someone who has a positive attitude with confidence in their appearance. It is important to persist with happiness in order to be perceived as confident and this will put you on a different wavelength to your toxic friend so that you shouldn't fall victim to there negativity.

Be Conscious Of Your Emotions

When approaching a toxic person, you need the right balance of awareness in order to keep an emotional distance. For example, although it is very tricky to avoid being offended in anyway, the most effective way of doing this is to try and be unaware that you are being offended or think of something that makes you happy so that this translates to your expression. Admittedly, you do have to be able to see the insult coming for this to effectively work, but being able to block out negative language and approaches is an incredibly useful skill to have. This tip all comes down to being half engaged with the conversation. Engage physically but not emotionally, with the exception of happiness (smiling and laughing). Tip- In lots of tricky social situations, smiling and nodding occasionally is the best trick because you are perceived as someone who listens and someone who is friendly.

Don't Dwell In The Problem. Rise Above It With Solution


Whenever you start to feel defeated by a problem and start to give up hope, your emotional state becomes much more negative. If you start thinking about steps you can take to solve a problem, then there will be a reversed effect and you will have positive emotional state and reduced stress. In this case, the problem would be the toxic person. So what should you do? Don't dwell on how difficult they are to interact with. Instead, you should be thinking about how you can handle them. This will put you in control as opposed to them and it will essentially benefit you.

Set Your Boundaries

The more you try to handle the toxic person, the more you will succeed. This is because you will soon be able to understand their mannerisms in a way that will allow you to predict how they will act. You can use this knowledge to your advantage and here's one way how. If for example the toxic person is someone that you are working with for a group project, arrange to meet them at a time and place that you know will be easy to handle them. For example, somewhere quiet like a silent study area so they stay focused. Or somewhere where there's a cash machine near by so that if they ask to borrow money from you, you can point them in the direction of the cash machine. The point is... plan your moves, take control and don't let them alter your boundaries.

Never Forget

You should always forgive but never forget. Whilst it can be very difficult to forgive someone for offending you or mistreating you, it will certainly free you from stress and anxiety because you won't be thinking about enemies that you've made all the time. Worrying about things like this can impact you're lifestyle by causing a lack of sleep and negative thought processes and this negativity can be the primary cause of failure in things such as work and projects. This being said, don't ever forget the way you've been treated by someone. Remember their mannerisms so that you know what to steer clear of in the future. By remembering how a toxic person acts, you will be able to grow thicker skin and conquer tricky situations with them in the future.


What Is The Source Of Their Toxicity?

If you decide that it is impossible to dissociate yourself from the toxic person, then just really get to know them. Go for a quiet walk with them and ask lots of questions, try and locate what is making this person toxic because there's probably a reason. For example, perhaps they've had a negative past and they carry that with them. They may even find your questioning and interest in them quite endearing and this may allow the person to release any tension and stress that they have.

When dealing with a toxic person you should take all of the pointers above in to consideration. If there's one thing that you should remember to do whilst acting upon these pointers, it is to be Firm and Stay In Control!

Here's An Additional Video To Help You DEAL With A Toxic Friend

How Many Potentially Toxic Friends Do You Have?

See results

© 2016 Alex

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