Toxic Friendships: 8 Ways to Let Go of Them

Friendships and social networks are essential to our well-being. We also get to choose our friends so we expect friendships to be drama free, unlike family relationships. Because of that, we often fail to see how deeply toxic friendships can impact our lives, work, and well-being.

While a good friendship can make you feel safe, content, wanted and respected, a toxic one can leave you with an unending feeling of being drained, exhausted, and worried. But when are friendships considered to be toxic? Toxic is a word we use to describe behaviors that poison or break relationships. A friend might have violated our trust, refused to return a favor, turned cold or distant.

As a result of holding onto friendships that negatively impact you, you can start to experience inner conflicts which can cause frustration, depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It is not always easy to gauge where your relationship stands but understanding the signs of toxic friendships is essential to your well-being and self-care. Here are some of the signs you can look for in an unhealthy relationship:

  • Negative Competition : You constantly feel pressured to compete with each other. Every activity you engage in turns into a competition, reflecting a negative rivalry.
  • Selfish Conduct: A toxic friend may always want you to compromise, adjust or put off your plans so that your priority would be theirs. They usually do not care about your agenda and often make plans disregarding it.
  • Selfish Conduct: A toxic friend may always want you to compromise, adjust or put off your plans so that your priority would be theirs. They usually do not care about your agenda and often make plans disregarding it.
  • Putting you down: They often do not encourage you in all endeavors. Instead of offering support, they criticize.
  • Imitation: A bad friend may want to buy or do exactly the same thing as you do, not as a healthy bonding but to attract the praises and compliments that you are getting.
  • Jealousy : In a toxic friendship, it is not uncommon for your friend to get jealous of you, your achievements, looks or clothes.
  • Constant Criticism: All you can hear from your friend is criticism and judgment. They usually do not offer advice, only criticism on your choices.
  • Discredit you: A toxic friend will tend to discredit your progress and milestones, leaving you with low self-esteem and doubts.
  • Lying: Revealing secrets that you’ve entrusted them with is a sign that a friend might not have your best interest at heart. Constant lies can be told by them which makes it hard to trust your friend.

Impacts of Toxic Friendships on your Health.

Furthermore, these type of relationships can even have an impact on your immune system. Constant stress can lead to cardiac issues, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.

Treatment at AKUA

At AKUA Mind & Body, our clinical team understands the importance of maintaining good mental health. We believe that providing high-quality care to clients is essential for them to heal from various types of mental illnesses. We offer specialized treatment programs for men and women with trauma and mental health issues which co-occurring disorders, and abuse disorders in Northern and Southern California To learn more about our treatment programs, please call our 24/7 Admissions helpline at 833-AKUA-NOW for a confidential assessment.  

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