Handling A Toxic Friendship

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Frenemy relationships are far more psychological (controlling, passive-aggressive or demeaning) than physical. It’s usually not as extreme as domestic abuse, because friends have an easier time, generally, walking away from abuse than romantic or family relationships. Since people tend to downplay the misuse of a friend; victims of it keep it a secret.

How to tell if a friend is a”frenemy” (alternating pronouns)

1. She gossips behind your back. If she says awful things about you to your pals, or informs others secrets you shared in confidence, she’s trying to build herself up by undermining you.

2. He’s unreliable. If he does not keep his promises, or is always late, or likely to not show at all, he does not care about you.

3. She is jealous or angry when something good happens to you. This isn’t the attitude of a friend, this is a competitor.

4. You only hear from him if he wants something from you. If he only contacts you when he wants a ride, or for you to take him to dinner, or help him with homework or a job, or be his”wing man” when he needs to troll at a pub; then he is just using you, and he is not really a friend.

5. She lets you know you’re second best. If she suddenly breaks a date or she is unavailable if she’s a”better offer” from a date or a popular buddy, she is not a real friend.

6. He criticizes you, your accomplishments, your loved ones, your house, your job or your friends. A good friend doesn’t subject you to a continuous barrage of negativity and criticism. A fantastic friend may feel the need to tell you a challenging truth, but even that may be said with kindness.

7. She lets you cover items and give her things and do things for her, but she seldom or never reciprocates. Even if there’s a difference in your financial status, a fantastic friend will try to reciprocate with whatever she can afford: a home made meal or treat in return for taking her out to lunch; or assisting you with something in return for something that you purchased.

8. He flirts with your girlfriend or somebody he knows you’re interested in, or he tries to steal your very best friend from you. This isn’t a friend, this is a rival. A good friend would be happy to see you happy and support your other relationships.

9. When there’s a problem between you, she won’t admit she is wrong, or apologize or talk about it. Friends can have problems, it is a natural part of relationships; but good friends can talk through it, work it out, apologize and forgive each other.

10. He’s jealous of your success or happiness. A good friend can encourage you and celebrate with you, even when you’re doing better than he is.

The Way to sensitively and diplomatically handle envious friends:

• What a pain in the butt!! She is late for lunch, she’s constantly complaining or whining, she does not pay you back. But, she is your friend, so what do you do? She’s easy to teach, if you do it right. Let her know what you like about what she does, then she will hear you when you say you don’t like something. Use silence: if you don’t like what she’s doing or saying, do not respond; she’ll find the message, without a word.

• Set limits: If he is habitually late, make sure he knows when the timing is significant (you hate to miss the first five minutes of the movie) and when time is not an issue (you can read a book or talk to a buddy until he arrives) When time is critical, tell him if he’s not prepared by xxx time, you will leave without him. It’s wonderful how well that works.

• Don’t be too strict about it: if she’s a great reason, or it is only occasional, cut her a little slack.

• Don’t react to obnoxious things, but only politely ignore what he is saying or doing, and maintain a pleasant demeanor. In case you must treat him like a misbehaving child, so be itjust do not let him drag you into bad behaviour of your own.

• People who react this way are often in plenty of emotional pain in their lives. Be as understanding as possible, be happy to follow your friend’s feelings to a fair degree, but don’t let their battle ruin your good feelings about yourself. If possible, offer the friend time with you, to help her feel special and important. Often, openly thanking her for nice things she has done will help maintain her pacified.

• Understand underlying causes of bad behaviour: People who’ve always felt competitive toward you’re most likely to misbehave, to get attention in that manner. If someone’s behavior becomes a problem, set some limits. Tell the friend right what behaviour is unacceptable (like making nasty remarks when you are around other friends) and tell him you can not be his friend if his behavior doesn’t improve.

• Don’t be scared to speak with friends about what friendship means to you: is it OK to cancel a date with a girlfriend (or her with you) because you get a better offer from a guy? Because of family illness or problems? How much loyalty do you anticipate in the friendship, and what does that mean?

• Be honest. Lying to your buddy about whether you’ve broken an agreement does more damage than breaking the agreement. If you do something with another buddy, tell the truth do not protect the jealous friend. It gives him a false impression.

• Handling difficult personalities takes skill and knowhow. Here is a technique anyone can learn how to use that works every time.

Adult time out:

If someone behaves badly on your presence, giving that adult a”workout” is a powerful and subtle method of fixing the issue. Modern parents use a time out to field small kids. An adult variation of the time out works as well on any adult friend who’s acting childish or misbehaving. Just become very distant and considerate around the person who is not treating you well. Be very polite, so they can’t accuse you of being unpleasant, rude or mean. There is no need to explain what you’re doing: the problem person will find the message from your behavior, which is much more effective.

If you’ve never tried this, you’ll be surprised at how effective it can be to become polite and pleasant but distant. Most of the time, your friend’s behaviour will immediately become more subdued around you, and frequently, more caring.

Eventually, they might ask you what’s wrong, or why you have changed, and at the point you’ve got an chance to tell her what the problem behavior is, and why you do not like it. Learning to put obnoxious friends in time outs right at the beginning of unpleasant behaviour can make it unnecessary to use tougher tactics in any respect. And if the individual’s behavior doesn’t change, you can leave them in”time out” and you’ll be protected from it.

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