Friend Cleanse: Eliminating Negative People from Our Circles.
It was a thought that manifested at a birthday party years ago. I was surrounded by people but felt drained and alone—it was then I decided it is time to do a “Friend Cleanse.” Negative behavior is everywhere. It’s a potential in every human being, however, how we deal and allow from our friend circle must be considered. Thus, when that becomes the case, such negative individuals can be called “toxic” and should be removed.
Eliminating Toxic Friendships.
Cutting ties with anyone is rarely easy. This especially applies to friendships that have formed over long time periods.
However, cutting friends is necessary. Some “friends” are only so by name, and they manifest negative behaviors that drag us (and everyone in their surrounding) down.
Below, we’ll explain the behaviors of such negative friends; discussing the warning signs on what to watch out for and providing a brief guide on how to deal with such behavior.
First Warning Sign: Envy.
A classic trait of toxic friends is jealousy and envy.
Many friends will become embittered by the success of others. The successes of others reflect a negative friend’s failures, and this leads them to manifest that negativity in many ways.
For example, a negative friend may attempt to put down the successes of others. They’ll mock the goals, dreams, and accomplishments of those around them.
The worst part about that behavior is how automated it is. That is, negative friends will elude others into feeling that such behavior is normal.
Second Warning Sign: Abandonment.
We all go through rough times in our lives. In those moments, it’s easy to see those who love and support us, from those who could care less.
Negative friends offer little assistance during rough times. They expect for you to be there for their problems, but they are either burdens, or they’re absent by offering no support or contact regarding you.
Even worse, the previous two problems may be mixed. That is, a truly pathological friend may feel envious towards someone going through hard times due to the special treatment they receive.
Basically, tough times are a major litmus test through not frequent for our best support systems. They let us differentiate true friends from those who do not care.
Third Warning Sign: Energy Levels.
A classic sign of a negative friends is feeling drained after interacting with one.
Negative friends bring down an emotional atmosphere. They may spoil a person’s mood, making them feel unwelcomed or lesser than they could be.
They tend to impose their problems onto others. Though they do so slowly, and in small doses, this has a slow, toxic effect on others.
For examples, constant demoralizing and subtle complaints are a sign of toxicity. The same applies to bullying or rudeness in the guise of “making jokes.”
Tip for Finding Quality Friends.
A good friend should help us become our best selves; providing beneficial input into assisting us while reaching our goals and dreams. Good friends share interests with us. They’re always there to believe in our potential, give us positive advice, and guide us out of ruts. They’re also constructive. A good friend will help us become more proactive towards actualizing our dreams.
Good Friends Are Found Through Shared Activities, Mental, and Emotional Similarities.
Context matters when picking a friend. It’s necessary to find friends through common interests and matches your mental and emotional health rather than through coincidence (Psychology.com). This reduces the chances of us running into toxic behavior that may bring us down.
As for context, those may include business endeavors, shared community activities, and even spiritual journeys.
Overall, the difference between a negative and positive friend has to do with growth. We must constantly ask us “Do our friends help us grow? Or do they constantly drag us down?”
The answer defines whether a friend or any individual for that matter is worth continuing with you through this journey of life.