Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

You’ve Got a (Toxic) Friend. . . ugh

Hey! I’m back! And I’m starting off with reposts of earlier favorites of mine.

We all have them; friends we could really do without. You know the kind I’m talking about. The ones who are high maintenance, who call you up at the worst times, pump you full of their high octane drama, and bitch and moan about their man – the same complaints, every time.

They call you to cry and beg for advice – but they never take it. They wonder why they can’t find a man, get a better job, move out, move away, move their . . . you get the picture. They have all these problems and you are the only one who can help them.

Or maybe you’re the only one without caller ID.

Why do we do it? Let these “friends” monopolize our time, our energy, our space? I’m not talking about real friends who are there for us. No, I mean the ones who you can never depend on but always want to depend on you.

I don’t know if this is a strictly female issue, but I think we suffer from it more because. . . we’re idiots? Maybe that’s too strong a word, but I have come to the decision that there are more important ways to spend my time than listening to another toxic friend. I’m just not going to do it anymore.

I don’t call them. I don’t feel obligated to “include” them in my social life simply because they’ve been whimpering about theirs. And I don’t feel guilty about it.

If they call, and I feel like talking to them, I’ll pick up. But I won’t feel bad if I don’t. If they ask me to do another unreasonable favor,  I’ll say no. And if we do talk and they start, for the hundreth time, to make the same complaints, I’ll remind them of Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Because I’m not insane anymore.

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 8th, 2009 at 10:40 AM and is filed under Relationships. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. John says:

    It is not a gender issue, I have had friends in the past that just took and never gave, I reviewed the friendships to see if I am getting anything back and ended them when the answer was no

  2. Lee says:

    Thank you for the invite to this blog, and I wish you much success with it. It’s a great start!

    Toxic friends exist in both sexes and in relationships as well. The last relationship I left, I used exactly that term to the guy I was dating. I realized that not only was he making me sick physically, he was a control freak and I had fallen into a situation that was difficult to get out of. I am happy to say that, although at the time I was devastated, making that break was the best thing I ever did.

    So toxic friends exist as frienships, in relationships and in families as well. I used to feel I had “sucker” tattooed on my head and it was difficult to say no to anyone that asked a favor or who had a request. I am the first for anyone in need, but when it becomes habitual, it just might be toxic…

  3. Melissa says:

    I call them “Psychic Vampires” because they suck so much time and energy from us.

  4. Catherine Alexander says:

    Having recently divorced a friend of many years, I’ve come to recognize the emotional drain the relationship was taking on me. I’m at that point in my life where I can choose the types of friends I want to surround myself with and the kind that drains my energy or promotes a negative vibe I can do without. That’s not to say I haven’t grieved over the loss of the friendship, but in processing through the grief I’ve learned a number of things about myself and my wants/needs in a relationship. Although painful, the lessons have been worth it!

  5. DJC says:

    Lucille- Thanks for reminding me of Einstein’s definition…I will be using it in my opening of a presentation in NY! Not only does it apply to the toxic friendships, but also business practices and employees’ behavior.

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