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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Lissa3 Offline
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How do I deal w/ a "toxic" friend? - March 2nd 2009, 06:11 AM

So I have this friend that I've known for about 3 years, but she is sort of what you might think of as a "toxic" friend. Although she's mostly nice and fun to hang out with when we're around peopel she doesn't know too well, when it's just us and our close group of friends she spends a lot of time complaining about things. She seems like one of those people who purposefully makes life harder for herself just so she has something to complain about. I'd generally be okay with that (totally makes sense that you complain about stuff more when you're with your friends)

BUT the thing that really frustrates me is that she guilt trips me and her other friends all the time. For example, she always makes a big deal about not having enough money to do "xyz" when some of my other friends and I make plans that she doesn't want to join in on, so that we all feel bad for her. But then she goes shopping and buys lots of stuff the next day so it's like um ok why couldn't you just say you don't want to go and stop making us feel bad? And all this other money-related stuff which basically turns into her trying to get as much $ from us as she can by guilting us, and then never paying people back or whatever.

She also seems to try her best to bring people down. Like one time when 1 of my other friends was excitedly telling her how she won an award, toxicfriend replies with, "Oh, that's great, well I'm getting sick." Ok? So now no one else is allowed to have a good day if she isn't? It's so rude and frustrating! Argh! Plus toxicfriend is SUPER sensitive so anytime I try to talk with her about any of this she totally flips out and acts all angry and stuff.

Anyway jsut wondering if anyone has ever had a similar situation with a friend and what you did about it. I seriously feel like I'm walking around on eggshells anytime I'm around her cuz I don't want her to get pissed off and blow up at me. But it's really hard not to say nothing because she can be so rude and difficult! Any suggestions, etc. would be super awesome. Thanks!
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Re: How do I deal w/ a "toxic" friend? - March 2nd 2009, 08:19 AM

:O You have to do something, because if you don't, it's going to get a thousand times worse. Believe me. She'll start craving more attention and care, and it'll become habitual.

If you've tried talking about this with her and she's flipped out, that's a red flag. You guys really should sit down and talk about this. If she won't, write her a letter and tell her that you aren't willing to talk to her until she reads that letter and you two have a discussion on its content.

I've had a VERY similar situation, except the friendship got obsessive. He began to help himself to anything in my life that he wanted, including my well-being. It all starts out very innocently... and it gets really bad.

So have a discussion with her, because it's important... sometimes people like this never change, but give her a chance to have a conversation with you about this.
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Re: How do I deal w/ a "toxic" friend? - March 2nd 2009, 11:57 PM

I agree with Arden. It is important that you talk about this with your friend. Make sure you are clear, but not being negative about it all. The last thing she needs is to get slammed about this. The conversation should be calm. Make sure this friend understands how her comments are making you feel, and also what they can do to help fix it.

I really like the letter idea, and if you are finding it difficult to talk face to face, then that would be the perfect solution. Just keep in mind that words on paper can be misinterpreted, so make sure you read everything over to double check that it's saying exactly what you want it to say.

I also don't think you should lend this person money any more. It's not fair on you or your friends when this person doesn't pay you back.


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Re: How do I deal w/ a "toxic" friend? - March 3rd 2009, 12:20 AM

The same thing you do with toxic food or chemicals: remove it quickly and safely from the vicinity
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Re: How do I deal w/ a "toxic" friend? - March 3rd 2009, 01:42 AM

Women, they always try so hard to be morally correct, and not scared to rub it in your face.

It's not that hard to beat really. You just need to make sure your morally correct and you can explain yourself. If she wants more money say something like. I'm sorry you don't have money but I really need it for myself, I need to get x and y.
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Re: How do I deal w/ a "toxic" friend? - March 4th 2009, 02:02 PM

hey lissa.

some people might be having the heart in the right place. however, they just do not how how to say the right things that convey their feelings the most.. as arden and tasha said, its important that you clear things out with your friend first.

firstly, you've gotta realize this is a miscommunication on your friend's part and the most important thing is to remember that once you get through to the heart-to-heart part, i believe you can definitely change her behaviour for the better

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Re: How do I deal w/ a "toxic" friend? - March 4th 2009, 02:44 PM

Hey there Lissa. I can understand why this would frustrate you and your friends, and agree with the above posters, I think it's important that you talk with your friend, so that she is at least aware of what she does and how it makes you guys feel. I think sometimes people do that kind of thing without even knowing it. Just sit her down and tell her that you love hanging out with her and everything, but that it gets a bit stressful when she always seems to be complaining. Make sure you say it in a way that she doesn't think you want to shove her away and brush it off when she's truly having a bad day - maybe tell her that she knows that you'll be there for her when she needs to talk, but that sometimes it gets a bit frustrating when she has to make everyone else feel like crap because her day didn't go so great. Saying these kind of things might make her realize she's been doing it, and even try to stop. Good luck

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