My circle of friends is very small. It’s deliberate, and there’s a reason for it.
We all have had to deal with toxic friends who masquerade as ‘besties’. They come in all forms. But they shamelessly ‘out’ themselves fairly early, and often if you let them. It’s your job to watch for the signs, and run like the devil when you spot them.
It took me years to ‘get’ that not everyone wants to see me do well. Many of those people called themselves my friends, as did I.
That was a mistake that I made more than once.
But not anymore.
I’m not the kind of person who has difficulty making friends, but I’ve learned on more than one occasion that not everyone is ‘worth’ befriending.
When I was a teenager, my mother would always say, “that girl is not your friend”. Naturally, as a teen, I didn’t fully understand what she meant, and because I thought I knew everything, I didn’t believe her.
As the mother of two girls, I’ve found myself saying the exact same thing to them; “That girl is not your friend” on more occasions that I care to admit.
Strangely, it’s not a phrase that I’ve ever had to say to my son.
When my daughters were younger, I said those words so often that by their teen years, they fully understood what they meant.
One time my older daughter asked if she could sleep over at a friend’s house, one that I knew was toxic.
When I asked “who else will be sleeping over?” she said “no one. It’s just going to be me and her”. My instant reply was “over my dead body”.
She knows me better than to question it.
I’ve taught my daughters how to ‘fine tune’ their “toxic friend meters”.
Some of those ways include watching out for:
*That ‘friend’ who lies to you for no reason. You’ll often know that they’re lying as the words are coming from their mouth. Generally it’s because she feels like she needs to ‘measure up’ to you, or she wants you to be jealous of something she has or thinks she is.
*The ‘friend’ who has to get close to your friends that you don’t have in common. This ‘toxic friend’ will go behind your back and ‘buddy up’ to your other friends, often going for coffee or to social events, excluding you from their outings. The ‘toxic friend’ will typically keep this new friendship on the low. But you’ll hear about it from your actual friend, who has no idea what’s going on.
*The friend who can’t even fake being happy when something good happens to you. Instead of being happy for you, this toxic mess will say something like “I did exactly the same thing, and that never happened for me”.
*The ‘friend’ who tells you a secret, then shuts you out of their social circle, out of fear that their secret will get out.
*Watch out for the ‘friend’ who has to compare themselves to you. They’ll sneak behind your back and buy the same thing(s) you have, or want. Sometimes it’s simple admiration, but more often than not, it’s pure toxicity. Run.
*This one should go without saying, but many people give these ‘friends’ the benefit of the doubt; that friend who lies about you to others is a waste of your precious energy. Don’t even think about giving this one a second chance. They’ll only use it to bury the knife deeper.