Friends. How many of us have them? Friends. Ones we can depend on…

Seriously – the older I get, the more it all starts to make sense. Friendships are not created equal and I cannot even begin to  explain the toll that some of the most toxic ones have taken on me in the last few years. I have literally fell ill; physically, mentally and emotionally drained by people I genuinely care about because the title of being a friend made me feel I needed to be there at all costs, even if it meant I would suffer for it. I was completely wrong and became more aware than I already was when I encountered one of the toughest transitions in my life. Energy and life I had given to others could not be reciprocated. Calls could not be answered, texts messages were left on ‘read’, and I was left to sit in my own issues wondering how with all of these people around me, I could feel like no one was around at all. No explanation but the feeling came easy.

Here are the sure signs I began to notice while in a toxic friendship:

  1. Each interaction sends you on an emotional rollercoaster – I believe in energy and the fact that it exchanges so many times in a day that you probably don’t realize how easily your mood shifts  when coming into contact with these individuals. Nonetheless, your friendship started off with the best connection you’ve had friend-wise in a while but the tables have turned and you cannot even begin to fathom what to expect from this person. One minute everything is cool and the next, you’re on their shit list because you didn’t answer a text in time. Do not let them manipulate you into being who they need you to be or better yet picking up the slack where someone has dropped the ball in their lives. Set those boundaries.
  2. There is a noticeable imbalance in talk time that tips the scale in your friends favor – This friend will call or drop by and without any regard or a hello will proceed to tell you how shitty their day has been or even how great it was. By the time you get a window to speak, they have to go. Their cup filled with all of your positive vibes and yours emptied of all the energy you had. You probably even feel like you need a nap after dealing with them.
  3. The jealousy daggers start shooting in your direction, ALL OF THE TIME – Whenever something is going well for a friend, you show the utmost support and love. However, when you find yourself on the road to success there is a lack enthusiasm, a false sense of support and even shady comments that you might question were said with good intentions. Trust their first reaction, it’s the truth.
  4. The stress starts pulling you into the pit of no return – Do you have that friend that calls and makes you look at the phone until it stops ringing because you know what to expect from the conversation? Yeah – that anxiety and stress is not the product of anything healthy and definitely should not be ignored. Identify what makes you feel this way when their name pops up on your caller I.D. and make a judgement call of your own. Having healthy relationships are just like eating healthy foods; you’re just nourishing a different part of yourself. Find the right kind of nourishment.

Whether it be family, friends, spouse or even your own company – surround yourself with people that lift you higher. Do things that make you feel good and do not feel bogged down by the limitations and exceptions that someone has set for you in order to work to their own advantage. I mean after all, you are who you spend your time with. For more on self care and having a healthy relationship with yourself, check out: 7 Toxic Thoughts I Dropped to Become the Best Version of Myself

BTW – Thank you for all the love and support on my writing. I appreciate you all 🙂

-Ash

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