Monday, March 8, 2010
Toxic people are easy to spot!
Toxic people are like vampires; they are charming, flattering and always there to give a hand. They are always on your side, understand your point of you (in the beginning) and then when you are under their spell, they suck you dry!
O.K. maybe that is a little dramatic, but in effect, a toxic friend is a vampire, in that they suck your energy. The toxic friend rings you up always with something important to tell you, has you on the phone all night, even though you are telling them that you need to go and make dinner,go to work, go to sleep, you're having a heart attack.
Nothing stops them from having their rant. When they are finally done they give a big sigh and tell you they feel much better now that they've had a chat. They praise what a brilliant friend you are and then hang up, without asking you whether you are well or not!
Totally drained you come off the phone feeling shell shocked and wondering whether that conversation actually happened! You have no more energy left for whatever you where in the midst of doing. Then later on you begin to feel guilty for thinking ill of your friend, and just think you are coming down with a bug, that is the reason you feel so drained. That's what good friends are for aren't they? to be there for your friend no matter what.
It may never occur to you that they are not there for you when you need them. Or if they are there they are not as helpful, as you would like. You feel indebted to them, feel like they are just feeling sorry for you and you feel bad that you are burdening them. They may listen to your worry for five minutes and then they switch to telling you about their problem (it's only fair they were listening to you) and they leave in a hurry to go out to a new restaurant with their new friends and don't feel any guilt about leaving you a wreak whilst they go and have fun.
For those who have never come across a toxic person, it may mean that you are actually a toxic friend yourself. Do you whinge, moan, criticize, put down, not draw breath whilst you are doing all the above? Do you think the world revolves round you and that you are a brilliant friend?
If the above rings true, then maybe, you can change your ways. May be, you can take time to listen to the friend that is always there for you. Maybe you can see the friend in a new light and offer real help, see things from their world for a change.
(An article I published on Helium.com)