Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1260, (27 August - 2 September 2015 )
Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Issue 1260, (27 August - 2 September 2015 )

Ahram Weekly

Entre Nous: Toxic friendships

Let’s talk about better living! Our new interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

Have you ever had a friend who makes you feel bad about yourself instead of good, who tends to be critical of you in a subtle or not so subtle way, who drains you emotionally, financially or mentally, or even when you’re with him or her you feel exhausted and most likely more than a little resentful?

If the answer to any of the above is yes, then you should take care because such a toxic friendship can destroy you.

Recent studies have found that close relationships that cause stress or worry may even contribute to faster cognitive decline as you age. Though friendships are important for health and wellbeing, negative friendships can cause stress and frustration.

In addition to bad moods, other things can spread among friends, including loneliness, obesity and even divorce.

Since friends are a really big part of our lives, you need to choose the people you hang around with carefully. Remember, keeping toxic people around could take away time and energy from positive friends, damage your self-esteem or put you in harm’s way.

You may not need to ditch these friends entirely, especially if they also have good qualities you value, or if you know they have the potential to change. But you should be aware of how their unhealthy habits are rubbing off on you. Here are some types of friends you may want to sweep out of your life:

- The drama queen friend who is way over the top and is addictive. This type’s danger comes from her ability to influence your emotional state.
- The friend who is negative about everything all the time. This friend hates every person you both meet, every party you go to, every store you shop in and so on.
- The self-focused friend who expects you to do everything for her but doesn’t do you any favours in return. You’re always available to chat when she needs advice, but she’s hardly ever there to take your call when you need her.
- The friend who doesn’t support you when something major changes in your life.
- The controlling friend who is always telling you what to do. This kind of friend also picks on everything you do and gives an opinion on everything you do or want to do without being asked.
- The gossip queen friend who spreads rumours about you and finds happiness in your misfortunes. This type of friend brings you down when you’re in no mood for complaining.
- The abuser friend who verbally or physically abuses you either by vicious comments and treatment or even by making jokes that are offensive or sexual in nature.
- The friend who is an energy sucker. This type of friend is overly dependent on you for emotional support or information, and is constantly asking you to do things that take up large chunks of your time.
- The competitor friend who acts in a hostile way and attempts to take away what you have in order to seem more successful than you are.
- The risk-taker friend. From experimenting with drugs to driving recklessly, dangerous forms of behaviour should raise serious red flags.
- The promise-breaker friend who’s constantly cancelling appointments and promises at the last minute.
- The fault-finder friend. This type of friend is critical of everything you do and say, which can be contagious.
- The therapist-type friend who gives you too much advice without being asked.
- The Debbie-downer friend: no matter what you say to a Debbie-downer, he or she is always negative. This is a dangerous friendship because it’s so exhausting.

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