Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


What Do I Do About a Toxic Friend? Your Responses

posted by Beyond Blue

There were so many interesting, insightful, and compassionate responses on the combox of my post, “What Do I Do About a Toxic Friend?” If you are struggling with this yourself, you have good company. You can get to the comments by clicking here. Among them:

I think your story illustrates how important it is for us to look at our own roles in creating the “toxic relationships” we’re in. It’s easy for us to label another person as “toxic” but that denies our own responsibility for how we relate with them — how we agree to be “used” by them, how we withhold our anger at them, and so on. –Chris Edgar

How wonderful that you figured out “what motivated you” to deal with your friend. Abuse comes in many forms- from different people or places. My definition of abuse: “anything that hurts us or makes us compromise ourselves and core values.” We would never drink poison- so, I think removing toxic people from our lives is as simple as making a healthy choice “to live”. We all deserve loving relationships and to be cared for. –Anonymous

I recently ended a 30 friendship because I got sick of our “friendship” always being about her. It was also ‘a place for her to boast’. I’ve been for years her poor relative. It ended badly and I handled the whole thing poorly. For that I’ve been asking God for forgiveness. However, I’ve have also been asking Him for counsel regarding whether or not I’m doing the right thing by ignoring her attempts to reconnect. –Debra

There is no getting away from toxic people, and it was a huge AH! moment for me when I realized I was as toxic to some people, as they were to me. I also came to understand that many of my relationships were forged out of “like pain.” We are attracted to people who are on the same level of emotional pain as our self. This explained why my relationships were so dysfunctional: marriage, best-friends, family relationships, etc. I was in pain! As I learned to heal from the wounds of my past, which by the way is a choice, my relationships changed and healed also. –Anonymous

To return to the comments, click here.

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  • Frank

    In our humanity, we are all imperfect. That’s not to say that we don’t have great value and worth – we surely do. But we have flaws, each and every one of us. So, I suspect I have as much a contribution to a toxic relationship as does the other person. Be that as it may, if I recognize that a person is my personal poison, I distance myself, completely. That will surely help me and it may help the other person. I may be the thorn in his side that brings out that behavior. I’ve had to block a person from e-mailing me. We have no business being in contact with each other. I don’t feel any particular remorse at my action. But I sure do feel better. I was at the point that I hated to open my e-mail account, dreading what he would be saying next. The same thing really applies to negativity for me. Negativity brings me crashing to earth. So, when people are chronically negative, I feel duty bound to distance myself from them. I don’t want to be sucked in.
    And, on the other side of the coin, I want to love these people and come to their rescue. But, I don’t have the fortitude or capacity to wade into the toxic swamp. So, I keep my distance and pray for them. Thomas Merton has helped me perceive them as beloved so I pray. And I pray for myself in the same way.

  • Melinda Freiman

    While I can’t tell others what to do for themselves, I can tell you what I did for myself. As a former victim/volunteer – I didn’t have the emotional tools to stand up for myself in my 21 year marriage. But after my divorce, I broke free from my self sabotaging behavior and guide clients to do the same! As I learned how to remove shame, blame, guilt, anger and fear from the conversation between my head and my heart, the people in my life who didn’t like what I was doing had to adjust (parents & kids). But as I improved my skill set of unconditional love, self love they came around with the same response. Leave behind those who are not nurturing your soul, nourishing your desires and you will turn your lessons into gifts, obstacles into miracles and suffering into freedom by getting to the core of you. Melinda Freiman, A Core Life Coach

  • http://www.acorelifecoach.com Melinda Freiman

    While I can’t tell others what to do for themselves, I can tell you what I did for myself. As a former victim/volunteer – I didn’t have the emotional tools to stand up for myself in my 21 year marriage. But after my divorce, I broke free from my self sabotaging behavior and guide clients to do the same! As I learned how to remove shame, blame, guilt, anger and fear from the conversation between my head and my heart, the people in my life who didn’t like what I was doing had to adjust (parents & kids). But as I improved my skill set of unconditional love, self love they came around with the same response. Leave behind those who are not nurturing your soul, nourishing your desires and you will turn your lessons into gifts, obstacles into miracles and suffering into freedom by getting to the core of you. Melinda Freiman, A Core Life Coach

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