How to Break Up With Toxic Friends in the New Year
We all have that one person in our life who’s constantly bringing us down. We’re not talking about the friend who’s having a rough time in their own life and just needs their friends and family to keep supporting them until they’re back to feeling (and acting) like themselves. We’re talking about people you’ve tried to talk some sense into, but for whatever reason, still bring the negativity to your otherwise awesome life. Time for them to go! But while breaking up with a S.O. is easy (okay, definitely not easy, but more clear-cut), breaking up with a friend or acquaintance is a little more of a gray area. We’re sharing the best tips for making this difficult process easier. Scroll through this guide to make sure everyone in your life is someone you really want to be there.
1. Know the signs: Chances are this relationship hasn’t been as healthy as it could be for a long time, but it can still be hard to pinpoint exactly what’s going on. Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, writes in Psychology Today that the number one sign you need to cut someone out of your life is when you realize you talk about them a lot. “Grumbling to co-workers about your rude boss or complaining to your spouse about a self-absorbed relative takes time and energy. Talking about toxic people when they’re not around gives them more power over your life.” Don’t give them the time of day anymore.
2. Make a plan: Once you’ve decided someone has to go, now you need to decide how you’re going to do it. Naturopathic doctor Naruna Sabnani writes in the Huffington Post that you should think of the process as a cleanse. “Just like with any cleanse program, you need to know yourself. Are you a “cold turkey” person, or do you need a gradual process? If you are the cold turkey type, you press delete and that’s it. History. If you are a gradual process person, you need a cleanse action plan in place,” she writes. You know yourself best, so decide which method is going to be healthiest for you, and stick to it.
3. Always be kind: At the same time, even if you’re a cold turkey person, make sure you’re not creating more negativity by being unkind to the person you’re cutting out, Steven from Transcending Diagnoses writes. “For your own sake, do not cut someone out of your life by creating even more negativity. It is not healthy for anyone. I articulate myself best when I write, so I find it helpful to write what I want to say before saying it out loud. Sometimes, I prefer to send letters, but I do not recommend using email, as it is too easy to hastily send off an angry email full of regrettable statements.” In other words, don’t stoop to their level.
4. Replace the negative energy with positive: All that negative energy in your life has probably done some damage. In Psychology Today, psychologists Rosemary K.M. Sword and Philip Zimbardo say you can work on reversing that damage. “Work toward healing the part of yourself that may be attracting toxic relationships. This may mean exploring past toxic relationships, forgiving yourself for the part you played and realizing that you deserve the right kind of love and attention in order to create a brighter future for yourself.” Give some love back to yourself in 2016. You deserve it!
Do you have advice for maintaing healthy friendships? Tweet us about it @BritandCo!
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