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The issue with toxic friendship is that other individuals have a tendency to dismiss it, but friends who are more like enemies, or”Frenemies” can be very abusive. Frenemy relationships tend to be more emotional (controlling, passive-aggressive or demeaning) than physical. It’s usually not as intense as domestic abuse, because friends have a simpler time, generally, walking away from abuse than romantic or family relationships. Because people tend to downplay the abuse of a friend; victims of it keep it a secret.

How to tell if a friend is a”frenemy” (switching pronouns)

1. She gossips behind your back. If she says awful things about you to your friends, or informs others secrets you shared in confidence, she’s trying to build herself up by undermining you.

2. He’s unreliable. If he does not keep his promises, or is always late, or probably to not show in any way, he doesn’t care enough about you.

3. She is jealous or upset when something good happens to you. This isn’t the attitude of a friend, this is a competitor.

4. You only hear from him if he needs something from you. If he only contacts you when he wants a ride, or for you to take him to dinner, or help him with homework or a project, or be his”wing man” when he needs to troll at a pub; then he’s just using you, and he is not really a friend. Friendship should go both ways.

5. She tells you you’re second best. If she suddenly breaks a date or she is unavailable if she gets a”better offer” from a date or a more popular friend, she’s not a true friend.

6. He criticizes you, your accomplishments, your family, your home, your job or your friends. A good friend doesn’t subject you to a constant barrage of criticism and negativity. A fantastic friend may feel the need to tell you a challenging truth, but even that may be said with kindness.

7. She lets you cover items and give her things and do things for her, but she seldom or never reciprocates. Even if there’s a difference in your financial status, a good friend will try to reciprocate with anything she can manage: a home made meal or treat in return for taking her out to lunch; or assisting you with something in return for something you bought.

8. He flirts with your girlfriend or someone he knows you are interested in, or he tries to steal your best friend from you. This isn’t a buddy, this is a competitor. A good friend would be glad to see you happy and support your other relationships.

9. When there’s a problem between you, she won’t admit she’s wrong, or apologize or talk about it. She stonewalls you and tries to make you feel guilty for not liking what she did. Friends may have problems, it is a natural part of relationships; but very good friends can talk through it, work it out, apologize and forgive each other.

10. He’s jealous of your success or happiness. A good friend can support you and celebrate with you, even if you’re doing better than he is.

The Way to sensitively and diplomatically handle jealous friends:

She is late for lunch, she’s constantly complaining or whining, she does not pay you back. But, she’s your friend, so what do you do? Work with her! She’s easy to teach, if you do it correctly. Let her know what you like about what she does, then she will hear you when you say you don’t like something. Use silence: if you do not like what she’s saying or doing, do not respond; she’ll find the message, with no word.

• Establish limits: If he is habitually late, be sure he understands when the timing is important (you hate to miss the first 5 minutes of the film ) and when time isn’t an issue (you can read a book or speak to a friend until he arrives) When time is critical, tell him if he is not ready by xxx time, you’ll leave without him. It’s wonderful how well that works.

• Do not be too strict about it: if she’s a great reason, or it’s only occasional, cut her a little slack. But, don’t be a pushover, either.

• Don’t react to obnoxious things, but just politely ignore what he is saying or doing, and maintain a pleasant demeanor. If you must treat him like a misbehaving child, so be it; just don’t let him drag you into bad behaviour of your own.

• People who respond this way are often in a lot of emotional pain in their lives. Be as understanding as possible, be willing to follow your friend’s feelings to a fair level, but don’t let their struggle ruin your good feelings about yourself. If possible, offer the buddy time with you, to help her feel special and important. Many times, openly thanking her for pleasant things she has done will help maintain her pacified.

• Understand underlying causes of bad behaviour: People who have always felt competitive toward you’re most likely to misbehave, to get attention in that manner. If someone’s behavior becomes a problem, set some limitations. Tell the friend right what behaviour is unacceptable (like making nasty remarks when you’re around other friends) and tell him you can’t be his friend if his behavior doesn’t improve.

Because of family illness or problems? Just how much loyalty do you expect in the friendship, and what does that mean?

Lying to your friend about whether you have broken an agreement does more harm than breaking the agreement. If you do something with a different friend, tell the truth don’t shield the jealous friend. It gives him a false belief.

• Handling difficult characters takes skill and knowhow. Here is a technique anyone can learn how to use that works each time.

If a person behaves badly on your existence, giving that grownup a”workout” is a powerful and subtle way of fixing the issue. Modern parents use a time out to field small kids. An adult variation of this time out works too on any adult friend who’s acting childish or misbehaving. Simply become very distant and considerate around the person who is not treating you well. Be very polite, so they can’t accuse you of being disagreeable, mean or rude. There is no need to explain what you are doing: the problem person will find the message from your behaviour, which is much more effective.

If you’ve never tried this, you will be surprised at how effective it can be to become polite and pleasant but distant. The majority of the time, your friend’s behavior will instantly become more subdued around you, and often, much more caring.

Eventually, they might ask you what’s wrong, or why you’ve changed, and at the point you’ve got an chance to tell her what the problem behavior is, and why you don’t like it. Learning how to put obnoxious friends in time outs at the beginning of unpleasant behavior can make it unnecessary to use tougher tactics at all. And if the person’s behaviour does not change, you can leave him or her in”time out” and you will be protected from it. More info at Fort Lauderdale Wildlife Control

How to Handle Toxic Friendship

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