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Story

Is She a Toxic Friend?

01/06/2012

 Is She a Toxic Friend? Have you ever felt that a friend who’s supposed to bring fun and laughter into your life actually brings you down?

Sometimes it's hard to spot the kind of friend where you ‘don’t need enemies’ so here are the seven key signs to look out for:

TF Sign No. 1: Second best - when something better comes up you'll see the back of her and definitely feel second best. If a man asks her out or she's invited to a party she'll ditch your plans faster than you can say toxic friend.

TF Sign No. 2: Me, me, me - it's all about her no matter what. Even if you've lost your job, been dumped, etc., she'll somehow turn the conversation to her problems.

TF Sign No. 3: Sabotages the good things - when something good happens to you she'll always find a ‘downside’. For instance, she meets your new boyfriend and immediately has loads of criticisms.

TF Sign No. 4: Very possessive - when you're invited to something - your cousin's wedding, an old pal's birthday party, etc. - she gets all funny about it.

TF Sign No. 5: Bad advice - you're not sure if you can trust her advice on whether your bum looks too big and something or a dress suits you're not. You just have a sense that she might want to scupper your chances to shine.

TF Sign No. 6: The big elbow - it's guaranteed that when you're both single and out on the town she'll elbow you right out of the way if a cute guy crosses your paths.

TF Sign No. 7: Queen of mean - you like a bit of gossip as much as the next girl but when this TF starts gossiping she's incredibly mean about others. So much so it makes you feel uncomfortable.

How To Handle Her: If for some reason you feel this friendship is worth hanging onto - and it better be a good one - here's five top tips to use with her.

Be firm and you may just turn things around with her from TF to BFF.

*Set your boundaries quickly when she tries to make conversations all about her for the millionth time. Be straight about it - say you need her to be there for you. Remind her of the last few times you've been there for her. Be specific about what she was going through and how you provided a shoulder for her.

*The next time she tries to dump plans with you pull her up on it. Confront her about this bad behavior and tell her you're not going to be mucked about. The next time she wants to make plans with you spell out how you have to think about it because of the way she's previously dumped plans. This tactic will make her realise that you're not at her beck and call.

*If she starts being Ms. Nasty about others - sounding poisonous and toxic - stick up for them. Sometimes people don't know just how nasty they sound - often because others let them get away with it. Keep it simple and explain that she's got them wrong and highlight their good points.

*When she gets possessive of you tell her that she shouldn't feel threatened by you doing other things with other people. Refuse to back down on your plans that don't include her. Remember all those times she's happily hung out with other people - without you.

*Don't be manipulated by her. TFs are usually highly skilled at manipulating things to make you feel bad about it. They always seem to have an explanation for why they're saying something toxic. Or for why you shouldn't do something that you really want to, or, e.g., why they're trying to spoil your new relationship. If your intuition tells you she's behaving badly, believe it, and act on it.

Good luck transforming her into a firm friend - I think you know what you have to do is this doesn't work!

A similar article was published on MSN UK