Hey there! Apologies for the big gap between blog posts, I’ve been away on a trip with friends. Hope you all had a smashing Easter break whatever you got up to.
So today I’m doing a post on something that I’ve been learning a lot about in the past couple of years, who your real friends are. And more importantly who the toxic friends are.
Have you noticed that we always seem to use the term ‘friend’ very loosely? I guess in hindsight, friend is easier to say then “oh hey this is my mutual acquaintance who I may occasionally have a drink with if we bump into each other in pub toilets”, friend is a much shorter, easier term. But how many times in your life, can you scroll through your Facebook ‘friends’ list and say you know all of them people inside out as true friends? You can’t. None of us can.
But what we can do, is think about the people that aren’t just on our scroll-through list, we can focus on the people that we do think are our friends, the ones we spend a lot of time talking to and hanging out with. How do you know who the bad apples are in your friendship circles?
It’s taken me a very long time, decades even. Of going through numerous groups and circles of friends to learn the signs of the bad apples. I didn’t have many friends after I left school and college, I got bullied a lot, I was always just one of those people. And I became obsessed with trying to fit in with any groups of friends that I met over time, and the thing is, it is actually very easy to make friends in most scenarios now, through social media, pubs, clubs, work place, you can make new ‘friends’ frequently, but some times those friends you have aren’t actually your real friends, they don’t care about you much. It’s a personal gain thing so they’re not alone. But sometimes it is hard for us to know the good apples from the bad…
So here is a few things I’ve figured out, some are quite obvious, some not so much, as to how you can figure out who your real ones are:
They only talk to you about their stuff
Now this one is kinda obvious, but it happens so many more times than it should. Now we all have our vent days or bad moments where we might spend half a day talking to our bestie about our shit. It happens, you can get in a tangent about stuff and forget to then go ‘oh sorry how was your day?’ We’ve all been there. But once in a while is fine, if your friend constantly only messages you when they wanna talk about them and they never ask you how you are or check in with you, the possibility is: they don’t care how you are.
They say mean things about you when they’re drunk
“The truth comes out when you’re drunk”, for some reason we all get a little braver when we’re drunk to tell the truth. Maybe it’s because psychologically we believe that the alcohol is the perfect excuse to get out of it if someone has a go at us later for what we said. ‘Sorry, I was drunk’ is used way too many times as a get out clause and it needs to stop. There’s no excuse to be mean. If your ‘friend’ constantly makes jibes at you when they’ve had a few, or upsets you regularly when they’re under the influence then they are doing so to make themselves feel better and that is no way to treat you. Alcohol is not a be-a-bitch-to-your-friend shield.
They’re passive aggressive
If they are saying things to you in a nice way, but the comment is actually quite hurtful, they’re being passive aggressive and it’s not on. There are always ways to go around how you speak to someone if you don’t like something, “this colour would look nice on your eyes” is a nicer thing to say then “oh I wish you’d make more effort with your eye make up” but saying it in a friendly tone. I’ve had passive aggressive comments made to me regularly by so-called friends and colleagues about my lack of makeup wear, my figure, my personality, and it’s not nice. People think that if they say something negative to you in a nice way, then it can’t count as being mean, but it’s actually worse sometimes. So if your friend is always sitting there making nicely toned comments at you but they’re actually quite bitchy, and hurt your feelings, you have a passive aggressive friend.
(The book pictures in this post are from ‘what a time to be alone’ by Chidera Eggedue and I highly recommend you read it!)
They constantly expect you to be nasty
No one should willingly be spiteful to someone. If your friends are always making you feel negative and bitchy because that’s the type of character they have, then it’s best you step back from them a bit. There’s a fine line between being quite a blunt character and just being plain nasty all the time.
They hang out with people you don’t get on with
Now this is a tricky one, because this is quite a regular thing in a lot of circles these days, people date each other and break up, people are besties and then fall out, and a lot of the time there’s mutual friends along the way. This is normal, and a lot of the time not a problem if there’s amicable reasoning, but in some cases you just can’t get along with someone and there’s too much hatred, in which case mutual friends is awkward. Sometimes you can’t pick sides. But in these scenarios, you may not pick sides, but you have to prioritise one. Now if you have an enemy who you are always bitching about to your friend because of whatever it is they did to you, but said friend is also spending a lot of time with this enemy, the chances are they could be happily agreeing with their negative views on you and bitching about you behind your back. People that do this genuinely can’t make their mind up, I’ve found more often than not that those ‘really nice people’ that everyone loves who’s friends with everyone (even the friends that hate each other) are actually just desperately trying to fit in, they have serious FOMO and they just want to be liked by everyone. This is human nature, but it is also a negative trait when it comes to being loyal. If you and an enemy have a mutual friend, be wary with what you tell this friend, they may not be as trustworthy as you think.
They interrupt you, constantly
Now I’ve had discussions about this one before, as someone who’s suffered with ADHD her whole life i find it difficult to stay quiet. Sometimes thoughts come up and leave my mouth straight away, I accidentally end up blurting stuff out all the time. And yes, I’ve interrupted many people, but it’s not because I don’t value their opinion. This is something I’ve been working on for a while now to actively try not to do. However, I have many times when I am with social circles of my ‘friends’ and when in conversation, I will start saying something and they talk over me or cut me off, with no necessary need to, I’ve read many articles that say if a person continually talks over you and interrupts you, they do not respect you. Now again this is very tricky and sorta 50/50 because if you’re in groups it can be so hard to all take it in turns to speak. But what I will say is, if you’re with one friend and you’re having a conversation but they’re constantly cutting you off to say what they want, they genuinely don’t care what you have to say, truth is, they probably just hang out with you so they’re not bored or alone. It’s harsh I know but it happens so often in this day and age, we live in a generation where everyone feels like being alone is a negative and we thrive off of company.
They don’t tell you the truth about how you look
If your friend knows that an outfit makes you look awful or that you have very visible flaws with your makeup or hair or whatever and they don’t tell you and let you go out like that, they literally just want to look better than you. They’ve let you look bad for personal gain and they are not your friend.
They try and set you up with people they like
I had this girl at work, we both liked a guy in the office, he fancied her and not me, it was as simple as that. They had a little hook up but then a mix up at work meant someone said to this guy that they thought I was into him. This girl then kept trying to encourage me to message him and flirt with him to ‘see what he does’. If a friend ever does this sort of thing to you when they are fully aware that it’s the person who wants them, they are trying to make themselves feel good by seeing the person reject you and make it clear that they’re more appealing then you. It’s bitchy, horrible and selfish.
You can also argue as well that people who post bad pictures of you online are also doing it for personal gain. And I mean this loosely because sometimes they might not think a picture of you is bad (let’s face it we all don’t like our own pictures a lot of the time do we?) but I’m talking about when your friend posts photos where you can clearly see food on your chin, that you look like you were dragged through a bush, your eyes aren’t open etc, but they look good, again it’s selfishly making themselves feel better by looking like the hot one.
We live in a generation where there is a lot of mental health issues and low self-esteem and how we react to our views on ourselves varies. Some of us will try to give ourselves more self-love and confidence and embrace who we are, others will not know how to deal with it other than by treating other people like trash. It is important to always remember that if a person is being mean to you this is really how they feel about themselves.
How to deal with a bad apple friend
It is always important to talk to your friends, I recommend this 110% all day every day, if they’re hurting you, tell them. It’s important.
The truth is, sometimes your friend might not actually know what they’re doing. Especially if they have issues themselves or they have never been told how they’re acting is wrong. Don’t just cut a friend out of your life without trying to rectify the issue first. If your friend has done anything to make you feel crappy, talk to them about it, the best case scenario is that they realise they were wrong to do it and will make an effort to not do so again. The worst case is that they feel no remorse or regret for how they treated you.
If your friend never apologises to you under any circumstances and they always try and back up all of their actions, even when those actions are wrong, then they’re not your friend, they never have been and they are too wrapped up in themselves to ever care about you. Cut them off. (Believe me I have known ‘friends’ like this more often then I have liked and cutting them out was the best thing I did).
We deserve to be happy and we deserve to be comfortable with the friends we choose.
Obviously, every single person in this world is different, we act and think differently, you must always bear this in mind when you are talking to your friends about how they make you feel or even if they’re telling you that you’ve done something that upset them (let’s be honest, none of us are perfect and we’ve all been there) try and have empathy in these scenarios but also don’t be a doormat.
It’s not all scientific facts or rocket science, this is all just some stuff that a woman in her 30’s has learnt over the years and wanted to share some personal wisdom on, it’s not gospel, and you can take it or leave it. But I will end it with this:
always be mindful of how you’re treating other people and also, how people are treating you.
You deserve the best.