Let's face it. Any quasi-normal person has come face to face with one kind of toxic friend or another, at one time or another, in their life. So, I decided to begin making a list of Toxic Friend *Types*. I don't claim to have all of them nailed, as yet, but I think I've got most of them covered. Feel free to add your own and let's see how much fun we can have with it.
So, let's have a look-see at the assembled list thus far, shall we?
*The User* AKA *The Brown-Noser* as a Toxic Friend:
This person only has friends as long as he/she can use them for some purpose or goal of his/her own. You later discover their footprints all over your back, where they trampled you to achieve a higher position on the social ladder (or whatever ladder they are currently climbing). This type could be the least harmful of toxic friends, since anyone with a brain can figure out what they're up to within a week. These are very shallow types who really have no conscience about such things. My cat can figure these types out, blindfolded. In 5 minutes.
*The Back-Stabber* AKA *Betrayer* as a Toxic Friend:
Nothing hurts more than a friend who betrays you. The betrayer is truly a toxic friend and the pain they inflict can last a lifetime. This would mean: If your friend got drunk with your boyfriend, then slept with him... THEY ARE BOTH TOXIC FRIENDS. Or finding out a friend has revealed to others, something you told them in private. Hello! First, you need to have your poor little head examined for being there, in that position, in the first place. I mean... haven't you got a gut feeling to your name? Betrayal can come in many forms, yet all are equally painful. You need to get your little feets to run as fast as dey cans in the opposite direction whenever you return from whatever planet you've been out-to-lunch on. And Wake Up! Unless, of course, you ARE this type. Then, you can go at each other with the venom of 100 rattlesnakes for all I care.
*The Control Freak* as a Toxic Friend:
The control freak is a friend as long as he/she is in control. The control freak often seems to be helping you, which is majorly annoying when you wake up & realize what the bitch is doing. Attempt to refuse help or break from the control & you will quickly learn what toxic friendship really means. It is really just the adult form of a schoolyard bully, gone out-of-control WILD. Go with whatever means it takes to rid yourself of this parasite. If they can't break you & control you, they will suck you dry. Unless, of course, you pull your head out of your derriere long enough to use the brain God gave you. Then, you might just run away all on your own! Baby Steps. You can do it.
*The Judge* as a Toxic Friend:
Ever judgmental, ever critical, this friend can erode your self-esteem, whittling it down to a mere thread, if you listen to them. The judge is a friend who finds fault with everything about you, and nary a word of praise. You can rarely do anything completely right with this toxic friend and if you stay friends too long, you'll surely want to KILL HER WHILE SHE HANGS FROM THE CROSS SHE'S HAD TO BEAR FOR BEING YOUR FRIEND. Because often, these toxic friends act as if that's exactly what they've had to do to be your friend. Hang from the cross. So it's best to simply walk away & never speak another word to them. But always smile & be polite whenever you do see them, if you're not already hiding from their view. If ever you try to explain to them that it's merely their unsolicited opinion, which is, of course, a total baloney opinion, they can become enraged at your resistance to succumb. They can get down right crazy when not allowed to judge you. Hmmmm... Ummmm... Nevermind, better yet, just sprint into the darkness from this one. Forget being polite and never hesitate to leave or hide when you do see them in a public place. They can get downright scary sometimes. I mean, if they don't have you to judge, WHAT ELSE ARE THEY GOING TO DO?
*The Promise Breaker* as a Toxic Friend:
This person rarely does what he/she says he/she will do. If you have a date to see a movie, your toxic friend often stands you up. If you have plans to meet for lunch, this person will not show up on time, and often doesn't show up at all, leaving you to sit & wonder why you ever thought this person was your friend. A total waste of your time and a general lack of dependability makes this person a fairly toxic friend, although they are seldom harmful to anyone but themselves. Unless you ask them to come pick you up from the jail or something. I Guess. That would be a typical scenario for The Promise Breaker I think. The Promise Breaker shows, through their actions, how much you're valued as a friend. Better pay attention and move on.
*The Gossip* as a Toxic Friend:
The gossip will eventually betray your trust and become a toxic friend, NO MATTER HOW CLOSE YOU THINK YOU ARE AS FRIENDS. Many times, gossips can't even get (or keep) their stories straight, and wind up causing others deep pain & severe humiliation because THEY gave the wrong gossip to the wrong person. Clearly, these toxic friends would rather reveal a juicy piece of news than keep a friend, whether the gossip is or is not, true. Who loses here? YOU DO. DUH! Sometimes your whole family. DOH! You're always at their mercy, which is the best reason I can think of to avoid these types. Gossips are easy to spot so beware of your precarious friendships with them. However, if you ARE this type, then go mutilate thyself. Good Luck!
*The Self-Centered Person* as a Toxic Friend:
Self-centered people can't think of you or anyone else, as they are too busy thinking of themselves. Sometimes they can be very entertaining, but eventually they make extreme toxic friends as well as becoming a major bore. You could be gushing blood from a head wound & this person will think it's more important to trim their nose hairs than have to get out & take you to the hospital. It's not ALL ABOUT YOU, ok? But that's the thing with these toxic friends. They were actually trained as small children to believe the world revolved around only them, and now they're just totally messed up & hopelessly irredeemable. When confronted, this type has no earthly idea what you're talking about & will often be totally shocked. If you know one, just pray that they don't ever have children. Or become an alcoholic.
*The Competitor* as a Toxic Friend:
The competitor is always looking to be "one up." I call this one the "My Dog's Bigger Than Your Dog" syndrome. They love to dominate the conversation & seldom give a flying flip what you have to say about anything, because they always think they are right. About everything. If they can't be the best at everything, then you won't find them there. They always think they know everything & are quick to take on challenges, so that everyone else will know what they already know (you know, how worthy they are of being Top Dawg). What wonderful specimens they are. Although some competitiveness is normal in friendships, too much competition equals an inflated ego and makes for a toxic friend indeed. Besides, these friends think their opinions are so worthy of merit, you'd be lucky to ever squeeze a word in to any conversation. Since they are always right that means you are always wrong, so your opinion simply doesn't matter. However, if you lack a spine and/or finely tuned verbal & communication skills, I think this would be your top choice for a friend. You could be their pet of the month. Yes, you could.
*The Leaner* AKA *The Loser* as a Toxic Friend:
The leaner/loser is a very needy friend who clings and may be at your doorstep (or calling you on the phone) every day. He/she usually wants all of your time and jealousy often enters the picture in this friendship. These toxic *friends* are more annoying than anything, but can often be a pain in the arse to get rid of. Sometimes they develop into stalkers, so it's wise to remove yourself from the picture as soon as possible. Be sure to have your phone number changed & unlisted as well. Actually, you might just want to consider relocating to another state. These can be the most difficult of all toxics to get rid of.
*The Pain Inflictor* AKA *The Queen of Mean* as a Toxic Friend:
The Pain Inflictor is the kind of friend who likes to embarrass or humiliate you in front of others. Making others look like they're a *few cards short of a full deck*, or demeaning them in some way, is just a pathetic attempt to make themselves look better and/or feel better about themselves (which starts @ ground zero, ok?). Guys are notorious for *falling for* these seemingly innocent females. Luckily, it doesn't usually last long. These types are almost pathologically unaware of what they do, but deep down... they know. They. Know. When confronted, they will attempt putting it all back on you. Just know that joking & sparring verbally in fun is one thing. Inflicting emotional (or physical) pain on another human being is entirely another. Since their actions rarely deliver the feeling they thought they'd get, they do it over & over again in an attempt to find that which is not attainable to them. Ever. Ironically, these are the same people who also sign up for every self enlightenment class available. Too bad it never works for them. They use their friends as whipping posts to achieve what it is they think they need, which is never what they actually do need. (They need full time therapy.) Over time, these can be some of the most damaging friends of all and you'd be smart to avoid them at all costs, unless you have good, thick skin.
No one can always avoid having a toxic friend, but you can most certainly avoid being one, which would surely make this world a better place. That might be the perfect motto. *If you can't make the world a greener & better place in which to live, then try this: Quit being a total creepy jerk. You might not be greening the earth, but you'd sure be ridding the world of another jerk, which I would consider a substantial contribution to this planet*.
Then again, if you aren't able to avoid the toxic friend that eventually soils your friendship like an alley cat, just remember one of my all-time favorite sayings from my grandmother, Mimi: Revenge is a dish best served cold. Hehehe….