When it comes to friends, there's bound to be a few bad apples in the bunch. For whatever reason -- maybe they're overly critical, perpetually depressed or just plain annoying -- you can't stand to be around them. Yet rather than keeping them in your life, consider giving them the heave-ho or you could suffer.
"Keeping toxic people around could take away time and energy from positive friends, damage your self-esteem or put you in harm's way," says Jan Yager, Ph.D., sociologist and author of When Friendship Hurts. Here, she deconstructs a dozen so-called friends you may want to break up with.
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You know these people: They're always critical of everything you do and say, which can be contagious. If this friend has redeeming traits, ignore the overly critical comments or make a joke by saying something like, "Let's see if you can last an hour without saying anything negative." However, if you're unable to distance yourself or your self-esteem is hurting too much, step away from the relationship.
Too much advice is never good, especially from a supposed friend. If you're keeping this person around because of the other wonderful traits she possesses, tell your friend you don't want advice unless you ask. Or thank the person without discussing her comments. Another solution? Start analyzing her and she may realize how annoying that can be.
Everyone is self-absorbed to some extent, but when a person is always focused on herself and never lets you share anything about yourself, something needs to give. Because she may not be aware she's doing this, let your friend know. If she can't curb this trait and you don't want the friendship to end, limit how long you let her go on about herself; then give yourself equal air time.
The Copy Cat
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, but it could create hostility between you and your friend. If you want to keep her around, protect yourself by keeping things to yourself more often or timing when you share information. If, though, this trait is too annoying, end the friendship.
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