Toxic Friendships - Set Boundaries

Friendships are the sunshine in our lives. Yes, all friendships go thru problems or struggles, but for the most part, a friendship needs to be a bright spot in your life. If it's not, and usually brings you down or causes you a lot of grief, it may be toxic. Today I am going to disucss with you how to set boundaries in the relationships. There are three steps to this.

Setting Boundaries

1. Decide what you are ok with in the relationship and what you are not ok with. For example, if this person only calls to dump their problems on you and doesn't listen to you when you struggle, you need to decide if you want that to continue.

2. Talk to your friend and let them know how you are feeling about the relationship. Be honest but do it in a non-confrontational way. For example, "Lately I've been really struggling with our relationship. Would you be open to me discussing some of my feelings with you?"

3. Let them know what boundaries you are setting. To continue with the example, "I would like to discuss some of my struggles regarding my job with you sometimes. I often feel like you tell me your problems and we don't have time for mine. In the future, I would like for us to spend part of our lunch discussing what's going on with me as well."

I know this sounds scripted and it will sound better coming from you in your own way. But it's important to let your friend know how you are feeling and what you would like to see differently. Also understand, some people were never modeled healthy relationships. This may feel weird to them and they may not know how to respond. Give them a couple days to cool off if they don't handle it well. If they continue stewing or pouting, well, it might be time to realize this relationship is toxic and just not worth it. Tomorrow Joleen will help you with that.

Thank you so much for reading and have a great day!

Written by Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling.  We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.