Toxic Friendships

Tips To Getting Out of a Toxic Friendship #3

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. #3 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

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is 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.

Tips To Get Out of a Toxic Friendship- #2

It's hard to imagine ever having to "get out" of a friendship as you would a bad relationship. Besides, they're supposed to be your friend, right? But, sometimes we befriend people who can be unhealthy and who we need to step away from & distance ourselves. If you find yourself at this crossroads with a friend, hopefully this week's tips will help. #2 Talk to a neutral party

After you've done Step 1 (acknowledging the friendship is toxic), now it's time to talk to someone who is on the outside. This would be a person who does not know your friend and who has nothing to gain if you keep the friendship or if you end the friendship. At times a 3rd party can offer suggestions and a point-of-view that your yourself had never considered. Ever find yourself in a conversation saying "Oh, I never thought about it that way....."? Well, that's the objective here. A neutral person can give feedback to help you decide if the friendship can be healed or if it needs to end.  

These first 2 steps have been the "easy" part of the tips so far. Natalie will lead us into the depth of the process on Thursday as she discusses the more difficult parts. Thank you for reading!

Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

Tips To Get Out of a Toxic Friendship- #1

Have you ever been in a toxic friendship? Did you have the courage to "break up" with them and get out? Toxic friends often leave you feeling worse than better. They tend to cut you down rather than support you. You may feel drained, agitated, and emotionally bankrupt after time with them. They usually only take from you, and the focus is all on them.

Does your stomach drop when they call? Do you have trouble sleeping after an interaction with them because they pushed your buttons? If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells and never feel like you have a voice in the friendship, then you might need to end this toxic friendship!

We know that people stay in toxic friendships way too long out of feelings of obligation or fears of hurting others feelings. So this week we are giving you 5 steps to help!

#1 Acknowledge the Friendship is Toxic

Staying in denial will only create more pain. If you rationalize their behavior over and over, you end up hurt. When you admit to yourself that this friendship is toxic, it gives you the power to start to do something about it. Once you do it is important for you to take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself how you allowed things to get to this point. If you don't learn from your mistakes, you might do it again!

Keep reading as Tamara covers the next step tomorrow!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.  Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.