Pulling the plug on a toxic friendship - Metro US

Pulling the plug on a toxic friendship

Good girlfriends are hard to find. There are the ones you love with all of your heart and then there are the ones you kind of love … to hate.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all known them at one point in our lives. A toxic girlfriend is one who is unreasonably jealous or ultra competitive. She is the friend who flirts a little too much with your boyfriend and always has a way of subtly putting you down. She’s unreliable, inconsiderate, manipulative and a little bit wacko. More foe than friend, a poisonous pal will contaminate your free time with her dramatic behaviour and Mean Girls inspired antics.

Of course, these stressful relationships rarely start out this way — only a masochist would voluntarily sign up for this kind of emotional abuse.

Like a long-term romance, a friendship is constantly changing and evolving. Every once in a while a perfectly platonic partnership becomes a bit unbalanced. When you’re so close to the situation it’s hard to recognize when a one-time BFF turns bitter, slowly eroding your self-esteem one thinly veiled insult at a time.

It should be easy to realize that you should dump a self-absorbed drama queen like a barrel of hazardous waste. But when it comes to frenemies we tend to make excuses for their abhorrent behaviour in the hope that one day they might grow out of it. The longer we endure these unhealthy relationships the more trapped we feel.

While a soured friendship might be exhaustive to maintain, it is even more difficult to end. There’s no handbook when it comes to breaking up with a gal pal. Ideally, you should have an honest conversation where both parties reveal their true feelings and, ultimately, hug it out. But let’s face it; most of us are not that mature. Confrontations like this are uncomfortable and awkward, and usually end in tears on both sides.

I usually opt for the more cowardly route. I allow these friendships to disintegrate over a slow, excruciating period of ignored phone calls and geographic evasion tactics until she eventually gets the hint. Yes, this is a childish and passive-aggressive way of dealing with my feelings, but avoidance seems so much less unpleasant than all that crying.

However, at the end of the day, life is too short (and far too busy) to spend so much time dodging that best friend gone bad. The older we get, the more we realize who those true friends really are. So, perhaps it’s time to get real and let that bad girlfriend know you’re just not that into her anymore.

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