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Topic : Ending Toxic Friendships

Number of Replies: 486
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:20:14 am
Author : dataimport
It can be hard to extricate yourself from a friendship gone bad. Share your stories and strategies for handling this sticky situation.

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November 14, 2005, 8:10 pm CST

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: gagirl277

This is my little story and I am posting it here for anyone else who has the same problem and needs encouragement.  

  

I was best friends for a girl for nearly eight years. We did everything together. People even called us 'twins' because we were together so much. She had many problems such as borderline anorexia and depression. She was on the verge of suicide. I did my best to help her and I even invited her to church with me. She would have none of it. She had very low self-esteem and always tried to bring me down by insulting me or any other means. It got to the point though, where I would start to become depressed. I started thinking like her. Suicidal thoughts began to enter my head. It took me a long time to realize that, 'Hey, I can't save the world and I am only hurting myself by staying friends with her.' It's hard to end a friendship like that and I still think about her a lot, but be careful that you don't let them start to suck you down. Sometimes it's better to just let go of the friendship. 

I'm sorry that you had to end a long time friendship.  My daughter is about your age and had to do the same thing, with a friend of 10 years.  I think you figured out that you can't save her from herself.  My daughter's TF has become even more self destructive than she was when my daughter quit her.  My daughter's mood was also effected by her friend.  I was beginning to worry about my daughter because she was acting out and doing some of the risky behavior like her TF.  I was becoming concerned.  They moved in together after high school.  The second day they were in the house, her friend got stoned, with the electrician that was there to repair the lights and she slept with him.  I told my daughter, you need to be careful because she could invite an ax murder in for a sleep over.  The girl had bad judgment and she was not getting any better.  Since this Summer, the FT has miscarried, planned and canceled a marriage and has a couple of live in boyfriends.   Revolving door.  It's sad but you don't need the drama.   

Good Luck and Happy Friend Hunting. 

 
November 14, 2005, 8:36 pm CST

Toxic Friend (TF) Trama Drama

Quote From: legalgirl

I've known this friend for about 15 yrs. She was really fun and a great friend. She recently went through a bad divorce and her personality has changed tremendously. Although I've been as supportive as I can, I'm starting to feel that she's overly needy.  She calls any time of night or day  wanting to vent about her ex-husband, sometimes crying hysterically.  She's been divorced for about 2 yrs. and I feel she should have gotten over it by now.  She's a beautiful girl and can get any guy she wants, but she's become a very bitter person with no trust in men and very high standards that most men don't have, so she blows off any possible new b/f or hubbys. About five years ago she introduced me to another friend of hers. The other friend and I hit it off so well, we've become good friends. The other girl and I have gone out without our mutual friend and we have discussed her needy ways and bitterness, and we both agree that it takes a toll on us emotionally to be at the beck and call of our divorced friend.  Our divorced friend doesn't like that we've become friends.  She now avoids our get togethers at all costs, or agrees to get together but then calls at the last minute with some terrible drama that will prevent her from showing up, and we're left wondering WTF!  She's making herself the victim, she's very defensive, and she turns it around on us every time.  I'm ready to throw in the towel, but she can be a really good friend  and fun friend when she's in better moods.  Any advise? hang in there or let it go?

legalgirl, 

  

She is a TF because she is so draining.  I don't know if you should give up on her yet.  Sounds like she is stuck in a bad place.  2 years seems like a long time.  Have you ever suggested counseling to her?  You can always talk to her about what she is doing.  Maybe she doesn't realize she is dragging you down, with her despair or that the X is all she talks about.  Sounds like she is throwing herself one heck of a pity party.  I would let her know that you want the old her back, before all the divorce battle scars.  Doesn't sound like she feels good about herself.  You might try setting a boundary and you might have to keep reinforcing it, until she grasp it.  Invite her to go do something you know she likes to do and let her know nicely that you don't want to talk about the X because it's a get away from your troubles day.  Maybe, if you just break the cycle with her, she will have to give up the drama, heal and get on with her life.  Let her know the X is getting in the middle of your relationship, which you value.  Make a deal with her, tell her you wont bring up (what ever is bothering you) and she can't bring up the X.  If that doesn't work, you might let her know she is hanging on to him bitterly.  Maybe she needs to go yell at and smack the heck out of something that can take a beating, like a punching bag and she should call it the X.    Good Luck 

 
November 15, 2005, 9:34 am CST

Thanks!

Quote From: texmess

legalgirl, 

  

She is a TF because she is so draining.  I don't know if you should give up on her yet.  Sounds like she is stuck in a bad place.  2 years seems like a long time.  Have you ever suggested counseling to her?  You can always talk to her about what she is doing.  Maybe she doesn't realize she is dragging you down, with her despair or that the X is all she talks about.  Sounds like she is throwing herself one heck of a pity party.  I would let her know that you want the old her back, before all the divorce battle scars.  Doesn't sound like she feels good about herself.  You might try setting a boundary and you might have to keep reinforcing it, until she grasp it.  Invite her to go do something you know she likes to do and let her know nicely that you don't want to talk about the X because it's a get away from your troubles day.  Maybe, if you just break the cycle with her, she will have to give up the drama, heal and get on with her life.  Let her know the X is getting in the middle of your relationship, which you value.  Make a deal with her, tell her you wont bring up (what ever is bothering you) and she can't bring up the X.  If that doesn't work, you might let her know she is hanging on to him bitterly.  Maybe she needs to go yell at and smack the heck out of something that can take a beating, like a punching bag and she should call it the X.    Good Luck 

Thanks for your advise. my TF has gone to counseling at church & to a professional, but she's still bitter and gave up on counseling.  I have asked about her change in personality and she's in denial about it, she gets very defensive and turns it around on me every time.  She has also mentioned that she has no problem "cutting me off"  which was very hurtful to me.  I will try a different approach and let her know EXACTLY that her drama is affecting our friendship, but if it ends in more conflict than its worth, I might just avoid her for a while.  Thanks again!
 
November 15, 2005, 12:51 pm CST

Give it some time...

Quote From: legalgirl

I've known this friend for about 15 yrs. She was really fun and a great friend. She recently went through a bad divorce and her personality has changed tremendously. Although I've been as supportive as I can, I'm starting to feel that she's overly needy.  She calls any time of night or day  wanting to vent about her ex-husband, sometimes crying hysterically.  She's been divorced for about 2 yrs. and I feel she should have gotten over it by now.  She's a beautiful girl and can get any guy she wants, but she's become a very bitter person with no trust in men and very high standards that most men don't have, so she blows off any possible new b/f or hubbys. About five years ago she introduced me to another friend of hers. The other friend and I hit it off so well, we've become good friends. The other girl and I have gone out without our mutual friend and we have discussed her needy ways and bitterness, and we both agree that it takes a toll on us emotionally to be at the beck and call of our divorced friend.  Our divorced friend doesn't like that we've become friends.  She now avoids our get togethers at all costs, or agrees to get together but then calls at the last minute with some terrible drama that will prevent her from showing up, and we're left wondering WTF!  She's making herself the victim, she's very defensive, and she turns it around on us every time.  I'm ready to throw in the towel, but she can be a really good friend  and fun friend when she's in better moods.  Any advise? hang in there or let it go?

Your friend went through a bad divorce and now you say that she has a different personality. She is negative and it feels as though she is dragging you down with her.. that isn't healthy. Its healthy to be supportive and encouraging, but you are also supposed to receive those things back in a friendship. If this friend is sucking the life out of you... its time to put some distance between yourself and her. Give yourself some time. Sometimes people grow apart, but sometimes friendships just need breaks, too. Perhaps your friend will realize that you have been a good influencing factor and she'll start coming around again or calling.  

 
November 15, 2005, 2:06 pm CST

Toxic Friend with Trama Drama

Quote From: legalgirl

Thanks for your advise. my TF has gone to counseling at church & to a professional, but she's still bitter and gave up on counseling.  I have asked about her change in personality and she's in denial about it, she gets very defensive and turns it around on me every time.  She has also mentioned that she has no problem "cutting me off"  which was very hurtful to me.  I will try a different approach and let her know EXACTLY that her drama is affecting our friendship, but if it ends in more conflict than its worth, I might just avoid her for a while.  Thanks again!

Legalgal, 

  

You're welcome.  You may not be able to salvage the relationship and you can end it knowing that you gave it your best shot and that the ball is in her court.  She may have to come to healing all on her own and it may take her a long time.  I had a friend tell me, when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, you will change.  Your friend must have a high pain tolerance.  I hope it works out for you.           Good Luck, TexMess 

 
November 19, 2005, 5:56 pm CST

My "friend" problem

This is my first post.  I hope I do everything OK. 

  

I put friend in quotes because I can't really say this person is a friend, yet, or if we can really be friends.  I sure could use some advice, because I am feeling pretty crummy about this. 

  

I felt like this lady was Heaven sent, when I met her about 3 months ago.  I had just lost my neighbor, who always cared for my animals and plants when I travel.  This new lady lives very near me, is a retired veterinary assistant, and when I met her I thought "wonderful" - she's a nice lady, I can't have too many friends and maybe I could get her to watch my animals, when I travel.   

  

I asked her right out, within an hour of meeting her, if she would be interested in caring for my animals, and told her I would pay her and what I had always paid my neighbor.  She agreed, and said she'd be happy to do it anytime.  I wish I had left it at that, but instead, I tried to cultivate a friendship with her, and it is not working out.  Not for me, anyway. 

  

We have next to nothing in common, but that isn't the biggest problem.  The biggest problem is our  lifestyles conflict.  She stays up nearly all night, and sleeps until at least noon (usually later) - I am an early riser and by the time she gets up for the day, I am down for my daily nap/rest.  When I get up from my rest/nap, I do any chores, that I have left undone, fix my dinner and then get on my computer (I have a volunteer job, online, which admittedly takes up too much of my time, but I love it).  I am on the computer, unless I have a social engagement, until it's time for me to go to bed. 

  

I guess what it all boils down to, is I have no time to be friends with her.  I put forth the effort before I knew about her habits, and we have had a few awkward moments, like when I woke her at 9:00 am, and she woke me from my nap a couple times (not a good idea lol) and by the time we learned of each other's lifestyles, I felt like if I didn't try to continue with the friendship, she would think, and I would feel like, I was just using her to care for my animals.  Plus she IS a very nice lady. I'd hate to hurt her, but I really resent it when she calls and wants to come over to visit, or just wants to yap on the phone for a while, when all I want to do is work on my computer.   When she comes over and interrupts my compter time, it means I am up until all hours, trying to catch up with the work I didn't get done because we were visiting. 

  

What in the world am I going to do?  I have one animal that is diabetic and needs injections twice a day.  There are any number of people who would be happy to see that they are fed and cared for, but finding someone willing and capable of giving shots is not all that easy.  I'm afraid if I start blowing her off, she will no longer be willing to care for my animals and I travel quite a bit.  All of my children live away and I go to visit at least one of them, every month and am gone for 4 - 6 days.  Boarding my pets is cost prohibitive, not to mention a hassle. and very traumatic for them. 

  

Any suggestions?  

  

  

  

  

  

   

 
November 23, 2005, 6:32 am CST

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: kenrie

This is my first post.  I hope I do everything OK. 

  

I put friend in quotes because I can't really say this person is a friend, yet, or if we can really be friends.  I sure could use some advice, because I am feeling pretty crummy about this. 

  

I felt like this lady was Heaven sent, when I met her about 3 months ago.  I had just lost my neighbor, who always cared for my animals and plants when I travel.  This new lady lives very near me, is a retired veterinary assistant, and when I met her I thought "wonderful" - she's a nice lady, I can't have too many friends and maybe I could get her to watch my animals, when I travel.   

  

I asked her right out, within an hour of meeting her, if she would be interested in caring for my animals, and told her I would pay her and what I had always paid my neighbor.  She agreed, and said she'd be happy to do it anytime.  I wish I had left it at that, but instead, I tried to cultivate a friendship with her, and it is not working out.  Not for me, anyway. 

  

We have next to nothing in common, but that isn't the biggest problem.  The biggest problem is our  lifestyles conflict.  She stays up nearly all night, and sleeps until at least noon (usually later) - I am an early riser and by the time she gets up for the day, I am down for my daily nap/rest.  When I get up from my rest/nap, I do any chores, that I have left undone, fix my dinner and then get on my computer (I have a volunteer job, online, which admittedly takes up too much of my time, but I love it).  I am on the computer, unless I have a social engagement, until it's time for me to go to bed. 

  

I guess what it all boils down to, is I have no time to be friends with her.  I put forth the effort before I knew about her habits, and we have had a few awkward moments, like when I woke her at 9:00 am, and she woke me from my nap a couple times (not a good idea lol) and by the time we learned of each other's lifestyles, I felt like if I didn't try to continue with the friendship, she would think, and I would feel like, I was just using her to care for my animals.  Plus she IS a very nice lady. I'd hate to hurt her, but I really resent it when she calls and wants to come over to visit, or just wants to yap on the phone for a while, when all I want to do is work on my computer.   When she comes over and interrupts my compter time, it means I am up until all hours, trying to catch up with the work I didn't get done because we were visiting. 

  

What in the world am I going to do?  I have one animal that is diabetic and needs injections twice a day.  There are any number of people who would be happy to see that they are fed and cared for, but finding someone willing and capable of giving shots is not all that easy.  I'm afraid if I start blowing her off, she will no longer be willing to care for my animals and I travel quite a bit.  All of my children live away and I go to visit at least one of them, every month and am gone for 4 - 6 days.  Boarding my pets is cost prohibitive, not to mention a hassle. and very traumatic for them. 

  

Any suggestions?  

  

  

  

  

  

   

wow, Seems like all you want her for is for her help, but not for her friendship which seems like that is what she wants from you. I mean you need to read what you wrote. the first hour you met her you asked her to watch your animals. That is some nerve. then you get mad when she wakes you up from a nap? I think you ARE using her to care for your animals. You dont want to hear her YAP, you cantbe bothered by her but you want her help. What a one sided realtionship. You want from her but dont want to give to her. I mean you want her help 4-6 times a month. I think you are riude to ask a neighbor for help that much. Maybe if you cant afford to board them then you need to not go. I mean serisouly read what you wrote. wow. I wish this lady could see how you really feel cause I am sure she would drop your ungrateful self like a hot rock! My suggestion,. .... dont travel or board your animals this is your burdon.
 
November 23, 2005, 2:16 pm CST

Maybe you guys can help me out...

I’ve known my friend (friend A) for nearly 8 years now.  We've been best friends for over 6 of those years.  A few months ago our friendship has been falling apart.  She has been getting closer to one of our mutual friends (friend B) that well to be honest isn’t the greatest example of a friend.  This girl can't be trusted with anything, she will pick a guy over you the second it’s possible (even if it’s your own guy) and very materialistic.  Nevertheless she is a fun person to spend time with.  One day this girl and I got into an argument.  Our argument was about me trying to tell her that what is going on between friend A and myself does not concern her.  Now my once upon a time best friend is extremely mad at me and refuses to talk to me.  We've all done things wrong throughout our friendship but yet I'm the one that’s treated like a criminal.  Every time I try to talk to friend A she refuses to listen and won't hear me out. Every attempt I’ve done to fix the friendship has failed.  I know this could be easily fixed if we could just talk to each other without the presence of the other girl but she refuses to talk to me without that girl being there.  I try to explain to her that our friendship shouldn’t be influenced or affected by somebody else.  Originally this was caused by lack of communication between friend A and me.  Friend B decided to get involved where she should have and it just created this large snowball of hurt that just won’t stop!  Now the trust, which was once very strong, between me and friend A has been completely ruined because she has told friend B and other individuals’ things about me which were very personal and friend A was the only person which knew these things.  I don’t know why she’s trying to get back at me like this.  Every time I try asking her about it she keeps bringing up friend B.  I just don’t know how to make her understand that we've all have a part in this.  I didn’t wake up one morning and decided to ruin the world, at least our world.  I tell her how she's hurt me just to get no response.  She’s not the same person anymore.  I don’t know if I should just cut my loses or maybe try something I haven’t thought of yet.  I just really don’t want to give up on something that meant so much to me before.  Have any advice on this childish feud? 

 
November 23, 2005, 2:41 pm CST

Best Friends?

I have known this "BF" since elementary school.  We became distant after she introduced my now fiance to me years ago.  I admit that I have'nt been with her as much as we used to, but she is really difficult to be with b/c our personalities are so different.  She is very materialistic, selfish, naive, and not into the real world.  She doesn' t appreciate what her friends do for her.   She spends a lot of money on herself  and complains that she doesn't have any money.  She uses men until she's bored of them and them dumps them.  It's always her way or the highway.  I don't know what to do with her anymore and I am not blunt enough to tell her the truth. 
 
November 23, 2005, 6:01 pm CST

Neighbor - pets - friendship??

Quote From: jeanniej70

wow, Seems like all you want her for is for her help, but not for her friendship which seems like that is what she wants from you. I mean you need to read what you wrote. the first hour you met her you asked her to watch your animals. That is some nerve. then you get mad when she wakes you up from a nap? I think you ARE using her to care for your animals. You dont want to hear her YAP, you cantbe bothered by her but you want her help. What a one sided realtionship. You want from her but dont want to give to her. I mean you want her help 4-6 times a month. I think you are riude to ask a neighbor for help that much. Maybe if you cant afford to board them then you need to not go. I mean serisouly read what you wrote. wow. I wish this lady could see how you really feel cause I am sure she would drop your ungrateful self like a hot rock! My suggestion,. .... dont travel or board your animals this is your burdon.
Is it really necessary that one offer friendship in exchange for the service (which is paid for) of pet-sitting? I don't think so. Do we expect the cashier at the grocery store to be our friends (or vice versa).

I think that the better solution would to just be honest and explain one's time constraints and to say that they cannot spend time at certain parts of the day for conversation or other engagements.

I am a terrible morning person so I am sure to state that when someone asks me a favor. I sometimes do sacrifice some of my sleep time for favors, but I make it clear that it is something that I cannot do regularly.

I help teach ladies how to drive. Many times the only way I know them is through a mutual friend/acquaintance. Sometimes we have become more like friends, but usually the relationship remains more like an acquaintance. I come to the relationship knowing that they need me for something, I offer that something, and when my job is done I am left with all that I expected.


 
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