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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 24, 2008, 1:40 pm CST

I have found without some kind of communication

Quote From: angel111999

Communication is very important in a relationship. If you talk in ANGER nothing ill get resolved. A problem does not get soolved when screaming at each other. This makes for a TOXIC relationship and you start resenting each other to the point you avoid listening to each other.

RESPECT for each other's opinion is also necessary to maintain a healthy relationship. Without it you will bring each other down which causes more problems.

Life is too short to stay with the person because you don't think you are STRONG and SECURE enough to let go of a NEGATIVE person.

YOU CAN DO IT....YES YOU CAN. I did and I found someone who has all the qualities of a man I want to live my life with that has the same ideals as I do.

Take the step into the right direction. DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!!!!!!

Bella Angel :o)
......a relationship is just plain ol bad. If you think about it, communication is really the only way we can ask for what we want, say what we like or don't like, etc. if you can't have that then the relationship is just waiting to turn into a big mess. Even in the best of situations, where communication is good, misunderstandings happen.  I was married to a guy that had no idea how to communicate and even told me he wishes he were better at it. I just basically said "for a guy that can save a life, he was in the medical field, smart in many areas, it was just difficult for me to understand how a guy could run meetings over meetings, organize events, save lives.....yet not be able to communicate?  It just didn't make sense so I figured it was just a lazy man's way out of having to compromise :)

Respect is also crucial. Without respect, communication may as well go out the window.

Life is too short and even we get blessed to have a long life, one day of abuse, is one day too many.

I like that you encourage dreams and them coming true. I believe dreams do come true. As long as we don't forget the we have to wake up once in a while and face reality. I honestly believe now that whatever we get, is what we are giving. I am glad you found someone that has all the qualities of a man that you wanted. How long did you stay single before you actually met this man? And how many guys did you have to date before you met?  I am just curious if you dated much or did you just set your sights on a specific type and then just ....wait???? :)

Taking steps in a direction that is good for us individually will get us to where we want to get to a lot faster then following someone elses path or idea of life. Thats why its really important that single people build strong lives for themselves and then when they do meet someone it will probably be in the area that they are already comfortable in.


 
November 25, 2008, 3:58 am CST

NEVER TAKE ACTION WHEN YOU ARE ANGRY

Quote From: kimikomine

......a relationship is just plain ol bad. If you think about it, communication is really the only way we can ask for what we want, say what we like or don't like, etc. if you can't have that then the relationship is just waiting to turn into a big mess. Even in the best of situations, where communication is good, misunderstandings happen.  I was married to a guy that had no idea how to communicate and even told me he wishes he were better at it. I just basically said "for a guy that can save a life, he was in the medical field, smart in many areas, it was just difficult for me to understand how a guy could run meetings over meetings, organize events, save lives.....yet not be able to communicate?  It just didn't make sense so I figured it was just a lazy man's way out of having to compromise :)

Respect is also crucial. Without respect, communication may as well go out the window.

Life is too short and even we get blessed to have a long life, one day of abuse, is one day too many.

I like that you encourage dreams and them coming true. I believe dreams do come true. As long as we don't forget the we have to wake up once in a while and face reality. I honestly believe now that whatever we get, is what we are giving. I am glad you found someone that has all the qualities of a man that you wanted. How long did you stay single before you actually met this man? And how many guys did you have to date before you met?  I am just curious if you dated much or did you just set your sights on a specific type and then just ....wait???? :)

Taking steps in a direction that is good for us individually will get us to where we want to get to a lot faster then following someone elses path or idea of life. Thats why its really important that single people build strong lives for themselves and then when they do meet someone it will probably be in the area that they are already comfortable in.


Don't use words carelessly because they can never be retrieved.

No matter how dire your situation, keep your cool. Act with courtesy and fairness regardless of how others treat you. Don't let them determine your response. Try to avoid sarcastic remarks and keep a tight rein on your temper. How you say something is an important as what you say.

Remember the three Rs

Respect for self

Respect for others

Responsibility for all your actions.

Bella Angel :0)
 
December 15, 2008, 4:33 pm CST

Ending a toxic friendship

I gave this friend the benefit of the doubt so many times and I hated myself for it. I decided to finally confront her and I think her reaction proves she was never a friend at all.

Here's the background and story:


A couple of years ago, when I was 25, I was living and working abroad in Canada for year (I am from London, UK). I didn't know anyone when I first arrived and one of the friends I made was a girl the same age as me who really made an effort to be nice to me and to show me around the city. She was often a lot of fun to be around and on the surface was really generous and kind with her time but gradually I saw that we only ever did things she wanted to do, and there were things she said and did that always made me aware in the back of my mind that I was being used.

1) Every time I saw her she would mention something about how she had always wanted to visit London and would I be returning to live there after my time abroad?

2) She and her husband weren't getting along and when we all went out together she would leave me to talk to him while she did her own thing. She would also constantly put him down.

3) Invited me to her work Christmas party with a bunch of her friends and colleagues and openly chased another guy in front of her husband, ignoring him all night. When I pointed this out she told me to go and talk to her husband to keep him occupied and pretty much ignored me for the rest of the party. She proceeded to get very very drunk and didn't even notice when I went eventually to tell her I was leaving.

4)She phoned me to say she was getting divorced and asked me to come round. I went straight over there, thinking she would need a shoulder to cry on but all she wanted was someone to change the tyre on her car now that her husband wasn't there to do it for her! She had called 3 people and left us to do the work, in the snow!

5) She set me up with a guy at a party, a guy who was totally not my type and I wasn't his type which surely a friend would have known. It was painfully obvious we were mismatched and we laughed about it and went our separate ways at the party. The next day she phoned me to say 'hey, he didn't fancy you, but I have a date with him tonight, I think I'll sleep with him'.

 

6) She would regularly make derogatory remarks about my having a full time 'corporate' job (she worked part time in a retail and was quite happy to live off her husband, while I was supporting myself) ,saying stuff like I was 'selling out and not really getting the true meaning of living or the value of money' - that people with jobs like mine were 'lame' - while she took pride in telling everyone how little money she spent and how she'd haggled the price down on this etc and therefore was saving all this money up. And then asked others to pay for her drinks etc!


6) A few weeks after her husband moved out she invited me over saying she needed cheering up and was inviting the girls over for pizza, drinks and a movie. After we had been there approx 10 minutes she suddenly jumped up saying 'right, time to clean up' and had us cleaning her apartment! We did because we felt sorry for her, her husband had done everything for her and the place was a complete mess now that he was gone. Dishes and laundry everywhere etc. She had never lived by herself, moving in with her husband at 18 (she was now 25), straight from her parents. She didn't even know where the cleaning products were kept in her own home and had never taken the garbage out!!  However, she barely lifted a finger to help us and never once said thankyou. She even ordered pizza, then when it arrived said she had no money 'but you guys can pay' and then proceeded to eat most of it herself while we worked!

I had known her about 8 months by this point and after that I avoided her as much as possible, only seeing her occasionally because I was angry at being used and I had made plenty of other friends there who were real friends and I am still in regular contact with now. However, just before I left  the country after my year was up she invited me over saying she wanted to say goodbye before I went back to the UK. She gave me a really lovely card and asked for my address at home. I wasn't sure I wanted to give it to her because she was still talking about travelling and I didn't want her just turning up at my door so I told her I didn't know where I would be living yet and would email it to her once I was settled (this was the truth anyway). She then asked for my parents address (where I would be staying temporarily) so she 'could at least send a care package of treats from Canada for when I got back home' I was suprised but touched by the nice things she had said in the card and that she would offer to do that and so gave her the address. And never heard from her for the next year......

Then, earlier this year she started emailing, asking how I was. We emailed a bit and then chatted on Facebook chat and she was funny and friendly. She told me she was planning on backpacking around europe for 6 months and did I want to join her for 2 weeks over the summer? I said yes because I had some vacation time left and love to travel and she had had her fun moments when I knew her before. I also hoped she had changed. We agreed to meet in Budapest on a particular date and had a rough plan for what we would do and where we would go for two weeks.

When I was booking my flight I double checked the date and city with her and she confirmed it was all fine.  A week later she asked if we could meet in Croatia instead.  I told her I couldn't change my flight and she got a bit annoyed, trying to make me find a way around it but I stuck to it and she agreed to the original plan of Budapest. She then booked her ticket for the wrong date, leaving me with 24 hours by myself before she came. This wasn't really a problem for me as I have travelled a lot on my own but when she finally arrived I asked about her flight, how her family were, her new boyfriend etc. She didn't ask one single thing about me. Not even what I'd done for my 24hours before she arrived.

For 2 weeks through Hungary and Slovenia she talked only about herself and her new boyfriend. Wasn't interested in anything about me. She had not brought an alarm clock or watch and made me wake her at 6am every day so she could talk to her boyfriend on Skype. She also always managed to get out of doing anything I wanted to do  and as she had  brought no watch and no cellphone she wouldn't  seperate so we could each do our own thing for an afternoon in case she got lost and couldn't find me or the hostel again! I had to do everything for her.  She couldn't even read a map. One day we went hiking and I suggested we get a trail map and she told me trail maps were for idiots who couldn't read sign posts!!  The truth was she just didn't know how to read one.

 

I watched her use people for anything she could get from them and being very rude to the local people we met, critiscising them  (to their face) for not speaking english etc! She didn't make an effort to understand any local customs or try to communicate, she just went around complaining and swearing under breath. She didn't bring any guidebooks because she said 'I don't know anything about my own country why do I want to know anything about these ones'! It got pretty embarrassing.

She would take food at the places we stayed, use people's stuff without asking and ask me to sub her for lunch or a coffee if we ate out, saying she didn't want to use the ATM to get cash too often because of the charges! At first I didn't mind, my other friends and I always take it in turns to cover the cost of stuff but she kept saying I had a job so therefore I could afford to pay for things (she had given up her job to travel)!   Eventually I told her that yes, I did have a job but I also lived alone and had to pay for everything myself so I didn't have much spare cash and couldn't pay for everything. I pointed out she had recently bought an apartment (from her divorce settlement) that she was renting out to cover the mortgage, had been living for free with her parents and now lived with her new boyfirend who she had boasted was paying for everything for her. so she was probably better off than I was. She accused me of being selfish and childish and told me I needed to grow up, saying friends helped each other out! I didn't argue back because we still had a week together and I wanted to keep the peace.

I think deep down she is very insecure because I heard her lying about her previous job to everyone we met, making out it was much bigger than it is, exaggerating her travel experiences when we met other backpackers and putting me down whenever she could. I have lived abroad twice in my life - once with family and once on my own. I have done numerous backpacking trips including travelling right around the world by myself whereas this was only the second time she had left Canada.  I am very self sufficient and have always supported my self but she took every opportunity to make me sound stupid or try to correct me everywhere we went.

The worst moment was towards the end of the trip when she asked me to read an email her boyfriend had sent her, saying he was so sweet etc etc I must read it. Well, part of the email was very sweet, but it was also a reply to an email she had sent to him (which I could see in the thread, very obviously) in which  she had slagged me off saying I was a terrible travel partner, and her boyfriend had replied 'I'm sorry (my name) isn't working out, you'll be rid of her soon'!!! When I asked why she had made me read the email that contained that she said 'well, surely you know that so where's the harm?'!!!!

 

Towards the end of my time on the trip she asked if she could keep my guidebooks and the two novels I had brought with me. I told her I really wanted to keep the guidebooks as I wanted to come back to these countries (plus they had cost me about  £45) and would need them and that the novels belonged to my sister so they weren't mine to to give away. She had another go at me, calling me selfish and a child who had never learned to share and basically trying to guilt me into giving the books to her.  Even about my sister's books she kept saying 'she won't mind, don't be so selfish'!  Then she tried suggesting she could return them to me when she came to visit me on the UK leg of her trip. This was news to me, none of the plans she had previously mentioned had included the uK!  I just put my foot down and said no (because I didn't want her having an excuse to visit me).  For the rest of that evening she made snide remarks in front of the people we had met where we were staying, basically saying I was a selfish child.

On the last day of the trip I was pretty cool towards her, said goodbye and left, thinking that was it, I couldn't stand her anymore. I told my family and friends what the trip had been like and they couldn't believe I had actually stuck with her. One friend from back in Canada who had met her when I was living there also suggested I just cut her off and block emails because she had always known this girl was a user and taker, but I felt really bad about doing that because I honestly don't think she realises how she behaves. She's just very immature. I thought that as she obviously didn't have a good time on the trip with me either (as evidenced by the email to her boyfriend) that she wouldn't bother to keep in touch and she lives in another country anyway so there was no need to make a fuss of finishing the friendship. 

However, a few weeks after I got home from the trip she started emailing again. Her boyfriend had joined her travelling and she wanted to know if they could come to the UK and have my apartment for 2 weeks over christmas, saying 'you will be away staying with family, right?'! Firstly, I don't get 2 weeks holiday. I told her I didn't know what my plans were so she should arrange something else.

She then started including me on group emails to her family and friends, about her and her boyfriend's travel experiences and their updated itinieries (which always included the dates they would be in the UK) but I never replied. Then one day the group email came saying her itinerary had changed and she would not be coming to the UK anymore.  After that I received no more emails, which was fine by me. My belief is this is because I could not be useful anymore so she didn't need to keep in touch.

Until a few days ago...

She wrote saying she was applying for jobs in the UK and could I help her look. Now, I don't live in London anymore (which is where she really wants to visit), I moved to a small town, so I replied saying I couldn't help as this was a small town and there wasn't much here so she should look somewhere else, thinking that would be it.

She wrote back saying how much she loves small towns and surely I can find her something similar to my job - 'your job can't be that hard, can't I do that?'. This made me really angry as I went to university and have held down good full time jobs for the past 6 years (including working a year abroad), working my way up in different companies. She finished high school and has worked in a shop. Most of the time she lives off other people (husband, then family, now new boyfriend).

I did not reply to the last email but the next day she sent another one saying she had booked a flight to the UK for January (when her boyfriend will be returning to Canada) and she is flying to the nearest airport to me! She also tried to contact me on Facebook chat all that day and I ignored her.

I was so worried she would just turn up on my doorstep and I would be stuck with her.  If it was any of my other friends I wouldn't have a problem because I trust them and would always give them a place to stay. But this girl, I would not trust with anything, let alone the keys to my place while I am at work all day.

 

So, I spent ages writing what I thought was a polite, as non-hurtful as possible email saying that I had got her message about flying here in Jan but that I was sorry I couldn't offer her a place to stay or help her with her job search because we were just too different as people and since she had shown me the email she wrote about me during our trip I didn't feel that she really would want to spend time with me anyway.

 

I told her that I was grateful for her friendship in Canada and that we had had a lot of fun times but that there were often things that made me think she was using me and/or just didn't particularly like me and that our summer trip had reinforced that. I pointed out a few occasions where she had insulted me personally when I didn't see any need for it. I said that if I was wrong then I was really sorry but that was the way things seemed to me and that I still wished her well in her job search and the rest of her travels.

 

The reply I received?

 

"I had ALL intentions of NOT coming to your town

I had NO intentions of bothering you

I HAVE other friends in the UK

I DID think of you as a friend and wish you well despite your HARSH WORDS"

 

That was it. No apology, no denial, no anything.  Surely if someone was truly your friend they would want to try and work it out, or at least try and defend their actions if they thought you were wrong?  And if, as she says, she had no intention of visiting me then surely she didn't count me as a friend so why does she seem so angry?

 

Part of me feels like I wasted too much time on a person who never liked me anyway and the other part of me feels bad for making her angry. Both things make me feel crap!

 
January 24, 2009, 12:18 pm CST

indescribeably annoying

Help, I am neighbors with a couple that we have known for 20 years and spent happy times with when our children were young. We recently retired and live in the same neighborhood, far away from  our past lives. The problem i s that the husband, my husband's past co worker  and current difficult friend's presence has become unbearable to me. I do not want to be around him. His personaality has chhanged from when we used to go on vacations together and I no longer want to be his friend. I enjoy his wife's company, but not so much that I am willing to put up with him. He has become a 'know it all' and expresses his opinion, usually the opposite of everyone else's ,whether he is asked for it or not. He is rude, crude, and generally obnoxious. He makes racists statements in front of me even though I have asked him not to . He recently helped us paint on a remodeling project for our son. He was a big help and we were grateful and my son and his wife invited all of us to a thank you dinner. He found fault with their furniture, paint color choices and lots more, Barely made note of the delicious dinner and talked of off color topics. I promised my daughter in law that I would never suject her to that again. He recently wanted to use us as an excuse to not attend a fund raiser that I would have chosen to attend. Need any more info I have lots more . How do I get out of this friendship?
 
February 9, 2009, 11:37 am CST

Toxic friendship

I don't even know where to start,i know my "friend"for nine years i taught i knew her ,i was always there for her in any situation no matter what.I exepted her for who she was but never paid attention that i was her only friend ,to her she always had to say stuff about other people i down the road realized she is jelous ,very competative and nobody is god for her.She got maried very young at  age of 16 in to very sick enviroment had no suport and wasv alone.She with her housband and only child they have moved to USA from Europe,she also had hard time here but with my help and my family she moved shortly after i did to Florida where i helped her a lot with everithing but...famous "but'!!! She started to change ...a lot ,started copying me from nails to hair to car to house decoration i tought ...why not ,she likes my stile but then realised that is getting creepy...She started geting jelous on other people that i tried to hang out if anybody comes over to my house she gets jelous and talks about them ,she purposely tries so hard to get close to some people that like to come over to my house and if they dont want to hang out with her she trashes them out and if she has a chance to be with them she purposly talks about that i gues to hurt me...I never said anything to her because she "was "(i tought)my friend i got to the point where i just cant be in same room with her ,she lied to me a lots of time and i just cant fight i dont want to talk to her i just want to slowly drift apart i just dont now how its taking tol on my and my family,if i start to talk to her it will and up bad i dont need that im to stressed over that...help please!!!!
 
July 11, 2009, 1:38 pm CDT

Toxic friend

I ditched my abusive, toxic friend about 3 years ago and this is the toughest but best decision I've made in my life (It was a very tough decision because I have known her for more than 15 years and she does have some good qualities that I appreciate).
But the fact remains that I was her victim - she used to take subtle digs and jabs at me all the time, hurt me with her sly remarks constantly (I quietly put up with her BS for more than 15 years)! I made a terrible mistake of putting up with her emotional crap (I know she had been abused by her father as a child and I felt very sorry for her ).  Every time I spoke to her, I would hear nothing but back-handed compliments. Sometimes, she used to be blatantly rude and obnoxious. She never ever made the effort even once to wish me on my birthday, although I never failed to wish her on her birthday. About 3 years ago, I decided to call it quits. I stopped calling her on her birthday. She seemed upset about it as though I had committed a huge crime! The last straw came when she compared me to her abusive dad! Go figure! I threw her out of my life that very instant. She has tried to contact me several times in order to lure me back into her life (she is looking for a punching bag, not a friend! (the last message I got from her was about 3 weeks ago! (May 2009)) ). I am in no mood to be her punching bag any longer. I have not returned any of her phone calls or e-mail. I am tired of her and want her out of my life and my inner space. I feel very peaceful, now that I have cut her out of my life - no more abuses! I do wish her well and hope that she changes for the better - but one thing is for sure - she will never be part of my life ever again.    
 
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