I guess most people wish to have connections with others, unless they’re the anti-social types. I sometimes wonder if the social loners have it easier in life, as they don’t have to worry and scramble like the rest of us in finding others to connect to. Or worse yet, they don’t find themselves settling for people who are not worthy of them, in order to not be alone. However, it seems too much of a lonely existence to me personally and that’s not my particular route in life.
Even though I am a hermit in general (I’m not the partying type or a crowd lover), I do need connections with others in this life. I do have GOOD connections now, with a few people that I adore and not just settling for, but I learned a helluva LOT in reaching this point. I learned what true friendship means and how to identify many breeds of false ones.
The following is my list of the toxic relationship types. I’ve learned that if a “friend” or romantic partner exhibit any or many of these traits, it’s time for me to reevaluate my relationship with that person or persons. No self-respecting true friend or loving partner would ever have these traits, only the parasitic types of people do!
1.) The Fair Weathered / Bad Weathered Friends – These are conditional “friends” who only seem to show up when I’m in a particular mood, but disappear quickly when I’m in another. Fair Weathered friends show up when things are going well in my life, when I’m successful in something, or when I gain great rewards in life. These friends are the first to show up at a party, but always seem to disappear when the food and drinks have run out, or when it’s time to clean up afterward.
Oddly enough, there are Bad Weathered friends as well, who do the opposite. They will show up to growl against the thoughtlessness of the Fair Weathered friends, cry with me during any of my troubles, and always seem eager to hear the “dirt” of any situation in my life. On the surface, they seem like great friends in my time of need, but when things are going great in my life they disappear or don’t seem too happy when I share good news with them. They seemed bored or “not entertained” when I’m okay and only return when the dirt happens once again.
2.) Time Bandits – These are “friends” that always show up on my doorstep with a problem or issue that they need me to solve. They rely on me too much and too often, taking advantage of my time and kindness, while praising me much for that help in order to gain MORE help. They never seem to be satiated, no matter how much time you feed them, always needing and asking for more time. A huge clue that someone is a Time Bandit is when they NEVER find the time for me in return, not even a smidgen or five minutes, nor do they ever return the kindness. They simply keep asking for more, disregarding any issue or discomfort I may be feeling that day or moment, their attention is only focused on gaining more time, advice, and entertainment from me.
3.) Emotional Vampires – These are never “friends”, but more like an overall draining force. physically and mentally. They sucked me dry from any positive thoughts or endeavors I may plan to do. They even have the ability to convince me that I’m unworthy, a fail, stupid, and so on. I know that I’m in the presence of an emotional vampire when I feel so drained after a few moments of chatting with one, feeling as if I just want to curl up in bed and cry myself to sleep. They were people in my life that could crush my happy mood with just one opening sentence, which would in turn ruin the rest of my day. I often spent my time trying to avoid them and make excuses to escape conversation with them.
These vampires sometimes like to play the “victim”, to seek me with problems that often have clear solutions to them, but not really wanting advice at all. They counter with “yeah, but…” and like to insist how doomed they are, no matter what I suggest or offer to help them with. For example, I once had a “friend” who complained how she didn’t have enough money for a video game that I was enjoying. Every time I posted screenshots of my game progress, she’d comment with, “You’re so lucky to be able to afford that game. If I had it, my life would be so joyful.” I offered and sent her a copy of the game. Two days after she got it, she cursed that I could afford games and that she couldn’t at the time, instead of enjoying her free game. So, there was still a “problem” which she was a victim of, in spite of my best efforts to solve it.
4.) The Narcissistic Friend – These types are the worst, because they’re a bit of the Time Bandit and Emotional Vampire, wrapped in a burrito of hubris, grandiose entitlement, attention hogging, and a pathological need for everyone’s admiration. Nothing they do in friendship or love is ever selfless and revolves around what they can personally gain for themselves. I tried to keep a narcissistic friend once and it was a complete disaster! I had to give him constant ego stroking, always found myself trying to prove to him that my friendship was of some benefit to him (in order for him to stick around), and everything HAD to be his way or the highway. The moment I put my foot down against his demands is the moment he chucked me away like yesterday’s garbage, without hesitation, empathy, or regret. I also made two very awful mistakes of falling in love with him and telling him my secrets, which it’s been said to NEVER do with Narcissists. They will use that information or feelings against the person, every time.
And it goes without saying (but I’ll mention it anyway!), those who physically abuse me are NOT “friends” or “the love of my life” automatically. The good news is that I got rid of every last toxic relationship I’ve listed here, since 2012. I no longer have tolerance for such non-sense, because I now have a few friends who do NOT possess these traits.
It wasn’t an easy decision to make at first, because 97% of my connections were these toxic types. I knew that if I cut my ties, I would only have three people left. I knew that would mean that I would feel lonely more often than not, but I couldn’t continue the way that it was. I was morbidly unhappy in those relationships, falling deeper in depression, and my self-worth was washing away. So what if I wasn’t “lonely”, technically, with these people? I felt so lonely around them regardless, as no one saw “me”, not really…
NOW… for my good list of what makes a true friend or romantic partner! This is an over-simplified list for sure, but it’s just a little insight into some wonderful traits a true relationship should possess.
1.) All Weathered Friend – This is a friend who is there for me no matter what kind weather I find myself in: rain, sunshine, mild, scorching heatwave, it matters not. They’re happy to hear from me or be around me, in spite of it. And vice versa.
2.) Time Partners – We give each other time apart and time together. We share our issues with each other equally and is a support for each other when times get rough. It’s not solely on me to be there to help them nor the other way around. We help each other and neither of us are so needy that we crave time from each other constantly.
3.) Emotional Allies – We inspire, encourage, and give healthy emotional support to each other. No one puts down or drains anyone, at least not on purpose. Friends do argue and disagree, but they apologize and make up as well. Contact with my friends often gives me a huge boost in spirit and adds energy to my life. And I seem to do the same for them in return.
4.) Kind And Caring Friends – These are friends who got their sh$t together basically and are able to have empathy for others. They do have a sense of selflessness, loyalty, kindness, understanding, patience, and are not egocentric whatsoever. They are beyond awesome and I never feel like I have to prove my worth to them, in order for them to want to stick around or speak to me. My friends are just kind and friendly folks and I appreciate them for accepting and seeing me for who I am.
In the end, I did get rid of every toxic relationship one by one and I was really lonely for a long while. It was hell, but I allowed myself to heal within that year, get myself together, to reflect and redirect. And then I began to slowly make new contacts, real and decent ones, that match my good list.
Another lesson I’ve learned is that in order to be a friend to someone, you MUST learn to be a friend to yourself first. I was a terrible friend to myself, during those years around toxic people. I cared more for them than I cared about my own needs or wants, I often put them first over my health or plans, and I often let myself be judged and “lower” than them in order for their self-esteem and confidence to soar. I neglected my well being in order to remain friends with these people. I was a crappy friend to myself, therefore I had crappy friends around me. When I began to change my friendship within myself, the outer situation changed as well.
Thanks for reading, it’s always appreciated. ^_^