There are many different kinds of toxic friends: the narcissistic friend, the friend you have to make all the plans with, the flaky friend, the friend who takes advantage of you, and the friend you have nothing in common with. Some you hang on, and others you need to get out of your life.
But firing a friend isn’t an easy decision, especially if you’ve been friends for a long time. There are also times when you try to convince yourself that the friendship isn’t damaging you. Some toxic friends may not seem that bad on the surface but if you really think about it, you know that their presence in your life is harmful and destructive.
One of the worst kinds of a bad friend is the negative friend, because they will actually get in the way of your happiness and every moment you spend with them will chip away at your self-esteem. Negative people bring you down with their constant pessimism, bad moods, bitterness, and their gift at being able to dissolve your joy within seconds.
An overly negative person doesn’t even have to direct their negativity at you for it to affect you. So how do you know if someone is too negative to be in your life?
1. They tell you that you need to toughen up.
Your negative friend can’t take it when someone gives them some constructive criticism; yet, they have no problem criticizing you. When you tell them that they’ve hurt you with something they’ve said, they accuse you of having thin skin.
2. They constantly judge you.
A good friend is someone who accepts you unconditionally and doesn’t give you unsolicited advice. If your friend is hypercritical and always pointing out your flaws, you need to fire them as soon as possible. They aren’t good for you mentally or emotionally.
3. They put a lot of pressure on you.
An overly negative friend will keep at you to succeed as if you’re their stand-in for life. The overly negative are often insecure about their own abilities and find it easier to latch on to someone else. Life is stressful enough without someone continually pushing and prodding you.
4. They put a negative spin on everything.
Your overly negative friend has an amazing gift for turning your wins into failures.
5. They want you to share everything.
A true friend gives as much as they take. An overly negative friend wants you to share all your secrets (ammunition to be used against you later) but won’t tell you any of theirs.
6. They’re extremely controlling.
Your bad friend has no problem shaming you for any misstep you make, and will say things like, “You’re not going to eat that, are you?”
7. They give back-handed compliments.
It’s kind of artistic how they can say something hurtful or insulting in such a way that it takes you a minute to realize the negative intent behind it. “Look at you wearing that dress. I would never be that brave. Go you.”
8. They talk sh*t about you behind your back.
Your overly negative friend isn’t just gossiping about you; they take badmouthing to the next level and are reveling in your mistakes and failures.
9. They thrive in drama.
Those with negative attitudes can never just chill. They have to create drama and stress.
10. They’re jealous.
Because they thrive on gloom and doom, your overly negative friend can’t stand it when you’re feeling happy and doing well. They don’t support you, and they certainly aren’t happy for you when you get your dream job or when your significant other proposes.
Some friendships are so negative that they’re unhealthy for you. It doesn’t make you a bad person to want these friends gone from your life; it’s actually better to deal with the fact that the relationship isn’t working and that you both need to move on.
Once you break up with a friend, there’s no going back, so think about it long and hard before you do it. It can be liberating to get that negativity out of your life.