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General Category => General Forum => Topic started by: icy on September 20, 2009, 08:36:06 am

Title: 9 signs your friend is toxic
Post by: icy on September 20, 2009, 08:36:06 am
Susan Shapiro Barash, author of Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships, on how to tell when your friendship is unhealthy Ö and how to disengage. 

The colloquial term "frenemy" was coined to describe a complicated relationship wherein a person causes a friend such pain and anguish that there is a blur between this person being your "friend" or "enemy." Why is it so hard to tell the difference between the two opposite words that society had to create a fuzzy word to describe a shade of gray? For one, our parents didnít raise us with built-in "bad friend sensors" because our girlfriends are different to us than they were to our mothers or grandmothers, explains Susan Shapiro Barash, a nationally regarded gender expert and author of Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships , an upcoming tome on dealing with female relationships.

With advances in communication technologies, such as Skype and Facebook , women have been able to move farther away from their mothers and siblings in pursuit of their careers and families. And during the process, women sought the comfort of nearby friends on whom to depend, as though they shared the same DNA.

"My grandmother didnít need a book like this,Ē Shapiro tells us. "Her family didnít live three thousand miles away. Today, what women look for in female friendships is what they would look for in a relationship with their mother or sister."

Additionally, our grandmothers werenít going to restaurants to meet with girlfriends to talk about their sex lives, careers and health. According to Barash, it appears that these types of gatherings grew from women who sought the deep connections seen on popular television series, such as "Sex & The City" and "Friends." Shows that highlighted female kinships that are just as strong ó if not tighter ó than family ties have become a model for real-life social circles and in turn women have grown to trust friends with very private matters. Itís also natural for women to turn to the comfort of friends when they grow older and lose their mothers, sisters and significant others.

Hence, friends have become a fabric of our lives ó which also explains why it hurts us so when a friendship is fraught with confusion, heartache and tears. Letís face it: A mean friend is just as scarring as a bad mother or husband. This is similar to the conclusion made by Barash, which compelled her to explore the key components of damaging relationships and also provide women advice on how to detect such harmful friendships. Here we asked Barash to share with us the signs of a toxic friendship ó and how to disengage.


The 9 Signs Youíre in a Toxic Friendship

1) Your friend is jealous of you. Jealousy is different than envy and the first can be very toxic for the relationship. Jealousy is: "I want what you have and I want you dead or disappeared." Envy is just: "I want what you have." A jealous friend will want to cut you out of her life because she really wants what you have and canít stand to be around you anymore. An envious friend will want what you have, but will look to you as her inspiration or role model, and compete with you to get in the lead.

2) Your friend is a "doormat": Itís tiring to always be with someone who is so malleable.

3) Your friend wasnít there for you. Itís sometimes hard to see if a friend is really a true pal until there is a life-changing moment in your life that requires the personís support. This eye-opening event is called The Inciting Incident, which is when everything is going along fine, until wham! someone gets sick, or loses their job, or gets married or loses a loved one, and you find that the friend you thought would be by your side isnít there for you at all. She doesnít celebrate your good news nor does she help you in times of need. For some women it takes an "inciting incident" to finally notice that a friend is toxic.

4) Your friend is draining you: You feel youíre psychologically and emotionally giving all your energy to her and receiving nothing in return.

5) You donít share the same values or the same world view: Itís a red flag that this isnít the right friend for you if you donít respect her for who she is. I interviewed a woman who wished her friendís husband ill. It made the married woman realize that her friendís behavior is nothing like her own.

6) You are using one another: This type of toxic relationship develops among socialites. You want to be friends with your neighbor because your children attend the same private school and you can coordinate a carpool. Will the friendship last? Maybe. Is there really a friendship between the mothers or is it just using? Is it worth turning this friendship into anything more than an agreement?

7) The relationship offers no return on investment: This is similar to a friend who is draining you Ė but this isnít just an emotional give and take. If you are the one calling your friend to make plans and going out of your way to be with her, but she makes no attempt to go out of her way for you, then sheís not meeting you halfway.

8) Your friend is harming someone else or doing something illicit. Do you want to be associated with someone who is morally unjust? Thatís a judgment call on your part.

9) Your friend burdens you with a secret: Your friend trusts you by sharing the details of her affair, but keeping the secret has weighed on you emotionally. You might want to keep your distance. If youíre too close to this woman and the secret is really impacting your life for the worse, itís time to disengage yourself.

How to Disengage: If any of these signs describes one of your friendships, itís likely to be a toxic relationship thatís burdensome to not just your sanity but hers as well. You could deliberately distance yourself and let the relationship fizzle into oblivion. If you would like to renegotiate the relationship and improve the friendship, have an honest conversation to reveal how you feel. Youíll risk losing this person, but the reward could be improving the quality of the friendship. Honesty is the best policy. Say: "Iím really upset you didnít do this and this. And I needed you there to do this and this."

Title: Re: 9 signs your friend is toxic
Post by: caskurô on September 20, 2009, 09:01:27 am
Between 4 pm and 4.30 pm our channel ten has put reruns of "Friends"....I have now seen for the first time, about 4 episodes....what a crap sticom that show is.....omg, it is pure rubbish...it replaced "Raymond" which was another show that did a rerun.....well, I hadn't seen it the first time around but I can tell you, "Raymond" was great....

As for "Sex in the City"....I have seen perhaps 10 minutes of one show and thought is was pure ****...

American sitcoms are absolutely ridiculous.....and Oz don't have any I think.....I am not a sitcom fan..I am actually sitting here trying to think of one sitcom besides Seinfeld, Rosanne, and Raymond that beat those 3 and I can't come up with one..

I love movies, the news and informations shows and Aussie Idols/talent shows....and that is about it....I see Bold and Beautiful only from time to time now....I am so over TV, period...

Title: Re: 9 signs your friend is toxic
Post by: caskurô on September 20, 2009, 09:07:32 am
I have one rl girlfriend now....She is the best one ever...I have a family of women, including 3 sisters and 3 female cousins on my side......we all get on very well.....none of us talk about our sex lives.....that isn't what Aussies do...thank God....

Sex should be between lovers. It is a special part of a shared intimacy that is souly private in my view.

Title: Re: 9 signs your friend is toxic
Post by: icy on September 20, 2009, 09:35:26 am
I never watched friends or sex and the city but
I love Everybody Loves Raymond.  He cracks me UP.
I do have TOXIC friends and I've probably been
a toxic friend to a toxic friend which is why I try to
bow out gracefully as not to upset anybody but it's

Title: Re: 9 signs your friend is toxic
Post by: caskurô on September 20, 2009, 09:57:35 am
Try not to label people if you can....there is too much labeling people these days...