This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”.

Do you have toxic friends? What are toxic friends? I would say a toxic friend is somebody who is keeping you stuck where you are today, or makes you feel worse. From the day we were born, we were meant to grow and learn. Anthony Robbins said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” Which are you doing?

How can you tell if you have a toxic friend? Take a look at how they react when you either have a problem or a victory. When you have a problem, are they helping you through the problem or are they keeping you in the problem. For example, if you have some problems with a co-worker,  and instead of helping you through the problem and finding solutions for the co-worker, they one up you. They tell you about a more difficult co-worker that they have to deal with from the point of view that your situation is not as bad as their situation.

Instead of finding solutions, they may also help you have a pity party over the problems that you are having with the co-worker, which does not help you get through the problem, but make you feel worse about the problem.

When your friend has a problem and you try to help them, are they looking to take your help, or are they looking to drag you down into their problem? When you offer a solution, do they say, “that will never work in my situation, because…” and they have never tried your solution or heard of it before.

When something good happens for you, are they excited for you or are they throwing up warning flags of bad things that might happen. For example, you get a nice raise, do they say things like, “that is great, but that means you will have to work more and spend less time with me.”

You can find toxic friends all over the place. In your home, in your friends, in your co-workers.

How do you deal with toxic friends? One easy way is to spend less time with them. I know this may be hard in some situations, like family that depends upon you. Some ways that you might be able to deal with them are:

  • Tell them you do not like them complaining or ask them if there is one positive in the current situation.

  • When they bring down your victories, you can ask them to just help you celebrate in this moment.

  • Just listen to them. You can listen to them and not go to the place where they are, you do not have to lower your vibration to match them, nor do you have to take on the energy of their situation.

  • You do not have to share your problems with them. If they are not going to help you, don’t share the issue with them.

  • You can only talk to them about subjects that are not charged, or something they love to talk about.

  • You can take action for them. If they are complaining about the actions of somebody, may be you can talk to the somebody about it. Be careful as the complaint may be an exaggeration and the person they are complaining about has already done something to make the situation better.

The first step to dealing with toxic friends is to identify who they are. Ask yourself, are your friends helping you move forward in your life or holding you back. Once you have identified a toxic friend, you can take the proper action for you. Knowing a friend is toxic to you will help you in spending time with them.