What about when a friend is verbally or emotionally abusive to you? It’s easy for a friend to laugh it off as a joke or accuse you of being too sensitive. There is a sort of locker-room camaraderie which is a good cover for bullying using such methods as put-downs, name-calling, or teasing.
Even if it is all in good fun, piercing jabs can still cut like a knife, even if you try to convince yourself that you might be misinterpreting their snide remarks. They couldn’t possibly have mean to cut you to the quick, like that.
Nonetheless, you deserve the respect to which you are entitled. Your life is not a joke to be laughed at or made fun of. No one has the right to take you or your life for granted. You never need to heed anyone’s disrespect or other toxic abuse.
Toxic friend much?
If you’re disrespected by someone in your inner circle of friends, you might have to do a bit of emotional housecleaning. Disrespect has many faces, like not valuing your goals or intentions. They take cheap jabs at your appearance, clothing choices, job, what kind of car you drive, or home you live in. They may not value your time, skills, or special abilities, and may ask you to help them but never have an inclination to honor the value of such or offer to pay for your services.
They make fun of you, making you the but of their jokes, condescend in public, in an effort to make themselves look better at your expense. If they don’t stick up for you, support you, express an interest in your life, recognize your value, or understand who you are or how important living the way you do is to you, it might be time to cut them loose.
If you find yourself unable to share intimate details about your because they’ll be disregarded or made fun of, or worse yet, tell wild stories about your shared personal data behind your back, this person is not a friend. If a friend cannot take you seriously, or see from your point of view, at least trying to understand what it might be like to be in your shoes, he or she might not be as good a friend as you may have thought.
If your friend discounts what you have to say doesn’t want to listen to you or feels as though anything you might have to say doesn’t matter. They might even ask you for your opinion about something but disregard your input as invaluable, they may see themselves as superior to you and your input as worthless.
You can trust a true friend with your most intimate details. A friend that cannot be trusted isn’t much of a friend. If he or she makes a promise, and you cannot depend on it, or take them at their word, there is not much of a friendship foundation of trust on which to build.
What if you know that your friend is untrustworthy or has a dark side? You know he or she tells half-truths, withholds information, or right-out lies. It’s only a matter of time, ‘til you find yourself on the wrong side of this person, as he or she talks behind your back, tells lies about you, betrays you, or sets you up to take the fall for something you didn’t have anything to do with.
Friends who are constantly using you, draining you or valuable resources, they are counted among the energy vampires and have little or no respect for you and your needs.
Toxic friendships can be hard to let go of because you are attached to this person, you care about and may even love him or her, but this person is not good for you. The toxicity may ebb and flow, sometimes being tolerable or fine, but at other times, tragic. This kind of back and forth, up and down, kind of relationship is crazymaking.
You have every right to be you, and it’s up to you to protect the sacred space which surrounds you.
Your sacred space is your holy of holies and it’s up to you to keep it sacred. Surround yourself with people you can trust to value you, your love, support you, lift you up, inspire you, and to keep an honorable give-and-take relationship.