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10 Signs of a Toxic Friend that You’ve Probably Never Realised

10 Signs of a Toxic Friend that You’ve Probably Never Realised

Building relationships with people is part of life. We all form strong friendships that make our lives healthier and happier. However, some friendships may be more harmful than they are helpful. It’s important to notice signs that your relationship is toxic so you don’t let them affect you for the worse. Below are signs that you have a toxic friend even if you haven’t realised it yet.

1. They always seem to be focusing on the negative side of things

Friends share the ups and downs of their lives with each other. However, friends who are toxic tend to always talk about how everything that is bad without seeing any of the good. They tend to ignore all the good which makes you ignore it as well bringing your mood and motivation down. It’s important to help them out with their problems but also make sure it doesn’t affect you negatively.

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2. They never listen to any of your problems

They always call you when something is wrong with them but never seem to have time for you when you have a problem. They expect you to be there for them when something goes wrong but are nowhere to be found when you need help. Friends who do this leave you feeling more lonely than you realise.

3. They are quick to point out your flaws

Honesty is important in any relationship, and friendships are no exception. However, it’s when the honesty becomes relentless criticism of everything you do that the relationship becomes toxic. You find yourself unable to talk to your friend because you are afraid that they will point out everything you did wrong instead of offering you their support.

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4. They get mad at you easily

It’s perfectly normal to experience friction and have arguments in your relationships. Toxic friends seem to always get angry with you for the smallest things you do. Any argument that you have always leaves you feeling guilty and apologetic. Friends like this are toxic because they aren’t able to work out problems in a mature way.

5. They aren’t happy for your success

Friends who don’t appreciate your success and celebrate with you are friends who are toxic to your life. People who love you will be happy when they see your happiness. It’s important for friends to be happy for each other and celebrate each other’s good fortune to maintain healthy, supportive relationships.

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6.  They always want to talk about themselves

Friends like this always seem to be talking about their accomplishments. They never think to ask about you or your life, and it seems like they don’t really care. Friends like this are harmful to your life because they leave you feeling like you are unimportant.

7. They don’t care enough to keep in touch

Life is complicated. It’s important to understand that sometimes people can’t always call or talk to you but they are thinking of you. However, relationships get toxic when the other person isn’t thinking of you and makes no attempt to keep in contact. You find yourself being the only one reaching out, while they seem uninterested in maintaining the relationship. This is toxic because to have a healthy life you should engage in mutually fulfilling relationships with people who care about you as much as you care about them.

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8. They never consider your feelings

Friends who never consider how their actions or words affect you are toxic to be around. They do things to benefit themselves even if it means your feelings are being compromised. it’s unhealthy to have people like this in your life because you should surround yourself with people who don’t better themselves at the expense of others.

9. They pressure you to do things you don’t want to do

When you’re around them, they pressure you into doing things you aren’t comfortable and make you feel like a loser when you don’t do them. It’s good to be around people who encourage you to try new things but it becomes toxic when they are forcing you to do things. You should be encouraged but not forced to try new things and move out of your comfort zone. Being forced to do anything has dire consequences that makes relationships like this toxic.

10. They aren’t willing to change

Human beings are constantly changing. Change is important in relationships. To maintain relationships and grow as people you should be able to change and adapt to each other to an extent that is beneficial to both of you. Friends who are set in their ways, which may not necessarily be right, and don’t attempt to change and grow are toxic to your life.

Featured photo credit: Volkan Olmez via unsplash.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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