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Toxic friend?

(123 Posts)
Dgrann777 Fri 19-Jul-19 09:44:37

Good morning everyone.

I have a friend who is lovely in many ways (you know there’s a but).smile but,
She makes little digs and put downs constantly sometimes with false humour and sometimes with false advice eg. Don’t like the paint colour did you make a mistake?
Why don’t you ask for a refund on that sofa etc etc.
Your hair is a bit short, long, is that what you asked for etc etc.
You Irish are all alike, a bit daft, don’t like your accent etc etc.
Usually I just ignore it because I know she has personal problems and to be honest I don’t really care what she thinks of my taste but now she has started on my Achilles heel....
Is this what is called a toxic friend?
I think I have to walk away. What would you do?

polnan Sat 20-Jul-19 09:28:06

I find it interesting how so many of us humans think of a "friend"

I often refer to the web dictionary of words

a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.
"she's a friend of mine"
synonyms:companion, boon companion, bosom friend, best friend, close friend, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, soul mate, alter ego, second self, shadow, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate, workmate, ally, comrade, associate;

just look at F/B LOL we are a funny lot.
I so agree with most if not all of the comments above.. do you really need her?

Harris27 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:34:04

Sounds more lime an enemy than a friend! Ditch her!

TrendyNannie6 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:34:07

I would have ditched her long ago. I don’t mind someone being honest if they don’t like decorating colours etc that’s fair enough but to downright insult hair grandchildren nope she’d be gone out of my life. True friends are honest but not downright disrespectful this woman has issues. Sounds as though she could be jealous of you.

annsixty Sat 20-Jul-19 09:36:35

I am doing my best to let a friend fall off the radar, I haven’t seen her now for several months but we speak on the phone occasionally.
I have posted about her on here many times over the years and she only rings when she has something to boast about regarding her brilliant, high achieving family.
This happened two weeks ago when her GS finally qualified as a Professional with the highest honours.
She can’t wait to see a mutual friend and me to show us the wonderful photos of his graduation.
I think hell will freeze over first.

Ngaio1 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:39:10

I think it will be better for you to cut ties. Years ago I had someone I called a friend. She could be very caustic but no one challenged her - I think because she had severe facial scarring from an accident. I put up with a lot of remarks telling myself that she was a good person really. I remember once, when introducing a new friend, she said to the group - "of course, Ngaio buys most of her clothes from the Nearly New shop"! I ought to have called it a day then but didn't. After that she caused much havoc for me but repeating untrue gossip. I found out about many comments after she had taken her own life. A very unhappy woman but determined to take her own problems out on others (I realise now).

Purplepoppies Sat 20-Jul-19 09:40:22

I ended a toxic friendship last year for similar reasons. It was a relief tbh.
If you want to see the good in her and continue your friendship you could try saying 'did you mean to be so rude?' next time she's being vile..... Maybe she just doesn't know shes being nasty and needs someone to tell her??

sandelf Sat 20-Jul-19 09:42:46

Good Lord - this is not a friend! - Just a rather rude person you've been too nice to. Life is too short to waste on people who treat you like this. Move on.

Applegran Sat 20-Jul-19 09:43:13

It sounds a really though situation for you and I see why you might just want to walk away - which is a good idea if it is what you feel you really want to do. But you do say she is lovely, so I wonder if it would be possible for you to speak to her about your feelings about some of the things she says? Not to attack her, but to give examples, and say how you feel when she says these things, and saying you are asking her to stop. Then ask how she feels about what you've said. This way you remain the person you want to be and I think you are - a kind and caring person, but also able to speak up calmly when appropriate. You could be saving an otherwise good friendship - and helping her too in a big way. She may not realise the impact of what she says - may 'play it down' in her mind, and you could be opening her mind to something real which is actually damaging her as well as her friendships with others. If you do this and she continues to be unkind then, of course, you can walk away, but a truthful conversation might lead to a closer and more real relationship of value to you both.

Nanny123 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:43:31

Sounds like to be she is envious/jealous of what you have. You dont need someone negative like that in your life

Bunch Sat 20-Jul-19 09:44:53

Gosh, she sounds pretty ghastly to me, not sure I would be able to put up with so many negative comments. I have a friend who I have known for years and years and I am very fond of her. However, at times she can be critical/insensitive/outspoken or whatever you want to call it. I'm afriad to say she is also negative about people with disabilities and those of a different race, particularly those of colour. I do find this hard to fatham as she is a practicing christian, it doesn't add up somehow. When she says something which is potentially upsetting I try to ignore it. I just wish she wouldn't! I'm not sure this is of any help, just another example of what you are experiencing perhaps albeit not quite as bad. At the end of the day what you do is your decision, but it sounds as if you need to do something. Good luck.

Grannycool52 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:47:08

I have a similar issue and any advice would be welcome.I have a lifelong friend who is almost like a sister. We have, until recent years, got on very well. She returned to our home city after uni & I didn't & live in another city, but we meet a couple of times a year, go away for a few days together, text or call every week. However, since retiring a few years ago, she has become very difficult, self centred, rude, sarcastic, miserly ( she has as much money as me), rude to waiters, hurtful and again mocks my accent, which has changed over time. I know she is lonely, she is single + lives alone + has no real friends, whereas I have a loving family, grandchildren and lots of friends and activities, but all the conversation now has to be about her + she never asks about my husband, grandchildren or life. I am walking on eggshells all the time with her in case I evoke an outburst of vitriol. Yet I feel sorry for her and care about her because of our long shared history. Really, I know I should protect myself and end this now negative friendship but I don't know the best, least hurtful way to do it.

Apricity Sat 20-Jul-19 09:49:15

I don't think you need a label, toxic or any other term you may choose to use, this person just isn't nice to be around. The question I would be asking myself is not 'should I end this friendship' but why on earth would I want to spend time with this person? You could speculate forever about why she constantly needs to put you down but why bother?

Life is too short to waste time with people who make you feel bad/unhappy/disrespected/inferior. Take control and move on.

Lupin Sat 20-Jul-19 09:49:31

I have been in this situation and eventually walked away from the friendship after telling her I'd had enough of the put downs. We could not get past that. At the very least your friend needs challenging and to know where your boundaries are. If she isn't prepared to respect them and hear what you have to say then she is no friend.
Like you I let a lot of spiteful comments go over my head but realised she was treating me to them because I allowed her to.
Best wishes in an awkward situation.

Witzend Sat 20-Jul-19 09:51:14

She doesn't sound like a friend - in the true sense of the word - to me.
Just someone you happen to know.

Personally I'd avoid her in future, and if she asked why, I'd tell her.

GoldenAge Sat 20-Jul-19 09:51:39

Remove this person from your orbit immediately. You have tolerated her toxicity towards you and this has given her permission to extend this towards your grandchildren, at least in her eyes. She will not let up until you confront her on this but really, is she worth this emotional energy. I would ditch her forthwith and in doing so tell her that her hurtful comments towards you and her extension of these towards your grandchildren are the reason. She has to be clear on the reason for the dissolution of your 'friendship' otherwise she will return. With regard to her personal problems and these being the reason for your tolerance of her, these also are not off limits - if she asks you why it has been OK so far, tell her the truth. You can't have any friendship based on untruths.

Keeper1 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:53:25

Grannycool52 your friend sounds very lonely since retiring, no longer having her job role and colleagues it sounds as if she is adrift and becoming insular. Am I right that she hasn’t always been this way? I suppose not having family etc around there is no one to ask how she is and she has very little happening in her life and so is focused on herself. It is difficult but having known her for so long could you not discuss the change in her attitude with her?

guido342 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:56:42

The Four Tops have the answer: 'Walk Away Renee'
Teresa Brewer: 'Gonna Get Along Without You Now'

Make yourself happy, don't bend to others bad-mouthing you.

FC61 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:57:09

This kind of toxic behaviour seems to come out of jealousy, competitiveness, inadequacy, lack of sense of self , so aren’t easy to overcome! I had a best friend that went toxic and I had to cut off from. She was my BF for years , I was at the birth of her children! But I had several big breakthroughs in life and she turned so nasty she wrote me 18 pages about how horrible I was !! That was the end of that ! She actually thought we could carry on being friends after that. It was so hard to let go and took me several years to get my confidence back ! But boy I’m glad I ended it! I sometimes think it’s nice to explain to someone what they’re doing but only if they’re listening and you think they’re worth investing in.

angie95 Sat 20-Jul-19 10:00:14

Rude!! Is what I would call this so called friend, she is not a very nice person, and her attitude towards you stinks! You deserve so much better, walk away, leave her to her nasty comments. and as for all the Irish are thick, how dare she!! I can think of plenty of famous Irish people, Maeve Bunchy for one!! She's a sad toxic little person who doesn't deserve to have you in her life. Hugs xx

Kate63 Sat 20-Jul-19 10:00:23

Urmstongran love that card

Framilode Sat 20-Jul-19 10:04:31

Surely a true friend builds you up not puts you down.

Jayemwhite Sat 20-Jul-19 10:05:02

I had a friend like that. One day when she was being particularly patronising I told her to p* off.
I haven’t seen or heard from her in 5 years and I don’t miss her.
There is a sense of freedom in not being continually criticised

Davida1968 Sat 20-Jul-19 10:06:07

Like annsixty, I'm doing my best to "lose" a friend I've know for over 25 years. Quite literally she never stops talking about herself. It's as though a radio has been switched on, but without an "off" button being available, The other person simply can't get a word in - even to ask about the subject that toxic friend is droning on about. (Mutual friends have all confirmed that she is exactly the same with them, as well.) Toxic friend does this whether in a one-to-one chat, or in company. DH once asked another friend about her recent holiday to Oz: toxic friend immediately butted in and gave them a 30 minute account of her holiday to Oz, twenty years previously. In 2015 we had an unusual, significant (and happy) surprise event in our family - I have never yet been able to tell toxic friend about it, because I simply can't get a word in. So I've decided to stop contact with her. Not easy, because every now and again she pops up, wanting to meet: now I just make excuses and avoid seeing her. Does anyone else have a toxic friend like this?

marpau Sat 20-Jul-19 10:10:14

In a similar situation I once asked did you mean that to be funny or just unkind? The comments stopped after that. It depends if you still want the friendship.

Caro57 Sat 20-Jul-19 10:11:18

Ditch - you and your grandchildren are worth more than that