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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?

annodomini Sat 20-Jul-19 11:47:40

You have entitled this thread 'toxic friend'. I would have thought that the two words were mutually exclusive. Why would you have to ask? Are you so short of friends that you can even contemplate not dropping this obnoxious woman?

annsixty Sat 20-Jul-19 11:35:43

GS not VS!!!

annsixty Sat 20-Jul-19 11:34:54

I have just remembered an example of my friend's cutting comments.
This only happened two weeks ago.
She was telling me about her GD' s wonderful new boyfriend.
She said he is at X uni.
I replied that our mutual friend's VS has just got a place there.
She asked me his degree course and I said Business Studies, she replied oh E is one of the clever ones, he's doing chemistry.
That goes on all the time.

Danlan Sat 20-Jul-19 11:33:04

You are obviously a very kind and tolerant person to have put up with this so called friend. However, she’s a nasty piece of work, dump her and concentrate on enjoying some extra time your grandchildren!

HurdyGurdy Sat 20-Jul-19 11:29:27

I think the fact that you have even used the word "toxic" in your description of your friendship says all you need to know.

As yourself - what am I gaining from this friendship. Would I miss it if it wasn't in my life?

sazz1 Sat 20-Jul-19 11:28:29

I have a sister like this and have slowly cut contact with her. From visiting twice a week it's now roughly once a month. She always made me feel down no matter how happy and positive I felt before the visit. Rarely ring her nowadays and I'm much happier without her around.
Get rid of your friend you'll feel much better without her. Xxx

Ramblingrose22 Sat 20-Jul-19 11:21:28

Dgrann777 - have you thought of using the assertiveness technique when she says hurtful things?

Without being aggressive you say firmly "When you criticise my hairstyle/ furniture/my GCs etc etc I find it hurtful and I am asking you not to do it anymore."

There are more manipulative ways of dealing with this too. You could say "I thought you were a good friend but when you criticise .....I don't think that's what good friends do and I find it upsetting/annoying."

Then there is the direct way - "Recently you have started criticising my hairstyle/furniture/GCs etc and I find that upsetting. If you keep doing it our friendship will have to end. It's up to you." But you'll have to stick with that decision!

It is irrelevant and not your fault that she has personal problems so why should you have to suffer?

Nanafran Sat 20-Jul-19 11:20:51

Agree. Get rid. She is projecting all her unhappiness on to you. X

jools1903 Sat 20-Jul-19 11:19:44

I’ve just done this with a ‘friend’ who I’ve known for some 24 years! She was like your friend in that she always had to go one up on anything I said, did or had. She would make barbed comments too about me or my family and I put up with until I finally exploded earlier this year and told her exactly what I felt. We’ve met a couple of times for coffee since (outside each other’s homes) but I certainly don’t miss the out downs, bullying and ‘I’m better than you’ attitude that she has. Good luck with whatever you decide to do but I’m sure, once you get used to not having her in your life anymore, you’ll love the freedom it brings xx

ruthiek Sat 20-Jul-19 11:15:21

Keep away, trust me she will carry on doing it. I had a best friend who did this constantly, then started telling people my innermost thoughts. In the end I broke it off with her. But she kept trying to rekindle the friendship , I almost gave in and then heard last night she is making nasty comments about me. We don’t need people like this in our life

Annaram1 Sat 20-Jul-19 11:15:21

How rude can she be? she sounds absolutely ghastly!!!

OK, so she doesn't like your taste in furnishings, hair etc. I have friends whose taste differs but I never tell them that.
Was it a friend of Oscar Wilde who said to him "there is no such thing as bad taste, only different taste." ? Wilde's response was "I wish I'd said that."

As for her comment about the Irish and their accents, that is racist. Personally I love Irish accents and am writing a romance where the hero is an Irishman whose accent is totally attractive and sexy to the heroine. Tell your "friend" if she doesn't like the Irish perhaps she should just bugger off.

Has she got grandchildren herself? Perhaps she is just a bit jealous? It's a big issue to be rude about somebody else's and everybody agrees about that.

She IS toxic and would have to have an awful lot of loveliness to overcome her toxicity. Having personal problems is really no excuse to being rude, nasty, and racist. Dump the woman after telling her why you don't want her "friendship" any more.

Bluekitchen192 Sat 20-Jul-19 11:14:46

I dealt with this kind of put down from a friend by cutting across her one day and remarking " when you get that expression on your face, I know I'm not going to like what comes out of your mouth next" There was a stunned silence as though a mouse had roared. We moved on quickly and contined to be good friends and never referred to that conversation again

i have noticed that she is on difficult terms with her sisters whom I havent me I'm pretty sure that she does much the same to them as she did to me but I dont comment.

annsixty Sat 20-Jul-19 11:14:41

As someone upthread said, if I told this person the reason she has lost so many friends it would destroy her.
She has no idea how her behaviour affects others.
She has moved into sheltered
accommodation, she is now 82 and widowed. I know some of the residents avoid her but I truly believe she will never change.
Her family are her life and no-one else's family can live up to them.
Four of us used to meet up for lunch several times a year and almost before coats were off she would be going into her bag for the latest photograghs.
One of our number has died and I am trying to absent myself.

red1 Sat 20-Jul-19 10:58:20

get rid! ive had people in my life like this,even my brother.Some folk just want to bring you down,friends, don't do that.get rid of them and good folk will come into your life. ive done it over the past 2 years,my life now generally brighter.

Sb74 Sat 20-Jul-19 10:45:02

In a word, yes, walk away. I don’t bother with people nowadays that make me feel bad. Life is too short. Anyone who said anything negative about my kids and future grandkids, that wasn’t family, would be out of the picture pretty damn quick.

Kim19 Sat 20-Jul-19 10:38:50

Certainly not my idea of a friend. I would phase her out as fast and painlessly as I could.

Craicon Sat 20-Jul-19 10:38:33

Is she a good friend to you in other ways and it’s just the increasingly negative comments that’s getting to be a problem?

Sometimes people get stuck in difficult behaviour patterns and no-one actually bothers to point it out to them, instead they inwardly seethe, then just discard the former friend one day without explanation.

Surely if you are a true friend, you would at least tactfully explain how upsetting the constant negative put downs make you feel and that it’s making it difficult for you to feel friendly towards them?

I think it’s incredibly sad and somewhat double standards when some people ditch former friends without explanation, because they’re too cowardly to have an honest conversation with them.

VRH1 Sat 20-Jul-19 10:34:57

I had a friend like the one you describe. She had depression and anxiety and was riddled with jealousy. She was also a liar and a gossip. I got rid. She does attempt to return like a bad penny when she needs to use me for something, but I head her off at the pass. It’s funny how we hold our tongues with this sort of person. If I told her a few home truths it would destroy her.

Grammaretto Sat 20-Jul-19 10:33:19

Mcbab I have a friendship a bit like this and like you, I can't walk away. I think of her almost like a sister but she has changed as she's aged. She can still be incredibly kind but the other side annoys me increasingly.
I have distanced myself recently partly for fear I would say something unforgivable to her!
Maybe we can't bear to watch our dearest friends age? We want them to stay the same.

Grannycool52 Sat 20-Jul-19 10:32:28

It looks as if there are a lot of us in this situation. Keeper1, thank you and you are right in all you say, but I did try last year. She wanted to meet in her city for a few days and I agreed but after a particularly nasty few days, I contacted her and gently pointed out that she had been hurtful and asked had I done anything to annoy her. I received such a horrid response that I suggested we take a break from each other ( this was when I should have said a final goodbye) but then she started pleading that she loves and cares me and I ended up back where I was. So really I know I should say goodbye now and I think Dgrann777 that you should too. Enough is enough and we need to get on with what makes us feel good in life x

jenkins Sat 20-Jul-19 10:27:48

there is usually jealousy there..or learnt behaviour...maybe that's what she grew up excuse for it..we grown ups can take it ..if she's started on your grandchildren..ditch the rude

Mcbab Sat 20-Jul-19 10:11:44

I can identify with this! I have a friend who is a bit Jekyll and Hyde. She can be kind but I am getting very fed up with her put downs and nasty comments about many things, my family, where they live etc. She is like this with other people but I think I get the worst of it. Unfortunately sometimes her comments bring out the worst in me and I say things I wouldn’t say to anyone else although not to the same degree and I am not proud of this. Her husband can have a nasty dig too and I am now fed up with this so have distanced myself a bit for the sake of my own wellbeing. A true friend I think is someone who will share your joys with you and not just zoom in on what’s not so good in your life. I would be interested in how anyone else has dealt with this situation. I wouldn’t give up the friendship as it goes back too far but need to step back. I should add that our husbands are friends too although don’t see too much of each other as my husband says he is just too negative

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

Ditch - you and your grandchildren are worth more than that

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.

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?