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It’s Time To Get Rid of Toxic Friendships

Is your sister/friend causing super stress? It might be time to cut the cord.

Protect your energy. A simple enough concept, but what happens when the one draining your energy is a friend? While friendship plays a vital role in most of our lives, knowing when one has become toxic, or simply run its course, can be just as important.

According to Psychology Today, “Toxic friends have a multitude of methods for causing damage: criticism, competition, deception, exclusion, gossip, bullying, manipulation, inconsistency and insults just to name a few.… It can be so well disguised that we may be almost unaware of the underlying infliction of pain.”

It’s a scenario physician Melissa Hague describes: “When you’re a child, you tend to be friends with the person sitting next to you in school. But as an adult, you can be more intentional about your friendships. You get to decide: I want to head in this direction, so I need to surround myself with people going the same way. When you don’t, you eventually start to feel manipulated or pulled away from your priorities.”

There’s a saying that goes, “Want to know who your real friends are? Have a child.” But in truth this can apply to a number of life’s milestone events. From childbirth to weddings, change can trigger odd responses from those closest to you — or reveal their true intentions — which is why learning to cut off toxic friendships can be essential in learning to live your best life.

Read on to discover five moments when it’s perfectly fine to put your foot down or cut ties altogether.

When you’ve simply reached your limit You know that friend that completely irks your soul? The one that never allows you to vent without reminding you just how much worse they have it? The one that expects you to drop everything for them, but rarely reciprocates? The one always in some type of drama? Yeah, that one. The best part of adulthood is that we’re given the freedom of choice, meaning you have the option to walk away from those that do more harm than good. Learn to exercise that right without feeling guilty about it. You owe it to yourself.

Read this story in full at AARP's "Sisters From AARP Newsletter" - April 2019

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