We’ve all been there. You find a person that you have a lot in common with and you enjoy their company, but then they do or say something and it maybe painful to you. You think this person couldn’t possibly mean to hurt you, but they do it again and again. This person is a drain to be around, they talk badly about you or to you, they bring a negative energy around with them, they take more than they give and they are never there when you need them. Suddenly you find that you have a bad friend.
This person has got to go. To have a person in your life like this is not worth the energy that you put into them and they need to be removed. I’m sure you have your reasons for not getting rid of this person, maybe they know something very personal about you or maybe you feel like this person needs you, but its not worth it, is it? How long can you go on with a friend like that? Hurting you? Not considering your feelings? This person has go to go.
- Try to talk to them. Tell them how you feel about their treatment of you. Address your problems in a way that doesn’t come off as aggressive or accusatory. Start with a “Hey listen can I talk to you? When you say/do ‘xxxx’ it hurts my feelings and I need you to stop”. If they don’t respect you enough to hear you out and apologize, you should just cut that person out.
- Cut them out. Don’t answer their texts or calls, especially if its just for another favor or to rant about their relationship problems with you. Put some distance between you and this person and put energy into your other friends.
- Talk to your other friends. But don’t gossip or bad mouth that bad friend, just tell your friends how they make you feel. Get some of their input and listen to them, you may be giving that bad friend an unfair chance or your other friends may agree that you need to get rid of that person.
- Build up a life without them. If they were the person you went to for homework help or to go to the mall with, find someone else. Ask another friend to go with you, find another study group, or go alone. This bad friend is probably dependent on the fact that you have no other alternatives than them, so you have to take their abuse. But you have other choices, you have other friends, family, but most importantly you have yourself.
- Spend time alone. Breaking from an abusive or bad friend is just like any other break-up, it can require some time for reflection. Ask yourself what made you so attracted to this person? Is it because their assertiveness or sense of self was something you admired? Or maybe because you feel they are more attractive than you and you’d like to be associated with that. If you are hanging around this person to make up for something you feel you lack, you should try to build that in yourself. Spend some time working on building up those good qualities in yourself, without taking on their nasty habits.
Its hard to recognize sometimes when you need to get ride of somebody in your life but it happens to everyone. I often attract people that are damaged in some way and looking to depend on me for energy or support. Its so draining to take care of this other person emotionally and otherwise, when they never are there when I need a friend in return. I’m afraid of retribution if I break it off with them but I know its just hurting me the longer I keep them around.
You have to get rid of people who are bringing you down to make room for the people that will bring you up.