We’ve all heard about the importance of removing “toxic” people from our lives, but sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s toxic and who’s just a little tricky. Tricky friends can add value to your life in unique ways. So how can you tell the difference?
- Manipulate you
- Avoid saying “I’m sorry”
- Rarely help out
- Make you feel unhappy
- Rarely say nice things behind someone’s back
- Are interested in your life
- May have to apologize for a lot
- Can’t wait to help you in return
- Can be lots of fun to hang out with
- May gossip, but it’s not always negative
“Someone may be going through a tricky time, but that doesn’t mean your relationship is necessarily toxic.”
I’ve certainly had my fair share of toxic and tricky people in my life. We all do. The challenge is making sure I keep the friends who actually add value to my life, while letting go the ones who do nothing but bring me down.
If you’re doing some house cleaning in your relationships, make sure you take a close look at everybody. Someone may be going through a tricky time, but that doesn’t mean your relationship is necessarily toxic.
Toxic people manipulate you; Tricky people are interested in your life.
If your friend never seems to want to talk about what’s going on with you, but somehow knows just the right buttons to push to make you do something, this is a toxic friend. Time to say goodbye! But if your friend listens as much as he or she talks – without angling for ways to benefit – you probably have a keeper.
Toxic people avoid saying “I’m sorry;” Tricky people may have to apologize for a lot.
There’s nothing wrong with friends who need a helping hand once in awhile. Some may even need a lot of help for a long time. That’s what friends are for! However, the ones who never say “I’m sorry,” or “Thank you” are the ones to watch out for. They aren’t thinking of anyone but themselves.
Toxic people rarely help you out; Tricky people can’t wait to help you in return.
Does your friend take and take and take and never look for an opportunity to give back? Toxic. Does your friend give and take? That’s more healthy. Even if the level of giving can’t possibly add up to the level of taking, the gesture of returning a favor shows that your friend cares about you.
Toxic people make you feel unhappy; Tricky people can be lots of fun to hang out with.
Here’s a major test. Are you having a good time with this person? When you’re done hanging out, do you leave with a smile on your face? When you think about getting together again, do you feel excited? These are signs of a friendship that’s valuable to you. If you aren’t having a good time, or if you leave feeling depressed, or if the thought of getting together makes you stressed, trust your instincts. This may be a toxic relationship.
Toxic people rarely say nice things behind someone’s back; Tricky people may gossip, but it’s not always negative.
People love to talk about other people. That’s just human nature. Pay attention to the times your friend starts to gossip, though. Is it always negative? This is likely a toxic person. A tricky person can also see the good.
You deserve happy relationships with minimal stress – but remember to be careful when clearing out that list of friends! A good buddy can be tricky without being toxic.