Do you have a toxic person in your life?
Here’s the problem: Guilt
Whenever I talk about toxic people, the same categories seem to crop up over and over again:
- Friend by History: This is a person who you have known forever. Maybe you went to elementary school together or you were neighbors growing up. Now you feel guilty ending the relationship.
- Friend by Proximity: This is a person who comes as a package with someone else in your life. Maybe it’s your partner’s best friend or your friend’s brother who always tags along or your best friend’s childhood friend. You feel guilty because you don’t want to put your person in an awkward situation.
- Friend by Context: This is a person who you see all the time in a specific area of your life–someone you work with everyday. Someone on your flag football team. Someone who lives across the hall. You feel guilty brushing them off because you see them all the dang time.
Sometimes these relationships are casual, but other times they can grow rotten. You end up keeping someone in your life who is jealous or has a totally different set of ethics, and this is when they become toxic.