Fire that friend: Here's how to trash your toxic pals

  • Abhinav Verma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 04, 2015 16:46 IST

Best friends forever! This is one motto all friends swear by. However, not all friendships are meant to last. In fact, sometimes toxicity masquerade as friends in your life, bringing you down. So don’t be so quick to diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, because it could be your friend making you feel this way.

Toxic friends are hard to recognise. But fear not, we will tell you how to spot them and understand them, and also give you a few pointers on how to shake them off with a little help from experts.

The Ditchmaster
The word ‘call it off’ is tattooed on their forehead. Whatever plans you make, they shall be cancelled. They have a sword in their hands and they love to swing it down your plans. They don’t care how much effort you put in making plans, or how their actions affect you.
Expert advice: It’s simple, ditch the ditchmaster before it’s too late.

The Rude and Blunt
They are blunt to the extent of being insensitive and serve you the truth straight up on the platter in the most thoughtless of ways. They don’t care about ‘frivolous things’ such as feelings. But here is the catch: give them a taste of their own medicine and they’ll cry foul and call you unfair.
Expert advice: Pull them aside and politely tell them to curb their rudeness. If they don’t, it’s time for you to move on.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
They are the mumbling, passive-aggressive types. Imagine this: You have your final exam tomorrow and your roommate is blasting annoying pop music in the room knowing as much. But when you ask ‘What’s wrong with you?’, they will simply reply ‘I can’t live without music’. The passive-the aggressive friend is sure to make your blood boil.
Expert advice: Motivate and encourage them to be open about what’s causing them trouble. So deal with them by being headstrong.

The Collector
This type of friend collects information – it’s the currency they deal in. They gossip about everyone and everything, which means they have leverage over everyone and are not afraid to use it. So, if you have a collector for a friend, know for sure that you are not excluded either.
Expert advice: Stay away from them if you don’t want the whole world to know that you fought with your girlfriend last night or did not tip the waiter.|

The Panic Attackers
Beware of them, they enter your life like hurricanes and spread chaos and panic. Why? Because their problems are your problems and your problems are no problems. They whine all the time about their problems, suffer from panic attacks at the drop of a hat if things don’t go their way, and they try to trigger the same in you.
Expert advice: No matter how much you try, they won’t change. So let them off easy and peacefully, entangled in their own mess.

The Perpetually Unavailable
The only time they are available is when they need you. And when they need you, they hound you to death. However, if you are the one in need, no matter how many texts you send or calls you make, they never answer and leave you wondering if they have perhaps lost their phone.
Expert advice: Friendship should be mutual; avoid making friends with the ones who are in it only for their benefit. So be kind to yourself, delete their number and get on with your life.

The Snippy Tongue|
These are the friends with razor sharp tongues that don’t mind throwing little jabs at you and putting you down in front of others to make themselves feel superior. Got one of these friends in your group? More like frenemies, right?
Expert advice: In a friendship, no one is inferior or superior so kick them out of your way like you would an empty can.

(With input from psychiatrists Dr Dr J M Wadhwan and Gorav Gupta)

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