5 Signs You’re a Toxic Female Friend – George Eliot
Most of us recognize bad friends fairly quickly, but we may not know if we’re the proverbial toxic female friend! Here are five signs that you’re a toxic female friend, based on inspiration from George Eliot, an English novelist who used a male pen name to ensure her words were taken seriously. Her real name was Mary Anne Evans.
About friendship, George Eliot said:
“Perhaps the most delightful friendships are those in which there is much agreement, much disputation, and yet more personal liking.”
Good friends agree about lots of things – and, better yet, are able to disagree about lots of things. If you have a friend that you just aren’t clicking with, read Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships by Susan Shapiro Barash.
If you have a toxic friend in your life, you might find Coping With Toxic Female Friendships – Joan Baez helpful. And, here are six ways to tell if you’re a toxic female friend…
Are You a Toxic Female Friend? – George Eliot
Five signs that you’re toxic…
You’re negative, and you can’t stop complaining. Do you hate your job, your ex-boyfriend, your mother, and your last vacation? Fine…but stop talking about it! Expressing your negative feelings is fine – good, even — but polluting the air with a nonstop monologue about how terrible your life is won’t help you make and keep lifelong friends.
You talk behind your friend’s back. You’re a toxic female friend if you share info about your friend, her habits, her work, her partner, or anything about her life. Gossip may feel good (and if you want to know why, read Is Gossip Good for You? – Barbara Walters) — but it just ain’t nice. And, it’ll destroy your friendship.
You don’t remember – or know – what’s happening in your friend’s life. How did your friend’s dad’s open heart surgery go? When is her birthday? How old are her kids? What does she want to be when she grows up? What’s her biggest struggle? You don’t know what’s going on in your friend’s life because you don’t ask. Or listen.
You give back-handed compliments. “I love your new haircut! It makes your face seem so slim.” I’m sure you’ve received “compliments” like this. If you find yourself making snide remarks (and let’s face it, ladies, we’ve all done it), cut yourself a piece of humble pie and apologize immediately. You could even explain why you were snippy (my grandma’s word) with your friend. This example of a toxic female friend is from Kelli Zink, host of CelebTV.com — and so is the next one…
You put your friend down in public. If you don’t save your criticisms for private discussions, then you may be the poison in a toxic female friendship. Sometimes we need to confront a friend’s bad behavior – but not in public (the same goes for married couples!).
You don’t call, you don’t write. This may not be a sign of a truly toxic friendship, but if you never reach out, then you’re not much of a friend. Being a good friend can involve a quick, simple “Hey – how are you? Haven’t talked in ages, was thinking about you today.” If you never think to call or email your friend, then you’re not carrying your end of the canoe, my friend.
You drain other people’s energy. Are you an energy vampire? This may be difficult to figure out on your own, but it’s a strong sign that you’re a toxic female friend. Energy vampires leave people feeling drained, depressed, and exhausted. They ignore boundaries and other people’s needs. Energy vampires can be “drama queens” — making the smallest incident a huge deal. If you’re an energy vampire…you’re also a toxic friend.
What have I missed about toxic female friendships? I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions below…
If you have wonderful friendships in your life, one way to celebrate them is to throw a Goddess party.