Psychological keys to getting out of a toxic friendship

We talk a lot about toxic relationships in the environment of a couple, and rightly so: for decades, a series of expectations, received ideas and roles that have made it very difficult to live love in a free way and healthy from a point of view have been reproduced from a psychological point of view.

However, it should not be forgotten that there are other forms of relationships based on an emotional bond that can be twisted with relative ease and “caught” in them. This is what sometimes happens with certain friendships that become harmful without our realizing it at the start.

So in this article we’ll talk about how to get out of a toxic friendship considering the mechanisms that may operate within it to prevent us from taking that step.

    How to recognize a toxic friendship?

    It is very difficult to get out of a toxic friendship if we do not know how to recognize it as such and detect the dynamics of the behaviors that keep us anchored there. What is not easy

    In fact, one of the most problematic aspects of toxic friendships is that they can take many different formspartly because the concept of friendship is not subject to as many stereotypes and expectations as relationships, and in a sense that makes those involved go with “low guard” without questioning what they see happening in these interactions, to not have so many references to compare.

    So some Key ideas that can help you identify a toxic friendship are the ones you’ll see here, and are often encountered in this kind of broken link:

    • You stay in this friendship more because of the anguish it causes you to end it than because of the happiness it brings you.
    • Note that the other person makes all the decisions for you.
    • There are relatively frequent mockery and insults, sometimes using “humor” as an alibi.
    • You feel used to it because friendship is an instrumental means of achieving something or gaining access to someone.
    • They constantly threaten to end this friendship for things that are not your fault.
    • You suffer from gaslighting, your mental health or your criteria for analyzing reality are called into question.

      How to get out of a toxic friendship?

      As you get rid of those harmful friendships that don’t pay you anything, keep these guidelines in mind.

      1. Analyze what held you back

      If you have been involved in this friendship for a while, even if it pains you, It’s worth asking why. Thus, it is advisable to make a short list of the elements that have held you back, such as: guilt, fear of being ridiculed by expressing that I want to cut off contact, doubts about “what will say” my family, etc. . .

      Once written, sort them according to the intensity with which they affect you, select the first two or three, and propose a time frame to prepare a total or partial solution to partially “neutralize” its effect. This will allow you to gain confidence in yourself and take the plunge.

        2. Know that someone else in the circle of friends is limiting you

        It is possible that this toxic friendship has affected you not because of the influence of one person, but because of the joint effect of several people in this circle of friendship that make you feel vulnerable. If so, think about your main connection to this group, the person you have the main toxic friendship with, and focus your efforts on ending that connection with them, without trying to address the whole group at a time.

          3. Briefly prepare what you will say

          You don’t need to write a very long speech to memorize it, quite the contrary; if you do, you will feel very vulnerable. Instead, think of one or at most two reasons why you will end this relationship, which can be expressed simply and briefly.

          4. If you feel anxious, practice visualization

          Think about when and where you will communicate that you are officially out of this friendship, He closes his eyes and vividly imagines this experience. It will help you lose your fear.

            5. Set a deadline

            It is important that you take action and express your intention not to continue to invest your time and efforts in this dysfunctional friendship, to avoid misunderstandings and not to expose yourself to situations in which you give in and decide to continue. Like nothing ever happened. If you notice that your integrity or dignity is at risk, consider communicating online or online. considering that the other person may not deserve a face-to-face conversation. Your physical and mental health comes first.

              Would you like to benefit from professional psychological support?

              If you are looking for psychological support services, I invite you to contact me.

              My name is Tomas Santa Cecilia and I am a psychologist expert in cognitive-behavioral psychology; I work with adults, teens, couples and businesses, and sessions take place in person in Madrid or online.

              Bibliographic references

              • Adkins, KC (2019). Gaslighting by the crowd. Social philosophy today. 35: p. 75 – 87.
              • Horse, V. (1983). Social skills training and assessment manual. Madrid: Acronym XXI.
              • Castanyer, O.. (2003). Assertiveness: expression of a healthy self-esteem. Bilbao: Desclee de Brouwer.
              • O’Donohue, W. (2003). Training in psychological skills: issues and controversies. The Behavior Analyst Today, 4 (3): pp. 331 – 335.

              Leave a Comment