Sammy Nickalls
Updated Aug 30, 2015 @ 8:19 am

We all deal with so many people on a day-to-day basis. Friends, co-workers, partners, bosses. . . the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, odds are that at least a few of those people aren’t exactly healthy for you, and may even be toxic, yet you’re devoting so much of your time catering to them. There are only so many hours in a day, and there are only so many people you can truly have in your life. If any of the following unhealthy relationships ring true to you, it’s time to give your relationship hedges a trim so they have room to grow. (Sorry not sorry for that terrible metaphor.)

The frenemy

We all have one: the friend who pretends to be all buddy-buddy, but sneakily makes jabs at you, anywhere they can — with the main objective to break you down. They watch for ways they can make you feel like a lesser person so they’ll feel more important. They’re called frenemies, and they’re the worst. And they’re so not worth your time or energy.

Awkward exes and all their baggage

It’s great to stay friends with an ex. . . as long as that relationship is healthy and causes you no stress. Hey, sometimes a romance doesn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean a friendship can’t. But if your ex is trying to stay in your life, and they seem a little salty or even just uncomfortable, it’s probably something that’s causing you much more stress than happiness, and it’s time to put an end to it. Maybe later on down the line, after things have cooled off, you guys can hop back on the friendship bus again!

The friend who backs out of every plan you make

Some people are a little flaky — it’s just a part of their personality, and it can actually be endearing. But when your friend starts backing out of all your plans to the point where you find yourself making alternate plans before they even cancel, it’s clear that they don’t value your friendship enough for you to waste your precious time on them. It shouldn’t be harder for you to reach your friend than the president. That’s just not how this works.

That person who always starts obnoxious Internet arguments

You know that one guy on your feed who always posts unbelievably ignorant stuff, then attacks anyone who disagrees? He’s the equivalent of the guy in the bar who runs around insulting people looking for a fist fight. There’s just too much anger there. Defriend him and move on.

The coworker you’re way too competitive with

A little competition never hurt anyone; it can even motivate us to work harder and better than ever before. But when you start to get too neck-and-neck with a co-worker — especially if that co-worker is goading you — it’s time to refocus your attention to where it should be: your work, and your work alone.

Your total jerk of a boss

We’ve all had that boss who makes us loathe going to work in the morning, but seriously, we spend a big chunk of our lives working. . . and that’s a big chunk to spend unhappy and annoyed. Obviously, it’s not always as easy as just finding a new job, but start focusing on ways to phase out your boss. Ask if there are ways for you to work at home, for example. If that’s not an option, recognize that they’re toxic, and their opinions have no bearing on your value as a person. And when your boss acts like a total jerk around you, just smile and remember that this obviously unhappy person is just the temporary boss of your job, not the permanent boss of your life.

The friend who will never cut you any slack

Your besties are there to support you, but they’re also there to provide a healthy dose of truthiness when you need it the most. There’s nothing wrong with friends you trust calling you out on something in a nice, helpful way, if it’s going to ultimately empower you and make your friendship even more solid. But then there’s that friend who calls out on every. single. thing. you. do. You shouldn’t always feel like you’re apologizing to your friend whenever they’re around.

I had a close friend who was fun and sweet, but whenever I’d make a minor mistake, she would transform into a major drama queen and would get all high-and-mighty for weeks. Since then, I’ve relegated her somewhere between friend and acquaintance, because the exhaustion is too much to handle. The sanctimonious friend who gets angry at you every time you accidentally slip up has the potential to make you feel constantly bad about yourself. And that’s definitely not what friendship is supposed to be about.

The gossiper

Yes, a little juicy gossip is fun sometimes, even if you feel a little guilty about it sometimes. But if you know someone who is constantly gossiping about others’ lives all the time, that person is not only a negative force in your life, but could turn right back around and gossip about you. Ask yourself if you feel safe around that person, if you trust that they really have your back. If the answer is no, best to back away slowly.

People who play devil’s advocate just for their own ego

Perspective is essential, and it’s great to get all angles when you’re looking for advice. But some people want all attention on them, and in order to do so, they constantly play devil’s advocate to seem wise. It actually just makes them negative and self-absorbed, and you deserve someone who will help you see all sides with your best interests at heart.

Any relationship that is extremely one-sided

Are you doing all the calling? All the planning? All the “Hey girl, wanna grab coffee on Tuesday”-ing? All of the helping and advice-giving? Have you expressed how this bothers you and not seen any change? Well then, it’s probably not going to change. Relationships of all sorts are give and take, and you can only give so much.

Your inner critic

Yep, get ready to hold your breath, because this is about to get DEEP. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship of all. If a voice in your head keeps telling you that you’re not worthy or able in any capacity, then you’re not being a good friend to yourself. Kick that inner critic to the curb, because you are fabulous and can do anything you set your mind to.


(Image via Paramount Pictures)