Does Your Friend Encourage Your Emotionally Unhealthy Behavior?

September 8, 2017  |  
1 of 15 friends sitting together in cafe

To be human is to err. Sometimes we all get a glitch in the system and don’t quite have all of our mental faculties. When we feel stressed, upset or traumatized, we can feel the urge to do something that, ultimately, we know isn’t good for us, but somehow feels good in the moment. You’ve been there—you’ve said things you wish you could take back in the heat of fights and bought things you couldn’t afford when you were feeling empty. The important thing is having systems in place that can keep you in check, and some of those systems are your friends. When you’re too emotional to make the right decision, your friends step in, just as you do for them when they’re upset. But some friends encourage the wrong decisions when you’re upset, and can be very dangerous to have around. Does your friend encourage your emotionally unhealthy behavior?

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She shows you your ex’s new girlfriend

Your friend shoves a phone in your face and on it, is the Facebook profile of a woman. Who is this woman? Oh. It’s your ex’s new girlfriend. Your ex you’ve been having a very hard time getting over. Your friend thinks the two of you should look over her photos and criticize her—it’ll make you feel better. Apparently.





She encourages you to send the nasty text

When you’re all worked up about a fight with a friend, you compose a not-so-nice text you want to shoot off to her. You write it when you’re emotional (the best time to write something—not). And your other friend eggs you on, adding fuel to the fire with reminders of other ways the one you’re mad at wronged you in the past.





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She feeds you alcohol when you’re upset

When you’re sad or angry, this friend feeds you alcohol. And then, whatever that alcohol gets you to do (egg your ex’s house, sleep with a stranger in the bathroom), this friend also encourages you to do.





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She sits by your side while you FB stalk

You mention you’d be interested to see what your ex is up to. Before you can say another word, your friend has all of his social media profiles pulled up in front of you. She’s even dug up some of the juicier posts and photos.





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She helps you justify irresponsible purchases

You have a tendency to stress shop. So when you ask your friend, “Tell me that I shouldn’t buy this $400 dress right now” she doesn’t tell you that. Instead, she lists all the times you may need it, and mentions that it used to be $700 so, really, it’s a steal.


She helps you justify skipping work

Part of being an adult is still fulfilling your responsibilities, even when you don’t feel like it. That includes showing up to work after a breakup, after a fight with your mom, or even when you’re hung over. But your friend, instead of insisting you go to work, reminds you what a b*tch your boss is and that she can do without you for the day.


She lets you fixate on things you cannot control

You obsess and obsess over why your ex broke up with you, going over all the things he totally took the wrong way or misunderstood. You fixate on the little things you could’ve done differently to make him stay with you. Instead of your friend telling you if it was meant to be, it would be, she thinks maybe you should call your ex and explain it all. Again.


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She helps you try to control things you cannot control

You can’t really control the fact that your ex has a new girlfriend, and that she is really attractive. But your emotionally unhealthy friend is going to try to help you control it, by sending your ex unflattering photos and information she finds about his new girlfriend. As if, somehow, that will get him back to you.


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She bad talks men who rejected you

If a guy doesn’t want a second date or doesn’t want to date you at all, it’s either because you’re not compatible or—perhaps—you have some behavior that is off putting. Rather than realizing and reflecting on that, you listen to your friend, who tells you that that man is dumb, unattractive, trashy and so on. She really doesn’t encourage you to accept things, or to reflect on things calmly.


She tells you to ditch friends who make you jealous

Feeling jealous of a friend for being wealthier than you, more attractive than you, more popular than you or more anything, really, is quite immature. If you feel jealous of a friend, it’s time to look inside and ask yourself what unresolved personal issues are making you project negativity onto those around you. But instead, this one toxic friend of yours, says, “You should just stop hanging out with her if she upsets you so much.”

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She badmouths friends of whom you’re jealous

Your toxic friend even goes so far as to badmouth the other friend of whom you’re jealous. She believes the silly notion that if you think of all the bad qualities of someone, it somehow makes you look better. Which it doesn’t.






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She gives you excuses to cancel on people

If you don’t feel like going to something you said you’d go to (a friend’s birthday party, for example), your toxic friend starts listing all the ways that friend really hasn’t been there for you in the past. And she insists that you’d be totally justified in not going.





She lets you blame the rest of the world

When things don’t go the way you want them to, your friend doesn’t encourage you to think about how you could have done things differently. She just dives into calling the rest of the world unfair, mean, nasty and stupid. In the eyes of this friend, nothing is ever your fault. Of course, that can’t really be true.




She suggests you can’t accomplish your goals

When you are overwhelmed by the work you need to put into your goals, this friend suggests maybe you should quit. Maybe you’re not cut out for it. Perhaps you should do something easier…it’s better that way.

 pizza with cheese and pepperoni slices, closeup

She eats emotions with you

When you want to order four pizzas for yourself, your friend adds on a few orders of cinnamon twists, cheesy bread and cookies. She starts listing the good things you ate that week, as an excuse to eat bad things.

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