Over 50s Lifestyle

Why you need to rid your life of toxic Friendships

March 4, 2018
Why you need to rid your life of toxic Friendships

Why you need to rid your life of toxic Friendships

 

Friendship is an important part of life and plays a vital role in our health and well being, especially as we age.

Last week my guest, Grammy Dee wrote about ‘Thriving through Friendship’ for her contribution to my weekly Over 50 & Thriving Series.   Grammy Dee is housebound due to illness most of the time so her friendships created through blogging has been very important to her as she explained:

Finding women my age to communicate with from my home with my phone or computer whether I am in bed, in my recliner, or able to sit up has been a godsend! Thank goodness for the internet!

Our friends provide support, love us for who we are and enjoy experiencing life with us.  To me, my friendships are defined by the QUALITY  rather than the QUANTITY.   When we are young we feel the need to be surrounded by many friends, we are judged by the number of friends we have on Facebook or what our social plans are for the weekend.

As we mature, we realise that from this larger group of friends only a very small number will become lifelong friends.  Our lives take different paths and we grow and change.  New friends come into our lives and others leave.

I also believe it is important to have friends in different age groups.  We can always learn from young and old alike.

Did you realise that our Friendships can have a long term affect on our Health?  And it isn’t always good.

I recently read an article which talked about the different kinds of friends we can have in our circle.  I am so fortunate to have different categories of friendships:

  • My daughter and my cousin who are both confidants for me
  • My Saturday Sisters who I run with each week and are such a wonderful support
  • My blogging friends who are scattered worldwide.
  • My readers who have connected with me

Why you need to rid your life of toxic Friendships

Why you need to rid your life of toxic Friendships

The reality is that some of our friendships are NOT SO GOOD FOR US and can be TOXIC.  I have been fortunate to let go of these friendships in the past and that is why I am so conscious of the quality of my friendships.  I’m not interested in friends who want to hold me back or don’t have my best interests at heart.

You know the friend who is controlling or pushes their opinions too strongly or the ‘fairweather’ friend who suddenly goes MIA when you need them the most OR the friend that is constantly trying to pull you down.

Toxic friendships can sometimes be difficult to leave but like all bad relationships there comes a time when you have to stand up and make decisions that are RIGHT FOR YOU! 

YOU CAN LIVE WITHOUT TOXIC PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE AND YOU WILL SURVIVE AND BE HAPPY!

Being surrounded by people who are negative or critical of you will affect your mindset. You lose self-confidence and you don’t feel good about yourself.  You need to surround yourself with people who love and support you for WHO YOU ARE and are a positive influence in your life.

Okay enough of the negatives about friendship.

Friendship can be a wonderful, positive relationship which adds to the richness of our lives.  Our friends can provide a circle of love and support, fun and laughter.  These kinds of friendships are important for our health and well-being.

They say ‘you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends’ – so make the right choice for you.  Unlike family, friends don’t have to be in your life they CHOOSE to be.

What type of friend are you? Have you had toxic friendships?  How did you handle them?

Your friendships should be a two-way street – you get out of it what you put in

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

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50 Comments

  • Reply Kirsty Russell March 5, 2018 at 09:01

    I think we’ve all had toxic friends over time. For me, becoming a special needs parent and having extra commitments and responsibility weeded out a lot of the toxic friendships so I’ve been left with real friends who are really there for me.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 5, 2018 at 13:11

      Hi Kirsty, I’m sure through your experience you would really know who your friends are. The fairweather friends run for cover at the slightest hint of being needed. Thank you for stopping by and have a beautiful day. x

  • Reply Vanessa March 5, 2018 at 10:50

    To me, the only way to handle a toxic family, friend or anyone else is to 100% avoid them. They bring no good.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 5, 2018 at 13:05

      So true Vanessa but sometimes some of us find it hard to let them go. When we do, we wonder why we continued for so long.

  • Reply Natalie March 5, 2018 at 11:04

    Very good points, Sue. I’m loyal to my friends and fortunately have close friends that I can count on. I had a couple of toxic friends in my younger years and decided not to continue with those relationships.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 5, 2018 at 13:05

      Hi Natalie, I think as we get older we realise the value of friendships and that we can actually ‘unfriend’ someone who is not making us happy. It is good to gain that control.

    • Reply Sydney Shop Girl March 5, 2018 at 18:58

      Well said Natalie and Sue. As I’ve grown older and a bit wiser, I’ve gained that power to ‘unfriend’ and to do it diplomatically.

      SSG xxx

      • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2018 at 07:27

        Diplomatically is the key SSG. We don’t need to be mean or end a friendship with ‘bad blood’ but we do need to take the power back and control who we want in our lives. Have a beautiful week. x

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au March 5, 2018 at 15:33

    It’s funny that we’re both writing about friendship today Sue – my post is on how my friend numbers seem to be dwindling in real life – but doing well online – you even get a mention 🙂 Life is what you make it – and a big part of that is choosing who you allow into your world and who you close the door on. Unhealthy friendships are completely worthless to me now in Midlife – I’m getting choosier with age!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2018 at 07:26

      Even at 50 I was still concerned about friendships Leanne but now I’m much wiser. My friendship group is very small but very special to me and you are definitely on the list. 🙂 We were sisters in a past life I have no doubt about that.

      • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au March 7, 2018 at 16:06

        Hi Sue – I’ve shared this everywhere today – it’s such an important discovery we make in Midlife (shame we didn’t figure it out sooner!) Better late than never I always say x BTW I can see us back in Renaissance sitting in a castle room somewhere chatting while we embroider (we would have been rich sisters – not peasants!)

        • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:19

          Oh you are on the money Leanne – ladies embroidering while chatting in a castle – YEP that is us for sure! As the saying goes I love camping as long as it is under 5 stars! Have a great day and thanks for sharing xx

  • Reply Mona March 6, 2018 at 07:16

    As I have made the transition into retirement, I find I need to make new friends. I think I will keep 1 or 2 friends who I met through work, but our lives have taken different turns. I am not sure we have much in common any more although I have made myself available for get-togethers. They are often busy. We just don’t seem to have the same close relationship. It is sad to see the end of a friendship, but I hope I can find some consolation in new ones.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2018 at 07:37

      Retirement is like that Mona, especially if like me, one retires early. Your friends are still working and are busy and then slowly you find that you don’t have as much in common any more. However, the exciting part is that there are new friendships to be formed. It isn’t the length or the quality of friendships but the quantity that counts. Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day x

  • Reply Denyse March 6, 2018 at 11:51

    So interesting to read this as I wondered if I did enough to maintain friendships when I left the workplace and then left Sydney. Then I recall that “I” was the one doing the maintaining with little response nor initiative. In the end, over the past 2 years I have let them slide and I am no worse off. Yes, I find friends on line very supportive and helpful and I also like the connections made via blogging.
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 10/52. Next week’s optional prompt is “My Last Meal”. Denyse x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2018 at 07:39

      It can be so hard Denyse to keep up friendships when we leave a workplace or move away. The problem is that one in the friendship always seems to be the one to keep them going and if you stop so does the friendship. You have to let these slide and move on. I have a friend in Sydney who is my daughter’s godmother. We only speak a couple of times a year now, but the friendship is so strong that we always feel like we are constantly in touch and can pick up where we left off so easily. Thanks for your link up. xx

  • Reply Debbie March 6, 2018 at 20:49

    I really enjoyed this Sue. I’d like to think I’m a loyal friend but friendship is a two way street and it has to be worked at. I have a range of friends across all ages and I enjoy them all. Since heaving work I no longer have toxic people in my life so I’m much happier. I can mix with who I want to and I’m finding I get a lot of comfort from friends I’ve made since blogging, some like you who I haven’t even met in person. It’s diffetent at various ages too. Thanks for being my friend ?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2018 at 07:41

      Thank you for being my friend, Debbie I think we have really clicked and one day I know we will have that coffee together. I believe I am a loyal friend and usually the one to keep following up others. I have younger friends and I can remember when I was 50 they started entering fun runs (I’d never run until this point) and doing bootcamps and would always book me in as well. They were like daughters to me but saw me as an active woman when I thought I was past it! 🙂

  • Reply Pat March 7, 2018 at 00:37

    I took a step back to contemplate if I have any toxic/negative relationships in my life. I realize that there are a few but I also don’t allow their negativity to impact me as much. A couple, I hope to be the positive energy in their life right now! Or in a few cases, the negative person is related…hard to get rid of that relationship! But I have surrounded myself with a lot of positive support…IRL and on-line. Thanks for inspiring me to take a step back and think about that!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2018 at 07:43

      Hi Pat I love you visiting and so pleased we have connected. I like your idea of looking at being a positive energy in a friend’s life who might be considered negative. It is fine to have those friends if you don’t let them impact on you which you don’t. For others though they can really bring them down. I’ve learned from you today that being a positive can help others. Thanks for inspiring me to think of friendship that way. x

  • Reply Leslie Clingan March 7, 2018 at 06:14

    I think toxic friendships from my younger years impact me even now. Some days I wish I had a BFF here in EP who I could run with, shop with, confide in but I don’t. And most of the time, that’s ok. I am an extroverted introvert so can usually be happily alone. And alone is better than being with someone who brings you down, right?

    Always such good information, cuz.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2018 at 07:46

      Oh Leslie I wish I was your BFF and could be but we would have to be running around online shopping and having a virtual coffee. We are so alike – I’m an extroverted introvert and I do enjoy my alone time but I also enjoy spending time with my Saturday Sisters who I have a special relationship with. Have a beautiful day and I’ve sent you a PM in Messenger. xx

  • Reply Suger March 7, 2018 at 09:51

    It can be difficult to say goodbye, or even just walk away, from these kind of people but you’re right. It’s so worth it. I did a bit of house cleaning last year in terms of the people I have my time too, and have never been happier with my decision.

    I’ve been told it makes me appear selfish and stand offish, but you know what? That’s exactly the kind of negativity when I make choices for myself I was walking away from.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:23

      Good for you Suger and I like the term ‘house cleaning’ it sounds so much nicer than ‘unfriending’ 🙂 Isn’t it funny how people react when you do let go of them and move on. You go girl and enjoy your week! x

  • Reply Christie Hawkes March 7, 2018 at 12:02

    My sisters are my closest friends and luckily they are all positive influences on me. I do have two dear friends I’ve had through the years–one since 5th grade, though we only communicate online now. Outside of that I have more casual friendships with people in my office and my neighborhood. And, of course, there are my blogging friends. I adore you ladies and have been uplifted by so many of you.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:25

      How lovely to have your sisters as your closes friends, Christie. I am so appreciative of my blogging friends and even there, some have come and gone but others like Leanne from Cresting the Hill has been my blogging friend for 3 years. I know you and I will continue our on-line friendship and who knows maybe even enjoy some time together IRL in the future. xx

  • Reply Jo Castro March 7, 2018 at 14:07

    I so agree. Toxic friendships are absolutely destroying, but sometimes still we hang on to them, maybe in the hope that they’ll change? These days, like you, I have a few good friends in real life who uplift me and nurture me and also need me too. Online I have many more friends who I connect with in a positive way about various aspects of our lives – and so have a much in common. It’s funny how the world is changing – from things I read around the web, so many people are turning to online friendships, which then often spill into real life as very positive relationships.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:27

      Online can get a bad wrap sometimes Jo but I have found and formed many wonderful friendships with my fellow bloggers and even readers. It is all about quality and perhaps taking it more slowly in developing friendships. I enjoy the camaraderie of my blogging friends and was so happy to meet some of them IRL. Have a great week!

  • Reply Patrick Weseman March 7, 2018 at 15:09

    I want my friends to be open and honest with me but once they turn toxic it is goodbye. I have had to do here and there and while it is sad, I don’t need these people draining my soul. Just my little view. #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:20

      Draining your soul is the perfect description Patrick. We certainly don’t need people like that in our lives. Have a beautiful week and thanks for stopping by to comment.

  • Reply Cherie March 7, 2018 at 18:30

    Oh how I wished I had learned this lesson earlier in my life. I finally figured it out in my 40’s, since then I have narrowed my circle to only those that have a positive influence in my life. I look back and shudder a little, why on earth did I let some of those people in my life? Why did I think so little of myself??

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:16

      Don’t we all Cherie! Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it. I think when we are young we feel the need to have many friends to feel like we are popular and over come our self-consciousness. Later in life we are more mature and realise we just need to surround ourselves with those who care and support us and vice versa. Have a great week!

  • Reply Victoria March 8, 2018 at 00:22

    Life is too short to deal with toxic people. I may not verbally get someone out of my life but I will slowly cut them out of my world.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:14

      So true Victoria. It is unfortunate that we don’t always recognise this earlier in life. I like your idea of slowly cutting them out of your life without confrontation. Have a beautiful day!

  • Reply amy March 8, 2018 at 00:33

    Love this post! It is hard to get rid of toxic friends, especially if you’re a Christian and you are taught to forgive. But I have learned that you can forgive and also let go.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:12

      Thanks Amy. You have the right attitude about forgiving but letting go. Unfortunately, people can’t or won’t change so those who are ‘negative nellies’ around you will always pull you down. You have found a very Christian way of dealing with toxic friendships and not actually hurting people in the process.

  • Reply Michele March 8, 2018 at 04:11

    I belong to the category of people who don’t have a lot of friends, but have good friends, some of them for a very long time. i do count my on-line friends in that group as well, the on-line community is very rich and can be very supportive. I had a very toxic friend once, and I let the friendship drift apart rather than choosing to end it. I am fairly careful about getting into new friendships until I know someone well. .

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:09

      I have some wonderful on-line friends Michele who I communicate almost on a daily basis. The internet and blogging has opened up a new avenue for making friends and I hope to meet some of them in real life one day. The idea of drifting away is good and also being a little more selective about who you want in your circle of friends. Have a beautiful week. x

  • Reply Diane March 8, 2018 at 08:02

    If they don’t uplift, they’re set adrift.

  • Reply Donna March 8, 2018 at 09:56

    Hi, Sue – One thing (out of many) that I love about retirement, is the right to choose who I spend my time with (both IRL and in the blogging world). Having this choice, and being able to surround myself with positive people is absolutely wonderful and is constantly uplifting!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 10:17

      So true Donna. Once we leave the workforce those that still work tend to drift away. Retirement friendships bring a new type of friend and new experiences and as you say it is your choice. I’m so pleased we connected through blogging. We might be doing an Alaskan cruise next year and stopping in Vancouver. Wouldn’t it be lovely to catch up? xx

      • Reply Donna March 8, 2018 at 13:32

        Yes! Yes! Yes! A IRL catch-up would be amazing. We live on Vancouver Island (a ferry ride away from Vancouver. You and your husband are most welcome to stay here (your room is ready) or Richard and I could come to Vancouver to meet you. Keep me posted.

        • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 20:02

          Oh it would be wonderful Donna and yes I will keep you updated for sure. xx

  • Reply Tamara / My Retirement Project March 9, 2018 at 01:04

    Hi Sue,

    Throughout my life I tended to ‘slay’ my toxic friends instead of simply and peacefully letting them go. I’d like to think I’m better at the later these days, accepting that they are where they need to be in their journey, even if they don’t fit where I am in my journey. So I try hard to release them from my life without hurting their feelings in any way. And hope others do the same for me should I be inhibiting their growth in any way.

    I had a recent experience that I hope I handled with grace, though I’m not 100% sure. I met a gal during a hike with one of my regular groups that exuded energy at the age of 72, so I was instantly drawn to her. However, it quickly became apparent that one of her motivations for being so friendly toward me was that I lived nearby, and she was in the habit of snagging people to drive her to and from each and every hiking event, rather than driving herself. Um, no. Just no. I had to think on this long and hard, but my time in the car is my time, and in that it often involves gazing at the ocean as I drive to an event, or stopping spontaneously for a coffee on the way home, it’s my time, and I won’t allow it to be taken hostage.

    So I told her as kindly and firmly as I could that I was not available for usage as her ride. She’s backed away from me, but I’m fine with that in that I have been able to lay down the sensation of dread each time I saw her, wondering what she was going to ask me to do next.

    A kinder person might have conceded to her requests. I ponder this too, but accept that that is simply not where I am in my journey. Not this time around at least!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 10, 2018 at 17:28

      You handled it perfectly Tamara and if she took it the wrong way that is her loss. It is so hard sometimes but we just can’t be there for everyone and life is too short for one-way friendships. Like you I try not to hurt their feelings and probably just don’t try to stay in touch as often which then usually mean they fade out of my life. Thank you for sharing your story with me and again, you handled it very graciously but firmly. You go girl!

  • Reply Nancy Andres March 9, 2018 at 01:52

    Hi Sue, I’m a long time subscriber to your newsletter and blogger who enjoyed reading this post on toxic friendships and why it’s smart to rid your life of them. My last decade has been devoted to cleaning up and sometimes eliminating relationships with toxic people and welcoming in healthy, caring, and positive people as friends. This was a painful process, but well worth the effort. Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 10, 2018 at 17:30

      Hello Nancy and thank you for being a long time supporter of my newsletter and blog. It is great to hear that because sometimes I wonder if people even look at the newsletter! Thank you also for your wonderfully positive words at the end of your comment. Lead a colourful life – I love that!!! Have a fabulous week and don’t be a stranger 🙂

  • Reply Roseann Hampton March 10, 2018 at 11:27

    I have a few friends who fit the “toxic” category. I have to work with them but their negativity can often times take its toll! Thanks for sharing this article at The Blogger’s Pit Stop! Roseann

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 10, 2018 at 17:20

      Hi Roseann, sometimes it is difficult to let go that is for sure.

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