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Here’s How to Say Goodbye to Toxic Friendships

Friendship is a satisfying relationship an individual usually experiences and develops.

Friends add immense value to our lives, help us cope with challenges, promote well-being and aid us in being happier. Friends also provide a solid social support system which helps us in battling tough situations or loneliness. After all, we all love a person we can open our hearts out to without the fear of judgment.

A recent study by Harvard, concluded that having solid friendships in one’s life helps in promoting brain health and improving cognitive performance. Friends help us handle stress, make better lifestyle choices, and allow us to rebound from health issues and disease more quickly. Friendship is also important to our mental health.

But while enjoying healthy friendships makes life more enriching and impacts us positively, an unhealthy friendship can do the opposite by turning toxic, stressful and doing more harm than good.

What is a toxic friendship?

Toxic friendships can take different forms, but they generally drain you mentally.

A toxic relationship can often involve more giving than receiving. It is when you do not find the support and compassion that is usually present in a healthy friendship. A relationship lacking respect, understanding, and harmony can be regarded as a toxic friendship.

Such a relationship involves manipulation, lies, and disrespect.

Clinical psychologists say that such a relationship can harm an individual instead of emotionally healing them.

Identifying a toxic friendship

To understand toxicity in friendships, it is important for us to be able to identify and differentiate an unhealthy friendship from a healthy one.

Some signs to watch out for could include:

Stepping out of a toxic friendship

Ending a relationship is never easy and requires a conscious effort and choice. However, when you know the decision you are making will protect your mental health, it becomes a tad easier.

You can begin by:

Nurturing healthy friendships

Just the way you invest in your health for a better life, it is essential that you invest in the right people, too. Therefore, for your sake, do not tolerate toxic friendships.

True friends can help you weather the storms of life. They don’t completely get rid of the pain, but having a shoulder to lean on can make the toughest of experiences easier.

Numerous research studies have emphasized the importance of a solid social support system in decreasing one’s stress levels, and anxiety.

So, let’s be more mindful about the quality of our circle, and make an effort to be more loving, accepting and giving.


Dr. Upasana Gala is the founder and CEO of Evolve Brain Training, a Neurofeedback centered institute that focuses on using non-invasive brain training techniques to maximize the brain's true potential.

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