Toxic female friendships: For years, we have trained ourselves on ways to get over a toxic relationship through watching films, web series, television, etc. still we are caught surprised when the situation arises. Now imagine trying to get over a toxic friendship, the one we do not even have a decent manual on.
Friendships are never easy- to make or maintain as we grow old and learn more about worldly words like red flags, mental health, toxic behaviour, etc. These are terms that most of us were unfamiliar with until the last few years.
Another term that was mostly used to define a romantic relationship problem: gaslighting also joined the wagon of words. But it is necessary to understand that friends can be toxic in many ways.
One example of this toxicity is looking down on someone else. Be it life, professional or romantic decisions sometimes the boundaries seem to start blurring between friends. They start dictating their version of the truth and often shame when not accepted. For most of our life, we keep up with this thinking that the force is not problematic but care.
When these red flags are visible in relationships we tend to realise with help of our friends but when it’s the other way round, things take time to be noticed.
In a friendship the vulnerability is higher than the one in relationships, most often there is a tendency to hide and maintain a secrecy level which sort of crumbles in friendships.
Coming to secrets, another toxic sign is when a friend is unable to understand the personal space. How many times have your friends poked you for your secrets while calling it fun and making you extremely uncomfortable about it?
In the list of problematic friendships is the constant casual shaming. Nicknames that are depreciating to the others are looked like fun and affection. If raised an alarm about, the person tends to become tense and hurt because friends mein toh saab chalta hai right? How many times have your ‘toxic’ female friend made you feel inferior?
The other that cannot be missed is what you wear? This is part of not understanding when to let the other person have the space. A friend making faces at your clothing because ‘it is not to their liking’ is problematic and regressive. Examples- These pants look unflattering on your ass, do not wear this, it makes your breasts look big? etc Has your friend ever made you feel bad about dressing up a certain way? If yes, then it is a problem because you can wear what you want and feel comfortable in.
The worst is we know that breakups are part of romantic relationships and how to behave after that but when it comes to friendships that memo never came in. The toughest is to let go of a friend on whom we are dependent emotionally. But sometimes it is just better and weight lifting to let go and make new ones instead of continuing in a friendship of constant letdowns.
(Opinions expressed are the author’s own)