Q: Sobrang hirap para sa'kin na aminin pero feeling ko I'm in a toxic friendship with someone na matagal ko nang kilala. Yung para bang, nauubos yung energy ko every time magkasama o magkausap kami. How should I handle this?
Part of being a friend means showing up for someone even when they can't give you the same amount of love and attention as you're able to at the moment. Some people who are going through a lot emotionally may seem distant or detached and that can result into seemingly one-sided friendships. There are also those who show they care differently—maybe they're coming across as negative when they're really just being cautious.
How to deal with a toxic friendship
But you know your friendship more than anyone. If someone's truly turned "toxic", how exactly do you deal with that? Meta coach and neuro-semantics trainer Sheila Tan says, "When a relationship or a friendship is toxic, it means that the effect on us is more negative. It brings us down. And if it's pervasive and persistent, meaning it's not because they're going through a rough spot, then we may want to evaluate [the situation]." (Read: Do not just ghost your friend.)
Ask yourself: Is there anything I can do about it? Can I give [him] feedback? Can I help this person change? "If the person resists any support, resists any feedback, then we choose to either lessen the interaction or just altogether not be in communication with them unless it's absolutely necessary," Sheila advises.
How many chances should you give a friend?
It's really up to you. It depends on how you're doing. She explains, "If you have the best time in the world and you have some time to help a friend, then that's well and good." Maybe you want to give this friendship another chance. "But if you're busy and doing a lot of things, you're by no means obligated to do that. If the person apologizes, then you can just forgive [him or her], but that doesn't mean you have to have that same interaction or same level of closeness as before." Choose yourself first. You are your priority.
Know more about how to deal with a toxic friendship by watching the video below.
Sheila Tan is a meta coach and neuro-semantics trainer. She is also the president of Altius Coaching and Consulting. Sheila co-founded Flourish Circle, a community-based solution for mental health. Her advocacies include HIV awareness, women empowerment, and mental health. You can contact her through Altius Coaching's website, Facebook, or Instagram.
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