You finally found the perfect person you were looking for, fell in love, got the promotion you’ve been waiting for years, and reached the weight you wanted. You can’t wait to go and share the news with your favorite people. But what is that? Again, instead of being happy and excited for you, you didn’t get the reaction you expected… It even discouraged you, maybe hurt you.
Don’t we know? Many of us have had such a friend in our lives.
Suppose any of these signs seem painfully familiar. In that case, if your friend is trying to control you and your emotions, becomes ruthless when you don’t call, demands an explanation, or makes you feel guilty when you don’t hang out with them on the weekends, it may be time for a difficult but necessary conversation. Because with him, you may have embarked on a toxic friendship that could negatively affect you.
Life is too short for toxic friendships. Let’s talk about how to deal with a friend who constantly makes you feel bad and brings you down, but you don’t want to cut off from your life.
Observe the trigger
On what issues does he give envious reactions? On what issues does he become aggressive? He’s trying to put pressure on whatever happens. “Every time I talk excitedly about his plans, he gets aggressive, saying how ridiculous those plans are.” If you say, maybe he thinks his future is not as bright as yours.
So, can we say that there is a comparison?
If you observe what triggers your friend’s movements, you will be much more understanding in your conversation.
Know the difference between jealousy, negativity, and depression
Humans are complex beings. Our emotional, mental, and physical health are interconnected to drive our mood, actions, and words. Your friend’s comments may be more than minor negative statements.
Recent research shows that individuals struggling with depression have trouble distinguishing between negative emotions.
If he’s jealous of you, he may have difficulty admitting it or not be able to describe his actions that way. And yet, it would not be very healthy to go to him with the judgment of “you are jealous of me”.
Use your ability to observe to understand the real problem. Maybe he is struggling to manage the negative thoughts in his mind. Although it can be frustrating to be around a friend who is constantly negative and judgmental, try to frame the situation out of compassion and empathy.
Because when someone is overwhelmingly negative, they are often in a struggle with themselves.
Before everything, Ask your friend how he is and remind him that you are always there to help or listen. However, if they are projecting their negativity onto you and pulling you down, you need to draw the line and take care of yourself. Protect your borders.
Talk to your friend as soon as possible.
Once you know where their jealousy and aggressive behavior might be coming from, talk to your friend as soon as possible and tell him how you feel. Otherwise, he may think you are saying it angrily and may not take you seriously. It’s best to do the talking when you’re not feeling angry or attacked by your actions.
It’s essential to engage in conversation with a calm, open mind so your friend doesn’t feel threatened about the future of your friendship and doesn’t overreact with negative comments. To keep the conversation as smooth as possible, psychologist Irene S. Levine says it’s essential to use “I” language when speaking.
Are you nervous about the conversation? Here are some tips…
Talking about this situation may not be easy, but there are some strategies to make it easier. Here are Levine’s top tips for making the conversation as smooth and productive as possible:
1. Use a language of empathy that shows you care about both parties.
Instead of accusing him of jealousy and aggressive behavior, tell him these negative expressions are hurting you. You can make it clear that you’re worried about the state of your friendship and that you’re concerned about his change in attitude. Try to see the issue from his perspective as well.
2. Practice active listening.
Remove all distractions from your environment. Maintain eye contact while talking. Listen carefully to your friend’s answers, and do not interrupt him while he is speaking.
3. Make her feel understood instead of ignoring her feelings.
“I understand why you feel that way.”
“I can see how it’s upsetting you.”
“I can understand why he behaved this way.” Putting forward your problems in the continuation of the sentences you started with will make it easier for you to accept this and understand yourself.
4. If necessary, you can end your friendship or distance yourself. Don’t feel wrong about that.
If communicating and trying to change the situation gets you nowhere and your friend continues to disrespect you, it’s time to get your way. “Friendships are voluntary relationships that should be mutually satisfying,” says Levine. We all deserve friends who develop us and help us become better people. Please don’t feel bad about your decisions, don’t let them make you think. It is your MOST natural right to follow what is good for you.