15 Sep A Baby Boomers Guide to Toxic Friendships
Toxic friendships are just that – poisonous!
The people you grow up with and come to love and respect within your family structure, as a rule, tend to be people you are stuck with. Even if your mother, father, brother, is the kind of person described in psychological articles as being ‘toxic’ it is highly unlikely that you are going to isolate yourself from them. Why would you want to do that?
It seems obvious that even if you do, the subsequent emotional pain of cutting loose from such ties would hurt you far more than it would hurt them! They have their toxicity to sustain them and you are just Mr or Ms Lovely; your niceness making you a target for the toxic behavior highlighted in psychological articles written to guide us all out of the toxic trap.
Friendships, however, are a different matter, that is the friendships detailed inpsychological articles as ‘casual’ or ‘passing’. Such friends are those you meet up with for an hour after work, with whom you may enjoy a glass of wine or a chat over the events of the day. These people are a toxic nightmare for the optimistic and the pragmatic. They ‘poison’ the day with negativity and apathy: they take the fun out of life for everyone they come into contact with and positive people would do well to avoid them like the plague.
Psychological articles have a field day with these characters and the kind of behavior that features in someone displaying toxic attributes is easily recognizable by how you feel when you are with a person carrying the stigma of toxicity. Psychological articles describe them as the kind of people who see a field of beautiful flowers only in terms of how it might affect their allergies; a cute puppy as a carrier of germs; the delightful old man who gives up his seat on the train to a young lady as a pervert.
Psychological articles that go deeper into the difficulties of dealing with toxic people explore the reasons why such attitudes triumph over joy and cheerfulness. Theories abound, some expounding the ‘opposite concept’ of either neglect or over indulgence; extreme happiness or misery; extreme wealth or abject poverty. Whatever the causes, the effects are long reaching and influence some of the most successful members of society.
Toxic friendships tend to survive for quite a long time before they are finally vanquished due to the wide and generous nature of the non-toxic part of the equation – the gentle, non toxic, patient, easy going and golden hearted pal who takes an emotional beating every time the toxic friend needs a sponge to soak up their resentment and pessimism. Psychological articles tend to advocate such people steer clear of toxic friendships for the sake of their own emotional welfare and survival.
This Psychological Article on Toxic Friendships is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of baby boomers psychological coaching tips and how to alleviate elderly problems. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.
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