Friendships come in all shapes and sizes. The oldest and closest friends that you may not have seen in months but when you see each other, you pick up right where you left off in an unbroken continuity. The new friends that explode into your life and you can’t imagine a time when they were never there. The work colleague who shares an after work bottle of Pinot Grigio with you and knows that you didn’t really have a dentist’s appointment last Tuesday. Or the reliable ally who always has your back, hides your phone when you want to call your ex-boyfriend at three in the morning or tells you the truth about the disastrous haircut that you think is right on trend (I had a fringe once; a good friend told me it'd be cute if I was three but not at any age beyond that and she was right).
And then there is the other type, the one that I like to call the Dracula Friend. This type of side kick is probably descended from vampires and likes to suck the energy and positivity out of your life. Somehow you like yourself a little bit less after you’ve spent time with them.
We all have come across them. Maybe you didn’t see their fangs when you first met, maybe the dynamics of your relationship with them has changed, maybe you are becoming more sensitive to their nasty ways as the years roll by.
Here are 11 signs that you have a vampire in your midst:
- They have no interest in anyone except themselves. You are merely the supporting cast in the Me Show that they produce, direct and star in.
- They put you down and belittle your achievements.
- You know they gossip about you or have betrayed your trust.
- They continually send texts and take calls while you wonder why they bothered to meet you for a coffee if they so obviously have no time to chat to you.
- They are never truly happy about your successes and have no interest in celebrating your triumphs.
- Inconsiderate is one of the adjectives you would use to describe them. They are always looking out for number one.
- Do you feel they are happy to take advantage of you? Maybe they exploit your generosity or your kindness.
- When you need a friend, they aren’t available but yet they expect you to step in and help them in their very regular dramas.
- Vampire friends are not above manipulation and emotional blackmail to get what they want.
- When you leave their company, you feel like your internal battery has been drained.
- Finally, mockery is in their arsenal of attack. If you object, they’ll brush you off with something like “Relax, it’s just a laugh, hun”. More like Attila the Hun.
Sometimes you have no choice but to end a friendship for the sake of your own sanity and confidence. Detaching from them emotionally and seeing them for what they really are is the first step. Spend time with friends who are good for your soul or make the effort to find some new ones. Because real friends are the real deal, wherever you find them.
Have you ever had a toxic friend? How did you deal with them? Share with us in the comments, we’re all friends here!