Aunty Sprout: Toxic Friendship

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Hi Aunty Sprout,

I wanted to get some advice because I think that I need to cut myself off from this ‘friend’. 
 I’ve known her since primary school and she’s always been a bit argumentative but in the past year it’s been really hard being her friend. She is very manipulative and I feel I am always walking on eggshells. She expects me to drop everything to go spend time with her on command. If I say I’m working she will tell me how everyone thinks I’m caring but that I’m not, and that she’s going to tell everyone how I ‘abandon’ her. Teachers have advised me to separate myself from her because she’s having a negative impact on my productivity and self esteem. 
I’m scared that if I take people’s advice and cut her off she will tell everyone I abandoned her even though I’ve spent a lot of my time trying to work things out with her. What do I do? 
Thank you for all of your advice! 

Thanks for contacting Aunty Sprout about a difficult situation you are having with your friend.

Friendships can be hard at times and as we grow older, individuals can change and we realise sometimes the positive and negative impact some of our friends have on us. It sounds like you’ve always been really patient and faithful to your friend but you have realised lately the impact she is having on you.

The best thing to do would be to sit down and try and discuss your thoughts with her. See if she can see your point of view, that sometimes her behaviour towards you isn’t acceptable. By having this honest chat with her, you can tell her how you really feel and see if she can understand and try and change her attitude towards you. If she does listen and doesn’t want to lose you as a friend it might give you the opportunity to tell her about the manipulative things she does and what she should do to change these behaviours.  If she chooses not to, this will show you that she doesn’t value your friendship and it’s time for you to move on with other friendships.

By having this honest chat with her she then won’t be able to tell anyone that you abandoned her as you tried to work things out but it was her choice not to. It’s important that you take the next step in trying to resolve this as it’s obviously having an impact on your school work and self esteem and these are really two important aspects in your life.

If you do decide not to continue your friendship with her, make sure you tell her clearly the reasons why. Surround yourself with other friends that value you as a person and your friendship, you could join some local clubs, youth or sports clubs to meet new people and make some new friends for yourself that will have a positive impact on you as a person.

Hope this helps you and all the best

Aunty Sprout

If you would like to talk to anyone about bereavement or other things, please contact Meic, the national information, advice and advocacy helpline for 0-25s in Wales. You can contact Meic by phone (080880 23456), text (84001), instant message ( or email ( between 8am and midnight.


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