{Sneaky} Toxic Friendships You Didn’t Know You Had (and how to end them!)


A toxic relationship detracts from more than it promotes happiness in your life. Sometimes the detraction is so minuscule it takes time to realize the drain. Remember a relationship requires TWO people. Therefore, being in a toxic relationship is as much the responsibility of the person dishing out the toxicity as it is the one allowing it. But be careful, the worst are the ones you aren’t even aware you have.

5 Toxic Friendships you may not know you have…

  1. The One-Upper.

    This person always has something to say. You got a raise; she got a promotion. Your child said something funny; her child is a comedian. The One-Upper is often mixed up with The Jealous One and often is a perfectionist who takes herself way too seriously. Remember, the One-Upper’s need to be better usually comes from a place of jealousy. She is sneaky because… often you two have so much in common you don’t know where you end and she begins.

  2. The Jealous One:

    This person is often confused with The One Upper. She has a hard time being happy for you because she wishes she were you. The Jealous One is sneaky because… she isn’t outright about her jealousy. She doesn’t come out and say it; the jealousy usually manifests in halfhearted joy and often outright downplaying. (Oh, you are a SAHM. I could never do that, I would get so bored!) 

  3. The Negative Nancy:

    This person is constantly complaining! She is sneaky because… as a positive person, you don’t notice her negativity until you aren’t with her regularly. Then you realize she has literally been sucking the sunshine out of you. 

  4. The Abuser:

    This person takes advantage of your goodness without you even realizing. She is sneaky because…she knows you are kindness. She might be the leader of a volunteer group that always asks you for help because they know you won’t say no. The Abuser is sneaky because… you are helping! That is totally your MO and the Abuser is obviously doing more, so you don’t even realize she is taking advantage.

  5. The Narcissist:

    This person is different from The One Upper because she doesn’t even take enough time out of her life to see YOU. She is so focused on herself. She doesn’t mean to; she just simply isn’t aware. The Narcissist is sneaky because… she has so much confidence, it’s easy to want to be around her. 

So you have a {Sneaky} Toxic Friendship…now what?!

If someone is driving you nuts or you feel she is not in your life for YOU, there are two things you should consider…

  1. Remember, sometimes people come into our life not because YOU need them but because THEY need YOU. Those people will enter and exit without any work on your part. You might not even realize they are gone. And,
  2. Try to figure out why they are there. The “15 second focus” has always helped me. Spend 15 seconds focusing on the things you like about that person each day (could be as simple as her great hair), and slowly her purpose will show. She may even start to change (or your view of her may), or she will leave your life (sounds crazy, but it has worked for me every time.)

Always remember it is okay to be selfish. Do you all day, every day, because you are only half the mom of your potential if your relationships are draining you. And when you find your tribe (or tribes), hold them close; they help you be the best version of yourself and make spotting the toxic easier.

And while you are doing an inventory (because we are moms, and that is what we do) you should totally throw it back. Why not? (I did!)

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Erin Rice
Erin is a fresh transplant to Orange County from Richmond, VA as of January 1, 2019! She and her husband, Rick, married in 2008 on the same beach where they fell in love on Virginia's Eastern Shore. They are thrilled to have settled into the Laguna Niguel area with their three wild children, ages 8, 6 and 2 and less than 5 miles from the coast. Erin works full-time as the director of a preschool, where she has the opportunity to make an impact and encourage the future of tomorrow to grow in every way, all while having fun! A self-proclaimed eternal optimist, she and her family enjoy living life and turning everything into an adventure. She loves trips to Target (alone at 8 am), iced coffee, baking, cheering for her VCU Rams, staying healthy, fresh air and introducing her kids to real music. Keep up with Erin on Instagram @1erinrice