6 Toxic People to Leave in 2017

in the words of *NSYNC: bye. bye. bye.

While a new year doesn’t necessarily mean a new you, it’s a chance to reflect on the changes you want to make in order to reach that point. Along with sticking to our resolutions to live a better life in 2018, we’re also holding on to the people who make it so great — and letting go of those who simply don’t.

Although the connections we make with others are important, your mental health shouldn’t be ignored because of them. Whether it’s the friend who keeps trying to drag you out to the bars on a Wednesday night or the one who continues to act like the world is out to destroy her, there are some people you grow out of — because you’re too busy trying to grow into yourself. To ensure you’re starting this year with a happy mind and helpful company, here are six toxic people to leave in 2017.


1. The friend who is never happy for you

From (finally) meeting someone you want to go on a second date with to receiving a generous bonus at work, you’re on cloud nine and this friend is raining all over your parade. Blame it on jealousy or insecurity, but he or she would rather overlook your success than celebrate it with you. Despite your attempts to share good news, you should be around people who are on your side — instead of the ones who are sulking as they stand there.


2. The friend who gives you back-handed compliments

If you have nothing nice to say, that’s no problem — this particular friend has probably already said it. Maybe it’s how he wishes he had your life (because you don’t have real responsibilities) or how your outfit looks good (from far away), but these compliments start out nice and end up nasty. The truth? This world is full of critics, and the passive aggressive friend is one you don’t need to invest in.


3. The friend who is constantly negative

Similar to the friend who is never happy for you, this is the friend who is literally never happy at all. The dress was 50% off? Too bad, it’ll probably shrink. Oh — and the new place you found during your apartment search? The neighborhood is so noisy.

Regardless of what it is, this friend has something negative to say about it. While it’s unfortunate that he or she treats the world as if it’s a spiraling hole of doom, it’s also unnecessary for you to feel that type of impact.


4. The friend who always ditches your plans

We’ve all experienced some version of this friend — she called you five minutes before meeting for dinner to tell you she was (still) shopping or he cancelled on you one day before a huge concert. It’s fair to say sometimes life happens and our plans are broken because of that — but there’s a difference between prioritizing your time for people versus doing things on your own time despite the obligations you’ve already made. With this being said, your free time is minimal and the right type of friends will be mindful of that.


5. The friend who competes with you

Even though the success of your friends can be a helpful driver for reaching your own goals, it shouldn’t be the defining reason for the relationship. Unfortunately, this friend is the one who is keeping score. You cooked a meal you’re proud of? Cool, he knew how to do that last year. You bought the shoes you’ve been saving up for? Nice, she’s already bought two pairs. Life is short, be with people who want the best for you — not people who want to be better than you.


6. The friend who is in a different place than you

Amongst the people who won’t stay in your life this year, the friend you’ve outgrown is probably the hardest fallout to accept. Why? Because there’s no explanation besides the reality that life is different and now your relationship is as well. While this isn’t to say that being in different life stages means the friendship must end, it’s understandable to let it go if you’ve both tried and can’t seem to connect any longer.

Is it the fact that her priority is still dating younger men who treat her wrong? Or is it how he’s moved to three different cities in the past year and can barely answer your texts? We have no idea — regardless, not everyone is supposed to have the the same role in your life, and this is the relationship that proves it.


Which of these types of friends do you feel you still have in your life? Which friends are the hardest to say goodbye to?

  • Hey author, I think maybe some important distinctions or disclaimers could be made for #3 and #4 – and that’s being able to differentiate between someone who is purposefully negative and someone who is in the grips of a serious mental illness that affects their mood. Same story with #4 – please don’t get mad because your agoraphobe or introvert friend is too anxious to leave the house and needs to cancel. These things happen….

  • Jem

    yeah great thoughts! It’s a hard question to answer but there is always that one friend that even if we don’t admit it out loud, deep down we apire to be more like them, despite their failings towards us. That is the hardest friendship to walk away from, it gives us little to nothing in return, but it could be something more and you wonder would it change if you just put more in..
    Just on Michaela’s comments, I can see exactly where you are coming from.
    One size NEVER fits all, hopefully readers are able to be discerning.
    (I hope we don’t see a day where articles end up like medical ads having to list a raft of disclaimers!)
    Michaela has really highlighted something crucial, it would be great to read about panel of mental health experts and those with different illnesses talking about friendships, what it is like living every day and how we can be a good friend and be more aware and considerate of others around us who might be living with mental illnesses. The impact on their lives can be considerable, the least we can do is be more educated and aware.

    • Yes, That would be great. As someone with my own mental health diagnoses, sometimes it is really hard to maintain friendships with people who are not mentally ill and I think some of that stems from a misunderstanding of what we deal with and how best to communicate certain things in a way that doesn’t malign or alienate others. ~ It can just be very hurtful when I have a couple of bad weeks or months when my brain is wreaking havoc with my life and friends accuse me of being “toxic” or no good for them anymore. Being abandoned for something you have little control over is such an awful feeling. I don’t want that to happen to people.

  • Reading your post – instead of looking for people like that in my environment – I started thinking if I am any of that to someone else? If I am making my family and friends feel this way? And if so – how should I improve? So your post actually helped me a lot and I’m going to monitor my behaviour much more carefully! Thank you!

    With kindness

  • Now this is a post I can relate to!

    x Mariya

  • I’ve gotten rid of so many people who fit the descriptions of these 6 points – and I haven’t had a hard time doing so. I don’t have the patience for negative, passive aggressive and etc. people in my life!

  • I agree with you on 1-5. I’m on the fence with No. 6. I have friends who have moved on to better jobs, or who I have left behind. There are some who are on another continent entirely. We don’t call or text all the time, but we still keep in touch. While I agree that it’s good to move on from friends who draw you back just because your goals are different from theirs, I still think it’s totally possible to maintain that friendship while excelling in your goals.