Friends are an essential part of your life. They pick you up when you’re down and become a source of motivation behind your success. If you don’t have something you need on an important day, you can always borrow it from your best friend. They teach you the essential life lessons you never can find in a college course. You learn new things from your friends all the time. Most importantly, they teach you that you are not alone. If your friends aren’t like this, there’s something wrong with them.
While anyone can be your friend if you mentally connect with them, there is no guarantee that they’ll always be right for you. Most people deliberately ignore toxic friendships because they don’t want to go through the mental trauma of losing a friend. Toxic friends aren’t just mentally draining. They significantly impact your physiological health too. Do you want to know how? Continue reading.
1. They Can Pressure You Into Addiction
Drug addiction can have devastating effects on your entire life. Failing to recover from it can be life-threatening too. Addiction isn’t just limited to drugs. It can habitually begin with alcohol, several OTC medications, cigarettes, etc. Nevertheless, all kinds of dependencies have a detrimental effect on the quality of your life. Unhealthy habits don’t just foster into a person. Most commonly, it’s a toxic friend that passes on an unhealthy obsession. Suppose you or someone you know is suffering from addiction. In that case, you can contact the Delphi Behavioral Health Group to undergo treatment, as no addiction in the world is worth the cost of a life.
2. Elevate Your Stress Levels
Since toxic friends constantly try to change you, manipulate you into doing bad things, or criticize everything you do, it puts you in a constant state of anxiety. You’re always stressed. Every decision in your life makes you feel anxious. Even if these friends are fun to be around, they might induce stress in other areas. For example, they might party at your house every week and forget to divide the bill. They’ll make use of your resources and financially distort you. Some toxic friends can make you feel worthless and shatter your self-esteem.
3. They Expose You with Uncomfortable Situations
Toxic friends are likely to take you to places you never want to go. They’ll make you think like it’s a challenge to convince you. Or they can take you to places to scare you off because seeing you weak makes them feel good or dominant. These situations include leaving you alone in a dark place, running away in the middle of a road trip without you, leaving you drunk in the club, etc. Any of these situations can induce lifelong fears or make you run into an accident. You are likely to undergo panic attacks, seizures, heart problems, insomnia, etc.
4. They Don’t Care About Your Health
In many situations, toxic friends can expose you to smoke by smoking in front of you. Being in the same room with smokers has the same adverse effect on your health, even if you’re not the one smoking. Inhaling smoke can cause breathing problems and various lung diseases too. If you’re already suffering from a disorder, smoke can make it worse. Health conditions following smoke inhalation include chronic bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and lung cancer. There’s no harm in being friends with people who smoke. The practice is relatively common in today’s time. However, note people who smoke in front of you, knowing it’s not safe for you. Those are the ones you shouldn’t be around.
5. They Make You Take Dangerous Risks
Another dangerous trait of toxic friendship includes driving under the influence of alcohol or other psychoactive substances. Nearly 28 people in the US lose their lives everyday at the hands of drunk-driving accidents. Such scenarios are common with toxic friends. They are harmful for a reason. They don’t care about their life nor your life. They can also make you take other dangerous risks in the name of adventure. They can make you do cliff driving if you have Acrophobia (fear of heights). They can make you go rafting if you have Aquaphobia (fear of water). More situations include using firearms without proper training, breaking into someone’s house, attempting to steal something from a grocery store, etc.
The Bottom Line
Identifying toxic friendships can be difficult for you since their toxicity is very well concealed. Your best bet is to notice the warning signs and immediately cutoff such people from your life. Friends are supposed to be there for you and applaud your achievements, not bring you down or expose you to life-threatening situations. If a friend makes you stressed, remove them from your life. If they make push you towards addiction, seek treatment ASAP. Toxic friends aren’t worth sacrificing your life.