Are Toxic Friends Bringing You Down?

Do you have a Chronic Downer or an Underminer in your life? Time to let her go!
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Are Toxic Friends Bringing You Down?

Do you have a Chronic Downer or an Underminer in your life? Time to let her go!

-Lucia Peters

A toxic friend

Do you have a toxic friend in your life? If you do, odds are, you’re not alone. and recently revealed the results of a survey they called the “Toxic Friends” survey: Out of 18,000 women, a whopping 84 percent reported that they had at least one poisonous pal leaking awfulness into their lives. At least one? How many of them had more than one?

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The survey found that there are five common breeds of toxic friends out there. What are these breeds and what characterizes each of them? Let’s take a look, and to up the ante a bit, let’s match up well-known fictional characters with each:

The Narcissist has an enormous ego, kind of like Dr. House.

The Chronic Downer is the kind of person who saps all your energy with their negativity and neediness, like Harry Potter’s Moaning Myrtle.

The Critic always has something to say—and it’s always about how you’re doing something wrong, like Buttercup at the beginning of The Princess Bride.

The Underminer is an expert at delivering backhanded compliments, like Bryce Dallas Howard’s character Hilly Holbrook in novel-turned-movie The Help.

The Flake does what it sounds like: flakes. Constantly. Like Friends’ Phoebe.

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0 thoughts on “Are Toxic Friends Bringing You Down?

  1. I have a friend(!) who’s about 10 years older than me (I’m 51 and she’s 62) and I’m not sure which of the 5 categories she fits…I think it’s a coin toss between Critic and Chronic Downer. I’ve gotten to where I purely hate to talk to her sometimes; besides the fact that she interrupts and jumps to conclusions before hearing the whole story, she rarely validates my feelings and even says stuff to make me worried or stressed out (adding, “I don’t mean to worry you” or like that). Half the time I go to her with a problem and come away feeling worse than I did before, and my blood pressure up about 10 pts. (at least!)

    Sometimes I’d really like to drop her. I love her like a sister and she CAN be fun at times. She has a lot of health problems and really not very many friends and at times we have been there for each other. Other times, I wonder if this is a friendship even worth keeping.

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